The last time an NBA team visited the White House, it was November of 2016, when LeBron James and the Cavaliers came to visit Barack Obama and continued a long-standing tradition.
A few months later, Donald Trump took over residence in the White House after a campaign that pushed racial and social justice buttons to anger his base and get them to the polls. That’s when the NBA visits stopped.
On Jan. 20, Joe Biden takes over the Oval Office and LeBron, with the rest of the Lakers, want to rekindle the White House tradition, reports Chris Haynes at Yahoo Sports.
The Los Angeles Lakers are looking forward to reconvening a post-championship tradition of visiting the White House at some point during the 2020-21 season after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States, league sources told Yahoo Sports…
Waiting to see if Biden’s schedule will be freed up for the lone occasion the Lakers travel to take on the Washington Wizards, and gathering information on what the White House COVID-19 protocols will look like are all determining factors, sources said.
The date for the Lakers’ visit to Washington has not been set; it will be in the yet-to-be-released second half of the NBA schedule (after the March All-Star break).
NBA teams have visited the White House — regardless of who or which party held the office — for decades, up until the Trump administration. The Golden State Warriors refused to go after their first title, and Trump’s White House revoked their invitation.
Since that time, the NBA has made very public stands and moved toward social justice — “Black Lives Matter” was on the court during the NBA restart bubble in Orlando. The league has encouraged players to speak out on social issues, and LeBron has led the way on that front with other players — Boston’s Jaylen Brown, for example — who have used their voice and platform to promote the cause. The NBA and its owners committed $300 million to support economic empowerment in Black communities.
With that as a backdrop, it seems fitting to have LeBron lead a team back into the White House, hopefully next spring.