DimeMag

Which 2016 Presidential Candidate Would Win On The Basketball Court?

PoliticalBall-Uproxx
Getty / Shutterstock

Every single decision should be made on a basketball court. It is a simple-but-effective way to determine which person is better than another, and 99.999999999 percent of the time, there is no controversy as to which person is best.

These things should range from the mundane (family disputes, arguments over where you’re going for dinner that night, etc.) to the most important question of them all: who should be the next president of the United States? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I want a president who can’t lock someone down on defense and then hit a jumper right in their face. Since Draymond Green isn’t running for president anytime soon, we have to work with what we have right now.

So some of us at UPROXX Sports got to thinking: which person who ran for president during the 2016 cycle is the best basketball player? We all discussed and debated and threw our support behind one person or another. Consider these full endorsements, not necessarily of a person’s ability to govern, but rather their ability to hit jumpers if preventing a war between the United States and Russia ever hinges on their ability to score on Vladimir Putin.

Dave Lozo — Chris Christie

chris christie
Getty Image

Chris Christie is 53 years old, which makes him like a 21-year-old stud coming out of college compared to everyone else. He’s 5-foot-11 and probably around 350 pounds. Who is stopping him? He will back everyone under the basket with that ass and make 2-footers all day. Remember the scene in Hard Knocks when Vince Wilfork was burying jump shots? If Christie has any outside game he will be a Steph Curry/Patrick Ewing hybrid. The only way he would lose is if Donald Trump asked him, because they clearly have a Costanza/Dan Cortese relationship from that Seinfeld episode and Christie would take a dive for Trump. In a 1-on-1 half court game, barring a heart attack, Christie wins.

Jack Winter — Martin O’Malley

Martin O Malley
Getty Image

Martin O’Malley is long gone and was pretty anonymous to begin with, but he would have walked over all the presidential candidates of the 2016 cycle in a game of basketball. We’re not talking about 2012, of course, but maybe we should be. Did you guys hear that Paul Ryan does P90X? I mean, just look at this guy. If those photos don’t scream “athlete,” just which unintentionally satirical portraits would? President Obama’s lefty jumper probably isn’t half as smooth as it looks, anyway. I can’t pick among the remaining potential nominees; they’re all too aged or too Ted Cruz-ish. Kasich is probably a stronger choice than many realize, though. Ohio is is a low-key basketball hotbed, and that two-handed jumper, ugly as it is, went in as if it does at least 25 percent of the time.

Ross Bentley — Martin O’Malley

Of all of the people who ran this year, there is not a shadow of a doubt that Martin O’Malley would wipe the floor with everyone in basketball. I mean seriously, this dude would straight up destroy most of the 60+ year-old dudes (and lady) that ran this year. He looks like the guy at your Monday night church basketball league that is way better than you even though you’re 20 years younger. It’s infuriating.

In terms of the guys still in the race though, I’m going with Bernie Sanders. I mean just look at that jumper. That is a smooth stroke right there. Plus, you know Bernie is not adverse to throwing some elbows. It is basically a right of passage to be legally allowed to elbow anyone you want on a basketball court once you reach a certain age. The combination between that and his J would be plenty to propel him over the field.

The real debate here, is who would win in a game of one-on-one between the two front-runners, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump is 6-foot-2 and should be able to just back her down, but something tells me he has never once played a sport in his life. Hillary on the other hand seems like she would be scrappy. Not afraid to mix it up in there. Still though, she would probably lose by a lot.

Whitney McIntosh — Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Holds Post-Super Tuesday Rally In NYC
Getty Image

It may be playing favorites at this point to go with the Democratic frontrunner, but I’m going with Hillary Clinton. No, it’s not just because we’re both women and everybody else left in the campaign is a mostly garbage human. Hillary seems like somebody who is sneaky good at certain sports and loves hustling competitors who underestimate her because of the penchant for pantsuits. She definitely used to challenge Bill to late-night basketball games in the White House as a way to get him to stop playing his saxophone or to decide who had to go to the next parent-teacher conference at Chelsea’s school.

It’s not hard to imagine Bill getting all cocky and dialing up the smack talk as he went up a quick two or three points. But once Hillary gets warmed up, she’s not afraid to hurt feelings and make her opponent pay for their mistakes. It’s 10-3 in the blink of an eye and Hillary’s laughing as she sinks the winning shot. In the ’90s she might have won with speed and agility, but as she’s aged she opts for pure dribbling skills and finesse. I can see it now. Hillary hitting mid-range jumpers with a wink. Hillary pretending to have turned an ankle only to pivot and bank an easy layup. She may not have the height of Donald Trump (his tiny hands can’t properly handle a regulation sized basketball) or the youth of Marco Rubio (disqualified due to the fact that he clearly can’t handle any sort of legitimate trash talk) but she’s spent years dealing with hot-headed men who underestimate her abilities. Nothing like proving everyone wrong by schooling them in a game of one-on-one. Plus, who can deny the candidate who is known to be friends with Kareem AND Magic? One of the perks of being first lady is private games of knockout and HORSE with two of the greatest Lakers of all time are not out of the question.

The only other candidate I wouldn’t count out is Libertarian (previously Democratic) nominee Vermin Supreme. He’s crafty, has enough balance to walk around with a boot on his head all the time, and I once saw the guy run a short sprint with some serious getup. Hey, you never know!

Bansky — Ted Cruz

GOP Presidential Candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Campaigns Ahead Of Iowa Caucus
Getty Image

In a perfect world this is how we would decide every election, LeBron James would be finishing up his term after his dominating victory in 2012, and Ayesha Curry would be looking for dresses to wear at Steph Curry’s inauguration in January. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world and this hypothetical is only open to actual presidential candidates so we have to examine the two most important factors here: age and height. See ya Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, because anybody playing basketball with real stakes at 74 scares me and hoops can’t be good for Bernie’s ligaments. As for Hillary, 5-foot-7 isn’t ideal and coupled with her being 68, she’s eliminated as well.

