For many years, it was tradition for the NBA champions to visit the White House for a celebratory ceremony with whoever the current president was. However, since Donald Trump took office in 2017, none of the championship-winning teams have visited the White House — including the reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers — for obvious reasons.
Now that Trump has been voted out, though, the Lakers are hoping to be the team to restart that tradition with President-elect Joe Biden, according to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Members of the franchise — from players to management — see it as a pleasure and an honor to have their accomplishment recognized by the incoming president, but reconvening the tradition this season shall depend on logistics, sources said.
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
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the Lakers’ desire to back to the White House. In November, when Biden won the election, LeBron James told Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green that he plans on making the trip to Washington, D.C. for the fourth time in his career:
YO we back up in there my G!!! I’m taking my tequila and vino too!— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 7, 2020
Jared Dudley has also gone on record saying he would “love” to celebrate his first-ever championship at the White House with President-elect Biden. As Haynes noted in his report, though, there’s no guarantee that the two sides will be able to work something out before the Lakers play the Wizards. That game is currently not scheduled yet, and would take place in the not-yet-released second half of the schedule for the league.
If the Lakers do visit the White House this season, it will mark the first time since Jan. 25, 2010, when Barack Obama held office. The Lakers could have visited the White House again when they repeated as NBA champions in 2010, but they decided to hold the ceremony at a Boys and Girls Club in Washington, D.C.
The tradition might be more for the players than it is for the fans, but it will still be nice to see the tradition start back up. It will also be nice to have a President that doesn’t beef with NBA players on Twitter. U bum.