NBA Champion LA Lakers Will Skip White House Visit in DC

Unlike past champs, the Lakers aren't skipping their visit because of the president

LeBron James After Hitting a 3-Pointer
LeBron James reacts after hitting a 3-pointer against the Atlanta Hawks.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will be the latest NBA team to skip visiting the White House in Washington, D.C., after winning the championship. But, unlike the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors, the Lakers are not skipping their White House visit because of the president.

When the Lakers are in D.C. for a game against the Wizards later this month, scheduling challenges and continued COVID-19 protocols will prevent a visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN. Though a date has not been set, a future meet-and-greet with the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, has not been ruled out, the source told ESPN.

Lakers star LeBron James was part of the last NBA team to visit the White House following a championship. Just days after Donald Trump won the presidential election to succeed Barack Obama in the Oval Office, James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visited the 44th president and then-VP Biden in the Rose Garden in November 2016.

“Give it up to the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers,” President Obama said at the time. “That’s right, I said ‘world champion’ and ‘Cleveland’ in the same sentence. That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about hope and change.”

During the run-up to the election, James officially endorsed Biden and VP Kamala Harris on social media.

Following the Biden-Harris victory in November, James also celebrated the win.

Due to COVID-19, the Lakers have not done the usual things that accompany a championship and have yet to enjoy a parade or unveil their title banner. Though the parade is not going to happen, the team is planning to reveal the championship banner celebrating LA’s 17th title on May 12 before a home game against the Houston Rockets. Unlike earlier this season, there will be fans in the building to experience it.

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