Lakers news: The Los Angeles Lakers are focused early in the 2020-’21 NBA season on defending their title as NBA champions. However, with President-elect Joe Biden set to take office in a matter of weeks, the team could resume a storied tradition in sports.
Just months after defeating the Miami Heat to win the NBA Finals, the Lakers are reportedly eyeing a return trip to the White House for the first time in years.
No NBA team has visited the White House since the Trump administration took over in January 2017. With Biden set to be sworn in on Inauguration Day in a few weeks, the tradition of champions visiting the iconic building could soon resume.
Lakers news: Team seeking White House visit after Joe Biden sworn into office
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, both Los Angeles Lakers players and management are hoping for the opportunity to visit the White House this year. However, the team recognizes plenty of factors that could make resuming the tradition rather complicated.
Not only is the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, but the Lakers don’t even know when they will be in Washington D.C. They are set to face the Washington Wizards in the second half of the season, but the NBA won’t release that portion of the schedule for at least another month.
The last time an NBA champion visited the White House came in 2016, when LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visited President Barack Obama in Nov. 2016.
Following the 2016 election of President Trump, both the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors said they wouldn’t visit the White House. A few months later, after being sworn in, Trump announced the Warriors wouldn’t be invited to come to the White House.
The Warriors visited Obama following their 2018 championship at another location. After the Toronto Raptors won the 2019 NBA Finals, the team made it emphatically clear they wouldn’t visit the White House.
Now, LeBron and Anthony Davis are hoping to resume the tradition this year. However, it’s far from a guarantee to happen. It will still require the Biden administration to clear a visit, which is complicated due to the uncertainty surrounding scheduling.
If the Los Angeles Lakers don’t get an invitation this year, the focus could then shift towards the NFL. President Trump invited the Kansas City Chiefs to the White House, but the visit never happened due to the COVID-19 pandemi, but the visit never happened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the Chiefs might have to win Super Bowl LV to earn another shot at living through the iconic experience of a White House visit. Given how well the team has played this season, that is certainly possible.