LeBron James does not expect the winner of the NBA Finals to accept an invitation to the White House.
United States president Donald Trump caused controversy on Monday when he revoked an invitation for Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles to attending the White House.
A White House statement said of the Eagles: "They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honour of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better."
Asked about the saga at a media conference ahead of game three of the Finals series with the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar James said the move was "typical" of Trump, adding: "I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants an invite, anyway."
LeBron was asked what he thought of Trump disinviting the Eagles from their White House visit: “It’s typical of him. I’m not surprised. Typical of him and - I know no matter who wins his series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 5, 2018
The Warriors were themselves uninvited from the White House following their Finals victory last year, Trump rescinding their invitation after star point guard Stephen Curry indicated he would likely avoid the visit.
At his news conference, Curry agreed with James, saying his team will likely repeat their stance from last season if they win the championship again.
"I'm pretty sure the way we handled things last year, we'll stay consistent with that," Curry said.
The Warriors lead the Finals series 2-0, putting them two wins away from a third title in four years.
Last month, the NFL announced it will allow players to remain in the locker room while the anthem plays but will fine players and other personnel on the field who "do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem."
Trump initially supported that decision but tweeted on Tuesday that "Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling".
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
The NFL is facing labour grievances from ex-San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, both of whom claim they have been blacklisted due to their decisions to kneel during the anthem in protest of social injustice issues.