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The Weekend Warrior Who Went Into J.R. Smith Mode On Obama’s Lip Speaks Out

President Obama's the most protected man in America.

President Obama's the most protected man in America. Dude rolls with a motorcade deeper than Seal Team 6, has a lifetime protection detail and has every location he visits swept through by the Secret Service before he arrives. However, on the court, America's baller-in-chief is just as vulnerable as the rest of us. During Thanksgiving Week 2010, Obama caught a sharp elbow in the lip from Reynaldo Decerega, a programs director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, during a pickup game in D.C. Naturally, the Boston Globe decided to devote an entire feature to him and how his life temporarily changed due to the media attention.

When asked why he 'bowed the President, Decerega blamed the President's aggressive defense.

“He was crowding me.” Decerega told The Globe. Needless to say, J.R. Smith isn't getting to ball with the President anytime soon.

Via Boston Globe:


“I learned everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame,” said Decerega. “I was in the middle of a media storm. The press came to my house. I left.”


CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was on his trail. He received e-mails from haters who said he should have hit the president harder. His sister in Indianapolis was contacted. His mother was worried that there would be physical reprisals.

Decerega was having trouble sleeping. Then he remembered the advice of his old high school coach at St. Stephen’s, Win Palmer.

“He taught me to be a class act in everything you do,” said Decerega.


He penned a note of apology and sent it to the White House, then tried to concentrate on work.

Three days later, he received a large gift-wrapped package with the presidential seal on it. It contained a framed three-picture sequence.


“Him guarding me, me swinging through, and then him holding his mouth,” said Decerega.

The president inscribed it: “For Rey, the only guy that ever hit the president and never got arrested. Barack.’’