He probably couldn’t pull it off anyway, but Sen. Ted Cruz made sure he alienated basketball fans with a speech in — of all places — Indiana. Cruz, who struggles to sound like a man of the people despite his Texas base, was trying to reassure Indiana voters when he clumsily reached for a basketball metaphor. Unfortunately, Salon reports, Cruz decided to call the hoop a “ring” — saying “the basketball ring here in Indiana [is] the same height as it is in New York City and every other place in this country,” No one quizzed Cruz on that height — luckily for him. The candidate seems unlikely to have been able to answer ten feet.
Barack Obama is the nation’s first basketball president. So being hip to hoops is still a recent POTUS requirement. But the game with such famous practitioners as LeBron James and Steph Curry is deeply embedded in American culture and a politician should know the hoop is a hoop — or, you know, he could have simply called it a basket. Maybe Cruz was just trying to separate himself from his controversial Canadian birthplace. The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was — like Cruz — born in Canada before finding his calling in the US. Basketball legend Larry Bird of French Lick, Indiana would be happy to explain to Cruz that rings are what you get when you make more hoops than the other team.