Obama meets with NBA champion Lakers

On January 25, 2010, in Articles, Basketball, Photos, by Baller-in-Chief

President Obama welcomed the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers to the White House today.

(From the Associated Press via the Washington Post Online)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama welcomed the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers to the White House Monday, praising the team for their accomplishments on the basketball court and their service in the community.

President Barack Obama stands with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, as he is given an autographed basketball and personalized team jersey, Monday, Jan. 25,2010, as he welcomed the 2009 NBA basketball champions Los Angeles Lakers in the East Room of the White House in Washington. At top right is Magic Johnson. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama stands with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, as he is given an autographed basketball and personalized team jersey, Monday, Jan. 25,2010, as he welcomed the 2009 NBA basketball champions Los Angeles Lakers in the East Room of the White House in Washington. At top right is Magic Johnson. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Charles Dharapak – AP)

An avid basketball fan himself, Obama said he gets enormous pleasure from watching excellence on the court – and nobody exemplified excellence more than the Lakers last year, as they won their 15th league title, defeating the Orlando Magic.

Obama said he was especially excited to meet Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson, who has won 10 championships, though he didn’t hesitate to point out that six of those victories were with Obama’s hometown Chicago Bulls.

President Barack Obama holds a personalized Los Angeles Lakers team jersey presented to him by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, as he honored the 2009 NBA basketball champions Lakers, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama holds a personalized Los Angeles Lakers team jersey presented to him by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, as he honored the 2009 NBA basketball champions Lakers, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Charles Dharapak – AP)

“You remember that,” Obama joked with former Lakers all-star Magic Johnson, who was on the losing end of the Bulls 1991 victory.

Obama commended the Lakers players not only for their athletic achievements, but also their work off the court. The players held a fitness clinic for Washington-area school children Monday, and several players are donating money to relief efforts in Haiti.

President Barack Obama stands with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, during a ceremony honoring the 2009 NBA basketball champions Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama stands with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, during a ceremony honoring the 2009 NBA basketball champions Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Charles Dharapak – AP)

The Lakers added to Obama’s collection of sports jerseys, presenting him with a bright yellow jersey with the president’s name stitched on the back.

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