WATCH: Former president Barack Obama joins virtual fan section for Game 1


Posted at Oct 01 2020 01:40 PM

Former US president Barack Obama joined the virtual fan section for Game 1. Photo courtesy of NBAE

Former United States president Barack Obama surprised NBA fans and the players themselves when he joined the virtual fan section for Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

Obama joined a star-studded group that also included several NBA champions -- including former Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Pau Gasol and Shaquille O'Neal.

"I hear I'm sitting next to Shaq," Obama quipped when he was shown on the Michelob ULTRA Courtside virtual fan seats.

Courtesy of The Office of Barack and Michelle Obama

Also present in the virtual fan section was Miami Heat franchise icon Dwyane Wade, as well as retired NBA champions Dirk Nowitzki, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. 

Obama also joined 40 first-time poll workers, who volunteered via the "More Than A Vote" initiative set up by Lakers forward LeBron James and other athletes. The former president spoke about the importance of voting and ways to ensure that everyone can vote safely in the upcoming US polls.

His presence was welcomed by the former NBA players.

The Lakers went on to win the game, 116-98, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven finals series.