Barack, like most, assumes L.A. and Boston will meet for the Larry O’Brien trophy in June, and predicts the Lakers will exact revenge on their arch rivals: “President Barack Obama bonded with the Lakers when they were the first NBA team to visit him in the White House earlier this year. Now Obama expects the Lakers to beat the Boston Celtics, assuming they meet in the upcoming NBA Finals. “Boston surprised me,’ Obama said in a TNT interview with Marv Albert. ‘They gelled in the playoffs in a way that they hadn’t all through the season. (Rajon) Rondo’s become one of the best point guards in the league in no time. I mean, when he gets a real jump shot, he’s going to be unstoppable. But I’ve got to go with the Lakers again. I think (Pau) Gasol may be the best big man in the league right now. He’s different from Dwight Howard, but he’s (got) unbelievable footwork, speed, savvy. He’s playing magnificently. Kobe (Bryant) is the fiercest competitor in the league, and they’ve got what I continue to believe is the best coach in the NBA right now in Phil Jackson, so they’re going to be formidable, and I think it’ll be a tough series.’”