The First Fan Gets to Know the Bulls

John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times explains you don't have to win a title to get a team trip to the White House. Barack Obama's hometown team, the Bulls, got the invite and visited yesterday. Word is Obama may be attending the Wizards vs. Bulls game tonight:

After meeting the president, the Bulls were given a quick tour of the White House.

''It was a great experience,'' Bulls rookie point guard Derrick Rose said. ''Usually, you're nervous around a person of his stature and power, but he made us feel at ease. He was like one of the guys. He was laughing and joking with us and knew everybody on the team by name.

''We toured the White House and took pictures with the president. [Assistant coach] Pete Myers gave me a copy of [Obama's] book and he autographed it for me.''

Before Obama took a picture with everyone in the Bulls group, he said he wanted to stand next to Ben Gordon because ''Ben's not that tall.'' That drew a laugh from the players.

According to Desiree Rogers, the White House social secretary, the idea for the Bulls' visit came a couple of weeks ago when Obama was in Chicago playing basketball when he learned the team would be in Washington soon.

''We thought it would be nice to invite the home team here,'' Rogers said.

David Axelrod, the president's senior adviser, was a longtime Bulls season ticket holder and also attended the visit.

''The president chatted with the players and said he was converting the tennis court out back here into a basketball court,'' Axelrod said. ''He invited them to come and play pickup with him in the summer.