Nearly a week ago, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson made the weighted prediction that his 2016 championship squad would be the last NBA team to visit the White House (or at least until President-elect Trump’s tenure subsides).
Although no one truly knows what the future holds in the political landscape beginning January 2017, the present is revealing itself to be a bit anti-Trump within a chunk of the National Basketball Association.
ESPN reports that the Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and the Mark Cuban-led Dallas Mavericks have all organizationally opted not to stay at Trump properties when their teams hit New York City and Chicago to play the Knicks, Nets and Bulls, respectively.
Another unnamed fourth team within the Eastern Conference is legally contracted to stay at the Trump SoHo in New York for the 2016-2017 NBA season but has already made the decision to switch to a different hotel property in Manhattan when said contract expires.
Cuban, never known to bite his tongue (even if it costs his team a technical foul or fine) denied his team’s Trump hotel abandonment had anything to do with the election, as the Shark Tank entrepreneur relayed to the Associated Press the move “was made months ago. Not recently.”
Cuban on Trump circa September 2016: “[He’s] missing a complete and utter lack of preparation, knowledge, and common sense.”
Since the 2016 presidential election, a trio of notable coaches in Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) and Stan Van Gundy (Detroit Pistons) have been vocal about their disdain for what a Trump presidency could mean for the country. Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers expressed disappointment as well but his response was far less passionate than the others.
Meanwhile, in New York City, residents of the three Trump Place complexes from 104, 106 and 108 Riverside Boulevard, successfully pushed a petition to have the upcoming president’s name removed the buildings. ABC News reports it was a measure to “disassociate” from not only the president-elect but the campaign he ran, which many deemed hateful and harmful.
Nevertheless, the “dump” Trump narrative isn’t exactly unanimous across the league as ESPN also spoke to eight teams (who will remain anonymous out of respect for their safety) that they are still scheduled to stay at Trump hotels when they hit the aforementioned cities.