Kobe Bryant: President Obama Talks Trash on the Basketball Court

09/28/2012 at 02:15 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant: President Obama Talks Trash on the Basketball Court
Kobe Bryant and President Barack Obama
Chip Somodevilla/Getty
L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant is one of the best players in the NBA, but there is one opponent he goes a little easy on: President Barack Obama.

Bryant, who has played some games against the commander-in-chief at the White House, says Obama is "very, very good" on the basketball court, but Bryant was tentative about going full-out during their competitions.

"The thing that’s interesting is that if he makes a nice move, you kind of catch yourself," Bryant tells Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show Friday. "I’m going to steal the ball from him. Then all the sudden, I start peeking around looking for the CIA. I say, you know, I should just let him go."

DeGeneres agrees, advising Bryant, "Let him win."





But Bryant says he couldn't hold back when it came to some harmless trash-talking on the court – but he swears he didn't start it.

"He talks a lot of trash," Bryant says of Obama. "You know he's from Chicago – the Bulls through and through. He always talks Bulls this, the Bulls that. I'm like, my goodness. Can I talk trash to the President?"

Asked if he did indeed trash-talk right back, Bryant says, "Of course I did. I couldn’t help it."

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