So what we’re left with is 6-foot-2 Donald Trump and 45-year-old Ted Cruz. The only thing we’ve seen Trump do that would be considered “athletic” is that one time when he tackled Vince McMahon and fake punched him at Wrestlemania 23 nearly nine years ago. It was embarrassing, and my guess is The Donald hasn’t gained much athleticism since then. So that leaves us with Ted Cruz and he wins here by default because he’s not so short and not a senior citizen. Congrats Ted.

Pete Blackburn — John Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich Announces Candidacy For President
Getty Image / Ty Wright

I don’t really pay much attention to politics so I have no idea who the hell this Martin O’Malley guy is (sweet abs, though; hope he debated with his shirt off), so I’m just going to ignore the fact he’s been mentioned in here.

As for the candidates this cycle, I’m automatically ruling Bernie out right off the bat just because he seems old as dirt. I respect the sneaky old man rec game, but I’m skeptical when it comes to the range on his J. Anyone who’s ever participated in a shootaround knows you always spend the majority of the time chucking from your max range on the floor, so seeing Bernie spot up about four feet away from the bucket in this clip worries me. I’m even more skeptical when it comes to his body holding up through a full game of 1-on-1. You couldn’t convince me that guy could take the body down low without his bones exploding into dust.

Donald Trump is the John du Pont of this discussion. Sure, he’s got Jordan-level trash talk, but there’s no way that snooty toddler has ever won an athletic event in his life without bribing an opponent to lose. He’s 6-foot-2, but he has baby hands and a body made of wet sand.

Something tells me Hillary Clinton would do her best to strategize and come up with a calculated plan to slither her way to victory, but sometimes physical limitations can hinder even the best laid plans. Given her lack of height, she’s a tough sell on the court.

When it comes to Ted Cruz and Chris Christie, the big frames lead me to believe they could be a formidable force in the post. But at the same time, I worry about their lateral quickness and ability to defend outside the paint. That’s why I’m picking John Kasich. Like I said, I respect the sneaky old man game and Kasich seems to have it. His form is ass, but he’s got enough range to give defenders hell on the floor. Plus, he’s from Ohio, birthplace to two of the best basketball players in the world right now.

Bill DiFilippo — Bernie Sanders

Every year when I pick my bracket for March Madness, I value experience way too much (probably more than actual ability). For the purposes of this silly, silly exercise, I’m going to value basketball experience way too much, so I need to eliminate everyone except for three of the folks who are still in the race. Especially Donald Trump, mostly because I can’t ever imagine him playing basketball and his tiny toddler hands would be a serious deterrent to anything he would do – do you trust a guy with hands the size of a cocker spaniel’s to grab rebounds? Because I sure as heck don’t.

This comes down to three people: Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Bernie Sanders. All three of them have some level of experience playing basketball that we know about. In fairness, so do Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum, but Carson wore khaki shorts while shooting around and I can’t trust anyone who wears khaki shorts and plays basketball, Jindal played with the Duck Dynasty guys so no, Pataki apparently picked a job with a law firm because of its basketball team but I barely remember his presidential campaign, and Santorum played some amount of ball at Penn State but there’s no word on whether he’s good or not. Let us break this down by candidate –

Cruz: Did you know that Ted Cruz liked to play basketball from time to time? I swear, it’s true. When he was at Harvard, Cruz played IM basketball, and while I have no idea if he was good or not, he has some level of experience playing organized ball. Sure, it requires a pretty liberal definition of the phrase “experience playing organized ball” and Cruz isn’t exactly a fan of liberal definitions of things, but whatever. As for his game, we don’t know much about it, but we do know that he threw elbows like the fate of the world depended on it. Throwing ‘bows means you’re a jerk, but when you wanna be the best, you need to step on people’s toes (or hit them in the sternum with an elbow), so I actually kind of admire Cruz’s jerkishness. He’d be a perfect Duke player if his doppelgänger wasn’t already on Duke.

Kasich: As for John Kasich’s experience playing organized ball, I wasn’t able to find any information. However, we know that Kasich likes to shoot around, as we learned on Tuesday night while he was waiting for the results of the Ohio primary. Kasich also got some shots up in New Hampshire and got to go to the Bucks’ practice facility and shoot around before a debate in Milwaukee, which I imagine means that he got a few pointers from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Were Kasich to Monstar some of Giannis’ ability, he wins in a walk. But for now, we need to go on what we know, which is that the Ohio governor has a really funky-looking jumper, but it works for him. Whether that works in an actual game or that doesn’t translate from shooting around I don’t know, but if Kasich can knock down some shots, he could have the leg up.

Sanders: While he is currently a resident of Vermont, Bernie Sanders is from Brooklyn. I do not not mess with people from Brooklyn on the basketball court, mostly because natives of that borough usually have a few traits – tough, hard-nosed, good ball handlers, and tenacious on defense. I have no reason to assume that Sanders isn’t all of those things. We also know that Sanders was on a team that won a borough championship when he was a kid, he shoots around occasionally, and he had a killer mid-range game when he was younger. Plus he can still get buckets, as we learned after the New Hampshire primary. Look at him bank those shots in! That efficiency.

In the end, give me Sanders. He has that Brooklyn pedigree and a solid mid-range game, which is the kind of guy I want on my team. Sure, he’s getting older, but if Andre Miller can still be in the league at his age with a delightful old man game, I have faith in Sanders’ ability to get buckets as well.

Everyone should just be happy that Barack Obama can’t run again. Dude has more game on the court than everyone else combined.

×