President Joe Biden and his administration were planning to invite the Lakers to the White House to celebrate their 2020 NBA championship, but it appears that visit will not happen this season when the team travels to Washington to play against the Wizards this month.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports that a later visit is still possible at some point:
Scheduling and continued COVID-19 protocols prohibited a trip this April. https://t.co/bM9dyoiVpY— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 17, 2021
Confirming Dave’s report. Apparently a bit of a scheduling conflict for the upcoming trip. Obviously the pandemic makes every interaction logistically challenging as well. https://t.co/srAlYpzlwA— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) April 17, 2021
This is surely disappointing for the Lakers, as LeBron James has said it would be “great” to celebrate their title with Biden, and he wasn’t the only member of the team that felt that way. However, given the NBA’s strict health and safety protocols on the road and how hard it would be to do anything resembling a traditional championship ceremony for the team with the required social distancing, it’s not really a surprise they weren’t able to make it work.
Along with the lack of a parade and no fans being in attendance for their ring night, this is just one more way the Lakers haven’t gotten the traditional trappings that come with winning a title. Considering that all of us have missed out on things we’d love to do during the last year, anyone reading this can probably relate.
Things are getting better, though, slowly but surely. The Lakers have welcomed fans back to Staples Center this week for the first time season, and will unveil their championship banner in front of fans before their final home game of the 2020-21 campaign. At some point, maybe they will get to go to the White House too, but for now, their rings and the knowledge that they’re still the reigning champs will have to suffice.