The Lakers reportedly hope to resume the tradition of visiting the White House following a championship season — but only after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Yahoo Sports, citing league sources, reported any Lakers plans to visit the White House would depend on several factors. Those include not only revamped COVID-19 protocols, but also whether Biden’s schedule will be clear for Los Angeles’ lone visit to Washington this season. The Lakers will be in D.C. in the second half of the 2020-21 season, but the NBA won’t unveil the second-half schedule until after the season’s first half has concluded in early March.
Biden will take office Jan. 20 in a transfer of power from President Donald Trump.
Yahoo reported the Lakers would view such a visit as a “pleasure and an honor.” That hasn’t been the case since Trump took office in January 2017: No NBA teams have visited the White House since then; the last to do so was LeBron James’ Cavaliers in 2016, when Barack Obama was still president.
Indeed, NBA players and Trump have been largely confrontational since he took office. That has been especially true for James, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and Biden in the 2016 and 2020 presidential races, respectively. Ahead of the 2018 NBA Finals, James said neither the Cavaliers nor Warriors wanted a White House invite from Trump following the series.
Trump’s supporters also broke out into a “LeBron James sucks” chant last Nov. 2, on the eve of the 2020 election.
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