Obama mixes it up with the Lakers & Wildcats

Tonight, President Obama will give his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress and the American people.  In the days leading up to the speech, Mr. Obama has involved himself in the world of sports by speaking with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kentucky Wildcats.

While in Washington to play the Wizards, the NBA Champion Lakers made their way to the White House.  The practice of defending league champions meeting the President has become an American sports tradition. Monday, it was the Lakers who came knocking on the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The President is widely known for his passion involving both the playing and watching of basketball.  So, a meeting with Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Magic Johnson and other members of the Lakers' organization, probably served as a nice diversion from the pressures of being the most powerful person in the world. 

Mr. Obama gave the customary congratulatory speech and was presented with an official Lakers' jersey and an autographed basketball.  Last night, the Lakers defeated the Wizards 115-103 at the Verizon Center. 

Tuesday, the President placed a call to the number one ranked University of Kentucky men's basketball team, regarding their participation in the "Hoops for Haiti" program. Kentucky players manned phone banks during the January 17 telethon in Lexington, Kentucky.  Through contributions and matching donations, the team raised more than $1 million for relief efforts after the horrific earthquakes in Haiti.

Mr. Obama offered a thank you for the team's charitable actions and also warned them about the pitfalls of being ranked number one, going into last night's game with South Carolina.

"There is a tendency once you get to be number one to start to let down a little bit. It's a tough place to play, (Colonial Life Arena) so you guys stay focused. I expect to see you guys in the championship game at some point," explained President Obama.

Perhaps, the Wildcats should have listened a little harder to this part of the phone call.  Last night, UK went down for the first time this season, losing to South Carolina 68-62.