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Lakers coach Jackson chats with President Obama


Posted Jun 21 2009 7:59PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama took time out to chat with title-winning coaches Phil Jackson of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Dan Bylsma of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.

Obama -- a huge basketball fan who plays on occasion and is having basketball lines painted on the White House tennis court -- picked the Lakers to win in six games over the Orlando Magic. The Lakers needed five to give Jackson a record 10th NBA championship as a coach.

"I told him that sometimes when you're a lefty you've got to go right to shoot the ball," Jackson said Friday, joking about the southpaw president's technique.

The White House says Obama discussed the Lakers' triangle offense -- maybe getting some pointers for his own pickup games. Obama has been a Jackson fan since Jackson coached the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls.

"We talked about coming to the White House and the possibility of doing it. Then we talked about some basketball things and he obviously wanted to congratulate us on a great season," Jackson said at the Lakers' practice facility in suburban Los Angeles.

The coach said he wants to visit the White House either before the season starts in late October or during the season when the Lakers play in the area.

Obama on Thursday also congratulated the Penguins for winning hockey's Stanley Cup in seven games over the Detroit Red Wings. Obama said Pittsburgh fans may be getting spoiled -- the Penguins' title follows the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl victory in February.

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