WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama had just one disclaimer when he announced former pro-basketball player Arne Duncan as his education secretary: “I did not select Arne because he’s one of the best basketball players I know.”
Still, he conceded, “I will say that I think we are putting together the best basketball-playing Cabinet in American history.”
Not that they’d have much competition from the likes of John Foster Dulles, Henry Kissinger or Janet Reno.
"Over the presidencies of the 20th century there were Golf Cabinets, there were Poker Cabinets, and even I suppose Tennis Cabinets," said John Sayle Watterson, author of "The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency."
But basketball, he said, is a first. "I think this is sort of an updating of that."
Lisa Tolin is a journalist and Special Projects Editor at NBC News.