Wednesday, August 8, 2007

America's Team: The All-Presidential Point Guard

This is an exercise I started doing when bored in class back in high school (so I've had a lot of practice): to make the ultimate basketball team out of our 43 presidents. Now, let's make it official. SAM Online is going to pick the starting 5 of America's ultimate basketball team. Each day we'll try to tackle another position.

Today, let's start at the top, the 1 spot: Point Guard.

Our pick: George Washington

1st President (1789-1797)
Party: Unaffiliated
Height: 6' 2"

Obviously we were going with a general here, because a point guard (or "floor general") has to lead his troops into basketball- battle. But when it comes to presidents there are a lot to choose from: Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Dwight Eisenhower, US Grant. But is there any doubt which general will serve as America's one guard?

Standing at 6' 2" in the 17th century, GW would bring Magic Johnson- like versatility to the position. And then there's the key to any good point guard-- selflessness. A great point guard makes everyone around him better. He's not worried about piling up his own stats, but getting the wins and improving the team.

That's why GW is perfect. Washington served two very successful terms as president. He was the most famous and loved person in the new country, and could have served in its highest office for the rest of his life. Most of the country wanted him to, and nothing in the Constitution stopped him. But then he did the ultimate, and walked away.

When word of Washington's planned abdication reached England's King George III, the King whom Washington's Continental army had defeated in the American Revolution, said: "If he does that, he will truly be the greatest person in the world."

Power wasn't simply handed over like that, it changed hands through revolution and coups (and usually still does). But Washington proved his selflessness, and established a precedent of withdrawl every subsequent president followed (save the Roosevelts).

Unselfish play, leadership, and a big frame. George Washington: America's father and Point Guard on America's team.


Kris said...

We need Teddy Roosevelt up front on this team.

Chris Meehan said...

just wait til we get to the front court...