Guy Who Elbowed Obama in the Mouth Got a Souvenir Out of It

Photo: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

After almost three years of public silence, Reynaldo “Nice Guy Rey” Decerega has finally delivered a dramatic retelling of the time he elbowed Barack Obama in the lip during a pickup basketball game, requiring stitches for both men. “He was crowding me,” Decerega explained to the Boston Globe, taking care to note it was “solid defense,” not dirty play from the president. “So I swung the ball from my left side to my right side,” he continued, comparing the immediate aftermath of the contact to “a car accident” and “almost an out-of-body experience.” After writing an apology note to the White House and proceeding to lay low, Decerega received a framed triptych of photographs from the moment — “Him guarding me, me swinging through, and then him holding his mouth” — along with an inscription: “For Rey, the only guy that ever hit the president and never got arrested. Barack.” He was not, however, invited to play again.