- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2014

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant says President Obama, an avid basketball player and fan himself, could make the current L.A. roster.

“I’m not dissing the current roster that we have — it’s more a sign of respect of the skill that the president possesses,” Mr. Bryant said on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

Mr. Bryant said Mr. Obama’s form could make him a left-handed version of Michael Adams, who played for four teams during the 1980s and 1990s and once led the NBA in three-point field goal attempts in four straight seasons. He also compared the president to fellow southpaw Nate “Tiny” Archibald, a Hall of Famer who is the only player to ever lead the league in both scoring and assists in the same season.

Mr. Bryant has won five NBA championships with the Lakers and is almost universally acknowledged as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. He has, however, struggled with injuries in recent years and the team has one of the worst records in the league this season at 22-45.

As the open enrollment deadline to sign up for health insurance through the healthcare.gov website looms at the end of the month, Mr. Bryant also joined fellow NBA luminary LeBron James in making a pitch for Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul on the program.

“It’s a great cause, and it’s something that particularly for athletes, it is [an] extremely important thing for us to be a part of because you need health care,” he said. “Injuries are part of the game, right? Whether it’s football, basketball, soccer, whatever the sport may be, injuries are part of it and if you’re playing a sport, the last thing you want to do is compound the situation by not having health care. All of a sudden, now your medical bills are going through the roof, whereas having health care really helps minimize the damage.”

Mr. Bryant said he got a call from a White House official who asked if the issue was something he would be interested in helping out with.

“When you’re young, you feel so invincible, and I’ve been there before — you feel like you’re never going to get hurt — you feel like you’re Superman, right?” he said. “And it’s important to feel that way, but also, you know, when you do have… injuries, you want to make sure that you’re covered.”

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