Roger L. Simon

Is Obama the new Kareem? (not likely)

How often have we Laker fans heard Chick Hearns’ immortal words “swings left… shoots right” as Kareem Abdul Jabbar swished one of his patented sky hooks.

Coach Phil Jackson seemed to be channeling Hearn yesterday when the Lakers had their belated “championship celebration” with Obama. “Phil Jax” reports on his private conversation with the President: “I told him that he’s a left-hander and he should know that you have to go right to shoot,” referring to Obama’s recent tax-cut proposal. “But he hit a three-pointer this time.”

The Zen Master, who is known for his elliptical ways of getting messages across to his players, was likely trying to reinforce something in Obama. Will it stick? I tend to doubt it. When it comes to switching hands from left to right in mid-shot, Barack Obama is no Kobe Bryant.