WHITE HOUSE (CNN) – The head coaches for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Pittsburgh Penguins received congratulatory calls yesterday from President Obama.
The president - a basketball fan himself who still plays occasionally - called Lakers coach Phil Jackson to congratulate the team for winning the NBA finals, according to the White House. They also discussed the keys to the Lakers' success, and "the President's interest in the Lakers' triangle offense."
Obama also made a point to congratulate Jackson on his record-setting 10th championship as a head coach - four with the Lakers, and six with Obama's hometown Chicago Bulls. He told Jackson he has admired him since his days as coach of the Bulls, and looked forward to meeting him and congratulating the Lakers in person at the White House.
Obama also called Dan Blysma, head coach of the Penguins to congratulate the team on a great year, and on winning professional hockey's top prize, the Stanley Cup. The president joked that fans from Pittsburgh, also home to the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, might be "getting spoiled" and said he hoped the team would come to visit the White House.
The Lakers beat the Orlando Magic four games to one in a best-of-seven game series, while the Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh game of their seven-game series.
Both calls took place Thursday afternoon.