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LeBron James helps President Obama, stars in HealthCare.gov PSA (with video)

 
 
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, left, speaks to President Barack Obama during an event to honor the NBA champion Miami Heat in the East Room at the White House on January 28, 2013.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, left, speaks to President Barack Obama during an event to honor the NBA champion Miami Heat in the East Room at the White House on January 28, 2013.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com

A public service announcement for the Affordable Care Act featuring LeBron James was released on Friday.

“It was a request from the President, and I’ve always been a supporter of the President,” James said.

President Barack Obama called James to ask for his help, and James filmed the PSA on Feb. 2. The Affordable Care Act is Obama’s signature piece of legislation, and deadline for open enrollment on HealthCare.gov is March 31. James is one of the country’s most public figures for young adults, so it’s easy for him to spread the word.

“It was a good conversation,” James said. “It was pretty cool. It was really cool to be able to be on the phone with the President on my phone.”

James has played basketball with Obama, visited the White House twice in the past two years and also donated to his campaign in 2008.

ROSTER MOVES

The Heat added Justin Hamilton to its roster Friday, and it didn’t take long to figure out what will be on the back of his highly anticipated nickname jersey. The Heat released DeAndre Liggins to make room for Hamilton.

“We’ve always liked Ham,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before Friday’s game. “The thing about it when you get to this point is that you like both guys. Liggins did everything he needed to make the team for the remainder of the year, but in terms of roster balance this makes more sense. We wish him the best.”

Hamilton signed a contract with the Heat for the remainder of the season and is eligible to be active on the Heat’s playoff roster. Terms of the deal also give Hamilton a spot on the Heat’s summer-league roster.

Liggins, the D-League stud, earned his yearly salary with a few 10-day contracts from the Heat, and now Hamilton is set to be paid handsomely by the two-time defending champions.

Both Hamilton and Liggins featured prominently with the Heat’s D-League affiliate this season. Hamilton averaged 19.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game with the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Skyforce before being signed by the Charlotte Bobcats to a 10-day contract. Hamilton played for four minutes of one game with the Bobcats before being released. The Heat, which traded for Hamilton during the 2012 draft, quickly scooped up the 7-footer and signed him to a two-year deal.

Hamilton impressed the Heat’s coaching staff last summer and was strongly considered for the final 15-man roster. He broke his nose during the preseason and instead signed with the Heat’s D-League team. A former center at LSU, Hamilton played for Cibona Zagreb in Croatia after being drafted in 2012.

INSPIRATIONAL bosh

Spoelstra said that Chris Bosh’s continued progression as a three-point shooter has served as an inspiration to his teammates. Bosh entered Friday’s game shooting 38.6 percent from three-point range. He already has more than twice as many three-pointers this season than any other season in his career. He set his previous high for three-pointers in a season with 21 last year.

“It has been dramatic for us,” Spoelstra said. “Just as a side point to that. That continued reinvention and evolution from one player is inspiring for the rest of the guys. We constantly make that point. Improvement is not exclusive to the young players.

“If you set your mind to something, you can improve.”

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