Obama Honors the Los Angeles Lakers NBA Title

By Jared

Dec 13, 2010 4:54pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: The Los Angeles Lakers may have won last year’s NBA title, but contrary to the long-standing tradition they did not get to visit the White House when being honored today by the president. President Obama said they’ve been there and don’t that too many times. “These guys have been there so often; they were just there last year because they won the title,” Obama said this afternoon, “And Kobe and Derek have been there so many times now, they could lead tours themselves.  The same is true for Coach Jackson.   So I thought we’d change things up a little bit.” So instead of the players appearing in suits at the White House the president and the players participated in a service project together at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington in making care packages for wounded soldiers. “That’s the beauty of service — anybody can do it,” Obama said, “The Lakers have a proud tradition of performing community service in the L.A. community, and I’m glad that they took the time to help us during the holiday season here in Washington, D.C. ” The president praised the Lakers for their win in the championships last year, defeating the Boston Celtics—leading to their second title in a row, and their sixteenth championship overall, calling them “one of the outstanding sports franchises in our country and in our history.” The president noted that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has earned his eleventh NBA championship ring, his fifth championship with the Lakers. “Which I should point out is still one behind the six he won with the Chicago Bulls,” Obama said of his home team. “Not for long,” Lakers Kobe Bryant quipped back to him, leading to a round of laughter in the room. “It has been a long drought since Phil left Chicago, although I have to say they witnessed in person on Friday that my Bulls are showing some signs of life,” Obama said of the Bulls victory over the Lakers on Friday. –Sunlen Miller

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