Kobe Bryant has spent time with President Obama several times over the last year. Bryant was even a part of a contingent of NBA players who played a pick-up basketball game with the president last summer.
Last year, the Lakers visited the White House after they won the championship. This time, the Lakers visited a Boys and Girls Club along with President Obama in the area as part of NBA Cares. About 20 kids got to sit with the Lakers, who helped them write letters and put care packages together for wounded servicemen and women at Walter Reed Hospital.
During the meeting Obama joked that Bryant and Derek Fisher, who have won five NBA titles with the Lakers, have been to the White House so many times after winning a championship that “they give tours themselves. And the same for Coach [Phil] Jackson,” who has won 11 NBA titles as a coach. “On the court, not too many people can do what the Los Angeles Lakers can do,” Obama said. Obama congratulated Jackson on winning his 11th NBA championship, and fifth with the Lakers.
Obama then added that “I should point out that it’s still one behind the six [championships] he won the with Chicago Bulls.”
Obama is a Chicago sports fan. “Kobe said not for long,” Obama said, laughing. Obama said it has been a “long drought” since the Bulls last won an NBA championship in 1998, but he did say “as you witnessed on Friday, that my Bulls are showing some signs of life.” The Bulls defeated the Lakers in Chicago Friday night. “I just want to congratulate all the Lakers for being one of the outstanding sports franchises in our country in our history,” Obama said.