The tradition of having the NBA Championship team visit the White House began in 1963 when John F. Kennedy hosted the Boston Celtics. That tradition has seemingly come to an end during the presidency of Donald Trump. While professional and amateur teams from other sports have visited the President, the Golden State Warriors, winners of the last two titles, refused the trip.
The Toronto Raptors captured the NBA Championship in June after defeating the Warriors in 6 games. When asked recently if the team would be willing to visit with Trump, the Raptors’ Forward claimed the team would issue a “hard no.”
In his full answer, Green said,
“I just don’t think that we accept. And I try to respect everybody in every field that they do regardless of how crazy things are. But he makes it really hard. He makes it very, very tough to respect how he goes about things and does things. To put it politely, I think it’s a hard no.”
Trump recently said of inviting the Canadian team, “if they’d like to do it, we’ll think about that.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 20, 2019
The President’s was careful with his words after recently being stung a number of teams. The University of Virginia Men’s Basketball Champions recently turned down an opportunity to visit the White House. Prior to that, the Philadelphia Eagles were “dis-invited” by Trump after a number of players said they weren’t willing to make the trip.
While the Raptors seem unwilling to meet with Trump they may meet with another foreign leader. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has already extended an invite to the team.