The Los Angeles Lakers signed Senator Barack Obama (Democrat, Illinois) to a ten day contract earlier this afternoon. A press conference at Staples Center followed the announcement.
"It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA," said the presidential hopeful, "That, and to provide quality healthcare to the 45 million Americans without insurance." Standing alongside Obama at the podium were Lakers star player Kobe Bryant, coach Phil Jackson, and General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Obama proudly held his purple and gold number 34 jersey in front of his chest, as cameras flashed all around him.
With injuries to centers DJ Mbenga (bruised ribs), Andrew Bynum (dislocated knee), and small forward Trevor Ariza (broken foot), the Lakers were in search of fresh bodies. GM Mitch Kupchak explained the late pick-up, saying, "Barack brings some nice intangibles to the table. His leadership, energy, and tough-nosed defense will help the team tremendously. He's also a lefty, so that will keep the opponents off-balance on defense. And have you heard how inspiring his pre-game speeches are? I can't wait to see what he comes up with before the next game against the Nuggets".
Standing at 6'1", Obama will play at shooting guard and back up Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. The slender Obama is definitely not lacking in confidence, "With all the rule changes favoring small guards these days, I think I could score 81 points, too. Over a season. But still, it's not just about scoring. The more the Lakers prosper, the more I prosper ... the more America prospers."
Critics wonder if Kobe Bryant will be able to share the limelight with a star as bright as Obama, but according to Bryant, winning takes center stage. "As long as he's not out campaigning when he should be practicing, I have no qualms."
Asked about any potential conflicts with Bryant, Obama replied, "If I can deal with Bill Clinton, I can certainly handle Kobe. And I've always maintained that Kobe is the best player on the planet. He has my vote for MVP, and I hope to get his vote for President with my weak-side defensive help and team-oriented play."
Phil Jackson took a slightly more philosophical approach. "I've always said that a player's character is more important than his talent, and Barack is overflowing with both. That said, Bill Bradley is a better player and politician than Barack."
Lakers special instructor Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a huge Obama supporter for President. "It's so exciting to have Mr. Obama join the Laker family. I hope to teach him the sky hook, and maybe influence his public policy."
Obama is expected to play limited minutes in the first round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets.
Obama's contract will be paid in the form of a $10,000 donation to his campaign.