Both the Toronto Raptors and President Donald Trump have spoken out about whether the newly crowned champs will make the traditional White House visit.
The Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games to become the first Canadian team to win an NBA title.
Since they are not an American team but play in a league primarily composed of American teams and players from the states, it was unclear whether they would still receive a White House invitation.
Trump revealed his thoughts on it Thursday afternoon.
“They played phenomenal basketball,” he told reporters as he met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I watched a little bit of it. They were really terrific.”
The president then turned to Trudeau and said, “Congratulations, by the way. That was a great job by a great team.
“So we’ll think about that, if they’d like to do it.”
U.S. President Donald Trump said he would “think about” inviting the Toronto Raptors to the White House following their NBA Championship win. Read more: https://t.co/MC3Y60tGy2 pic.twitter.com/czuqC0mjcl
— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) June 20, 2019
However, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse appeared to have different ideas.
Appearing Wednesday on Toronto station CJCL-AM’s “Prime Time Sports,” Nurse was asked about a potential visit and said, “You know, we’re here. Let’s go see Trudeau up in Ottawa. We’re Canada’s team.”
That is what Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson suggested as well.
“Hey @Raptors forget the White House for a victory lap,” he tweeted Friday. Come to Ottawa and parliament hill so Canada can congratulate you!”
— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) June 14, 2019
Although it is not common, a Canadian pro sports team has visited the White House before.
The 1992 Toronto Blue Jays visited then-President George H.W. Bush after their World Series win.
However, when the Blue Jays repeated in 1993, they did not visit the Bill Clinton White House, nor did the 1993 Stanley Cup-winning Montreal Canadians.
So far, an NBA team has yet to visit the Trump White House.
The Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals in both 2017 and 2018 and did not go either time.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” he tweeted. “Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
When the Warriors won the championship again in 2018, they did not receive a White House invite.
The 2018 Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are the only other major pro sports team to snub the White House during the Trump presidency.
Other teams have had certain players or coaches skip the visit, but most set aside any differences they had and enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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