NEW YORK — No NBA championship team has visited the White House since the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 when Barack Obama’s second term as president was winding down.
The Golden State Warriors won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, yet President Donald Trump rescinded an invitation in 2017 after several players said they would not accept one if offered. In 2018, Trump didn’t invite them.
Danny Green was a member of the Toronto Raptors 2019 NBA championship team. He said the team didn’t want to go the White House even though Toronto is a Canadian team.
Doc Rivers was asked if he thinks the NBA can restore that tradition. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be Jan. 20.
“Yeah, for sure,” said Rivers, who took the Boston Celtics to the White House to meet George W. Bush after he coached them to the 2008 NBA title.
“I don’t think it’s the NBA that will restore it,” he added with a chuckle. “I think it’s just who’s there. Listen, there should always be respect. I will say that no matter who’s there.
“I will say these last four years have a different circumstance. Other than that, I think the tradition will return.”
Sixers veteran acquisitions Green and Dwight Howard were members of the Los Angeles Lakers squad that won this past season’s NBA title.
Four NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19.
The four confirmed positives were among the 498 players who were tested since Dec. 30, the league and the National Basketball Players Association announced on Thursday.