ORLANDO, Fla. – President Barack Obama may be focusing his re-election campaign on appealing to the little guys -- America's low and middle-income earners -- but that had to change Thursday night when he found himself in a room full of very, very big guys.
With NBA All-Star festivities set to kick off in the city on Friday, the list of attendees included a veritable who's who of current and former NBA players and executives -- including Magic Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Chris Paul, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
"Obviously, those here, we've been blessed," Obama told the 70-strong crowd Thursday night. "But one of the great things about America and one of the great things about professional sports is we've all got cousins, uncles, family members, who are still struggling. And we are reminded we have a lot more work to do."
The 70 guests at the event were seated on Carter's personal, indoor basketball court, the Sentinel reported, helping to raise an estimated $2.1 million.
Obama said his administration was committed to giving low and middle-income households the ability to improve their way of life.
"We want success. We want to make sure that somebody like Vince Carter can build a house like this," Obama said, adding that while people "might not have the same vertical [leap] as Vince ... they may have just as much talent in the arts or science."
Obama's re-election campaign received $5,000 from each ticket sold to the event, while the remainder of the money went to the Democratic National Committee.
Several NBA players paid the ticket price for the event, but had to send their apologies due to their schedule. The Miami Heat's big three -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- were among those who couldn't attend in person due to their game Thursday night against New York.
Earlier Thursday, Obama held two fundraisers in Coral Gables and Miami.