It’s pretty clear at this point that now that Joe Biden has been elected as President of the United States, the Lakers would like to visit the White House. There was an anonymously sourced report saying the team was just waiting for Donald Trump to leave office to go, and both LeBron James and veteran Jared Dudley have vocally supported the idea of celebrating their title with the 46th president.
The good news? Biden has mutual interest in hosting them. The less good news? It could be a while:
.@PressSec says that the White House does plan to invite the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the LA Lakers, the NBA champions, to the White House once it’s COVID-safe— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) February 8, 2021
“It’s very exciting, the outcome of the Super Bowl, I guess, if you’re a fan of the Buccaneers,” @PressSec says. “But we will be inviting…the Buccaneers as well as the 2020 NBA champions, the Lakers, when it is covid safe."— Matt Viser (@mviser) February 8, 2021
Given the NBA’s strict health and safety protocols as it continues its season during a pandemic, it is pretty likely that a White House visit would have been tough to justify this year unless extreme precautions were taken, and it’s probable that the current presidential administration is just as wary of setting a poor example by hosting a large gathering. It would also be hard to schedule far enough in advance, given that the Lakers currently don’t know when they’ll play the Washington Wizards in D.C. this season because the NBA hasn’t released the second half of its schedule yet.
So while this visit seems to be something both sides are very welcome to, don’t necessarily expect it to happen anytime soon. Between this and not getting the parade they so badly wanted in Los Angeles — or at least having to wait for it for a while — the Lakers have hardly gotten the normal trappings that come with a championship, so they’ll just have to repeat to make sure they can soak in double the appreciation and respect next year, when it will hopefully be a little safer to do so. It might be easier to schedule a White House visit then, too.