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Shannon Brown has friends in high places

They all stood in a private room listening to President Obama on Monday before the ceremony took place, shaking his hand, in awe that he knew them all.

The president ventured over to Shannon Brown and wished the Lakers’ guard good luck in the dunk contest.

Brown smiled and then got the shock of his life.

When the team had its public ceremony in front of family, friends and the worldwide media a few minutes later Monday, President Obama again wished Brown good luck in the dunk contest.

“When he did that, I didn’t know what to do, man,” Brown said, smiling. “I was like, ‘This dunk contest needs to hurry up.’ I got kind of juiced. I need to be out there now.”

The dunk contest will be held Feb. 13 during All-Star weekend at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Brown, however, is quick to point out that he’s more than just a dunker.

But Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards, Brown made five field goals, three of them dunks.

His first dunk was from a lob pass from Lamar Odom, the second was from a lob pass from Derek Fisher and the third was a dunk on his own, off a missed free throw.

Each one had the crowd inside the Verizon Center cheering.

“I don’t really label myself as just a dunker,” said Brown, who finished with 11 points. “I try to have a complete all-around game, even though today I didn’t make no shots. Most of my points did come off dunks, but I try to have a complete game, man.

“But when I have a chance to dunk the ball, I think it gives everybody a little bit boost of confidence on the team and it gets us going a little bit.”

Brown is from Chicago and Obama began his political career there.

So the president knows who Brown is. Also, Obama watches and plays basketball when he gets the opportunity.

From the sound of it, Obama will be watching the dunk contest, or at the very least, the president will find out the results.

“He just added a little bit of pressure,” Brown said. “That’s well-worth-it pressure. I’d rather have pressure from the president than anybody else.”

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner


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