Lakers write letters to injured soldiers, meet President Obama

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Mr. President Barack Obama, why not just have the Lakers over to the White House again like you did last year?

“Kobe and Derek have been there so often they could lead tours by themselves. Same for Coach Jackson.” (via the LA Times Mike Bresnahan’s twitter account)

So they packed up the standard event every title team has and moved it to a Washington D.C. area Boys & Girls Club. The team got there early, sat down with the children and helped compose letters to service men and women stationed overseas during the holidays, turning the photo op into a charity event with a photo op.

Who was the most popular Laker with the kids? Mr. Kardashian (Lamar Odom) of course, because they all saw him on that reality show. Also, Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell (who also took the photo on this page) noted that Ron Artest related very well to the 8-year-olds. (Go ahead and make that joke yourself.)

When the basketball savvy president arrived, he spoke with the players, ribbed Jackson about having one more ring with Obama’s Bulls than with the Lakers and just hung out. He talked with Shannon Brown and told Artest he’d love to play hoops with him someday.

It was all a bit contrived, still, some kind of public service instead of just a bunch of hand shaking and posing for photos is not a bad tradition to start.

Markieff Morris flips off Suns fan (video)

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.

As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:

Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7

Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.