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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Notes from a Laker road trip

By Henry Abbott

ESPNLosAngeles' Dave McMenamin has just published a diary from the Lakers' long road trip. There's all kinds of interesting stuff.

One fascinating moment comes when the team met the President:

1:54 p.m. Eastern time - East Room: The White House, Washington
As the Lakers enter the East Room and take their positions on the stands, waiting to be recognized by President Barack Obama just several minutes later, it's not team captains Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher who lead the procession. It's not All-Star Pau Gasol, coach Phil Jackson or legend and part-owner Magic Johnson either.

It's D.J. Mbenga.

The reason Mbenga was picked was the team was lining up by height, but still, when you consider that as a boy Mbenga was a prisoner in Zaire waiting to be executed and now is leading his team out to meet the president of the United States of America, it's mind-boggling.