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Kings bring West Coast flavor to White House

by Corey Masisak

WASHINGTON -- It was a day to celebrate Hollywood at the White House.

President Obama welcomed the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy to his home Tuesday and honored them for their respective leagues titles in 2012.

"It is great to have both teams here not just because they share a hometown," Obama said before detailing how both franchises had to overcome slow starts to their seasons before winning. "I'm a little resentful coming from Chicago that L.A. seems to be getting all these championships."

The Kings, who played Monday in Chicago, received a tour of the White House before the ceremony. Obama made sure to mention the result from Monday night, when the Kings dealt the Blackhawks their fourth regulation loss of the season on a late goal by captain Dustin Brown.


Obama's remarks honor Kings, Galaxy
The following is the official transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary at the White House from Tuesday's ceremony honoring the Stanley Cup champion Kings and the MLS Cup champion Galaxy. READ MORE ›

"I'm going to be a good sport -- these guys pointed out that they beat my Blackhawks [on Monday]," Obama said after earlier giving a nod to Darryl Sutter, who played and coached for the Blackhawks. "I will also say that, given this season how rare it is to beat the Blackhawks, I want to congratulate them for that, as well."

Galaxy star Landon Donovan gave the president a Galaxy jersey with the No. 1 on it and a soccer ball, which led Obama to show off his skills with a quick header to himself. Brown then presented the president with a No. 44 Obama Kings jersey, to which he responded, "That’s a good-looking jersey. Forty-four is a lucky number."

When Obama posed for a photo with the Kings, he put his arm around Brown and said, "Let me see that toothless grin. This is what a hockey player should look like."

After the ceremony with the president, three Kings players -- Brown, defenseman Rob Scuderi and goaltender Jonathan Quick -- joined Donovan and two members of the Galaxy (Mike McGee and Todd Dunivant) in a question-and-answer session with children from around the country as part of the White House's "Let's Move!" initiative.

Children from Washington, D.C., Detroit, Columbus and Philadelphia were able to ask the players questions and learn about eating well, exercising and what it takes to be a professional athlete. Donovan brought his MLS championship ring and allowed the youngsters in attendance to hold it.

Scuderi was asked who the toughest player and team he's played against was, and responded that it was Pavel Datsyuk and the 2007-08 Red Wings, which drew applause from the Detroit-area children in the crowd.

When the Boston Bruins celebrated the 2011 Stanley Cup with a trip to the White House, the big story was goaltender Tim Thomas, who declined the invitation because of his political beliefs. This wasn't lost on Kings forward Dustin Penner, who is known for his sense of humor.

On his official Twitter account, Penner wrote, "After careful consideration I've decided not to visit the White House today for political reasons LOL JK I'm not an idiot! Free trip? I'm in!"

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