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The hoops takeover is nearly complete

9/20/2010

Elizabeth Warren was recently selected by President Obama to set up a new federal consumer bureau.

As it happens, this latest arrival in the Obama administration joins Obama himself, education secretary Arne Duncan and several others hoopsheads running the country. Consider: In announcing Warren as Bostonian of the year last December in the Boston Globe Sunday Times Charles P. Pierce told a story about Warren's relationship with the NBA:

One night about two decades ago, she and her husband, Bruce Mann, who also teaches at Harvard Law, were attending a game between the 76ers and Warren’s beloved Houston Rockets. (Warren taught at the University of Houston when Hakeem Olajuwon played for a Cougars team memorably dubbed “Phi Slama Jama” for its dunking prowess.) “So Elizabeth is up, cheering, yelling at the ref,” Mann recalls. “And the crowd around is getting kind of, well, restive. They’re saying, ‘Hey, lady, you’re not from around here, are you?’ ” Finally, one of the burlier gentlemen in Warren’s section inquired why she was so passionate about the Rockets. Warren explained her background in Houston. He then determined to quiz her on her bona fides.

Who was the coach of that team, he asked her.

Guy V. Lewis, she answered.

What was his trademark, he asked her.

He carried around a checkered towel, she answered.

(Warren was being kind here. Lewis’s most conspicuous trademark was his staggering incompetence in big games.)

Satisfied, the man sat down and Warren went back to being loud. Gradually, the crowd began to get audibly impatient with her again. Suddenly, the large gentleman stood up and addressed his colleagues.

“Leave the lady alone,” he told them. “She’s got history.”