It is a tradition for the winning NBA Championship team to visit the president at the White House. But that’s one tradition that is going to be broken this year. The Los Angeles Lakers and 2020 NBA Champions will be skipping their visit to the White House due to COVID-19 protocols.
There’s also a schedule conflict. The team is scheduled to play the Washington Wizards on April 28.
According to ESPN, a rescheduled visit with President Joe Biden is possible in the future. However, after a whole season played in a bubble, it’s only right that the 2020 Championship celebrations are as untraditional as this past year has been.
The Lakers have been able to enjoy the victory of their championship because of COVId-19. The team did not have the traditional parade and did not unveil their 17th championship banner. Instead, the banner is covered in a black cloak on opening night with the message, “Stay Tuned, Lakers Family.”
Not about politics for once
This year, it’s circumstances rather than politics that are complicating the NBA celebrations. When Biden beat Donald Trump, Draymond Green tweeted at Lebron James, “y’all can go to the White House ad celebrate y’all title G!” To which James responded: “YO we back up in there my G!!! I’m taking my tequila and vino too!”
Back in January, James said it would be great to meet the president.
“It would be great, but I have no idea what we can even do right now besides hotel, arena, and home,” he said.
The last NBA team to celebrate their championship title at the White House were the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. They were honored by former President Barack Obama only a few days after Trump won the 2016 election.
The Golden State Warriors, who won the Championship in 2017 and 2018, and the Toronto Raptors, who won in 2019, chose not to visit the White House during the Trump administration. In 2017, the Warriors instead celebrated with a visit to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture with local students. In 2019, the Warriors again skipped the White House visit with the Trump administration and celebrated with Obama instead.
No word on if President Biden is a bit bummed that the Lakers won’t be stopping by. We like to think he was looking forward to his custom Lakers jersey.
Zoë is a writer and comedian from Minnesota. She is currently living in Chicago where she likes to read, watch TV, and bake in her free time. She hopes to use her passion for writing and journalism to help educate people and build a better and more equitable world.