LeBron James was asked Tuesday about the drama surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles’ White House visit, and the four-time MVP did not mince words.
“I know no matter who wins [the NBA Finals], no one wants an invite anyway,” James said. “It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
LeBron on Donald Trump canceling the Eagles’ White House visit: “It’s typical of him”
Says neither the Warriors or Cavs would want to go. pic.twitter.com/VgmozpaJHU
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 5, 2018
LeBron then expounded on that thought, saying that championship teams don’t need a White House visit to validate their accomplishments.
LeBron James: "Let's not let someone uninviting you from their house take away from their championship… Winning a championship is way bigger than getting invited to the White House, especially with him in it."
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 5, 2018
LeBron’s comments come after Donald Trump uninvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles upon learning the team would send only a small delegation (possibly as small as two or three players). That saga followed a similar arc to the one last fall in which Steph Curry and the Warriors declined to visit the White House, leading Trump to announce they weren’t invited anyway. LeBron weighed in that time, as well, with the now-famous tweet in which he referred to the president as “U Bum.”
Over the last eight months of so, LeBron seems to have let go of his “U Bum” anger and channeled it toward the resigned frustration of “No one wants an invite anyway.”
Give the drama surrounding both the Warriors and Eagles’ White House visits, it seems likely that Trump and company will begin thinking twice about inviting teams to D.C., at least without prior assurance they’ll actually show up. It’s certainly hard to imagine Trump giving the Cavs or Warriors (all right, probably Warriors) an opportunity to publicly spurn him again.
If Trump’s presidency winds up marking the end of the champions-visiting-the-White-House tradition, well, that will be far from the worst fallout.