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Yup, even the NBA gets Trumped

Published by Yoshi on 11th November - 16:30 (CET)
First of all I have to inform you that above photo has been tampered with and is not real. I know, it looks almost as flawless as Axel's work on the Disney NBA logos, but believe it or not I actually inserted Donald Trump's head and name into the photo myself. Furthermore I know and agree that we really don't need any more web sites talking about future President Trump, but look at that photo and tell me how we could ignore the orangutan in the room!

As you have probably noticed already, the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers visited the White House and met with the Obamas on Thursday, generating among other things a fantastic speech/roast by President Obama and the highest paid and most influential mannequin challenge video ever. The NBA Champions meeting up with the President of the United States is a tradition that goes back all the way to when John F. Kennedy invited the Boston Celtics to the White House in 1963, and it is seen as a great honor by the players, coaches, GMs and owners. In the past eight years this tradition has been even more of a delight as President Obama is a truly passionate fan of the NBA who has flirted with the idea of becoming a team owner one day, and has at many occasions been vocal about his fandom of the Chicago Bulls, even taking a jab at the Warriors during their own ceremony in favor of the '96 Bulls.

Now imagine replacing Barack in those videos with the Donald. Just doesn't have the same appeal, does it?

However you feel about Donald Trump, there is no denying that some of his baggage might not go over well with members of the NBA family. There is the ties between his father and the KKK, the emphatic support he gets from white supremacists, and another handful or two of cases where his views on minorities could be questioned.

The NBA has a history of working towards being an including, equal and progressive organization with a continuous social program in the form of NBA Cares, and with strong social statements such as the decision to relocate the 2017 All Star Game from Charlotte due to North Carolina's passing of the controversial HB2 bill. Many of the players, coaches and other individuals within the league have as well been vocal when it comes to social issues, with one of the recent marquee moments being when some of the biggest superstars spoke out on racial tensions at the ESPY awards.

It is safe to say that there is a clash between the views of the NBA organization and players and the future president, and we have already seen this expressed publicly. Coach Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons expressed that he would have a hard time playing in Phoenix where Trump had a lot of support, Steve Kerr compared Trump's campaign to the Jerry Springer show during a press conference, and a lot of players tweeted out their dismay as the results came in, though a few were supportive as well.

So where does this leave us with the tradition of NBA Champions visiting the White House? Former stars Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billups have already said that they anticipate a lot of players, both in the NBA and NFL, to decline any incoming invitation to the White House under Trump's presidency. If the Cavaliers win another ring in the coming year, will Lebron James, who even campaigned for Hillary Clinton, show up? If The King denies The President, will all of his subjects follow suit?

With the way 2016 has been shaping up, we can all expect 2017 to be a very strange year, and even if the NBA and its players would prefer to just focus on basketball it is highly unlikely that they will be spared from the circus. One thing is for sure, though, basketball fans around the world will miss Obama's passion for the game and hilarious speeches if we even get to see NBA Champions visit the White House in the coming years.

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