Since Barack Obama became the President of the United States in 2008, championship teams of many sports have been invited to the White House in order to commemorate their title.
Obama, who is an avid sports fan, has made it a custom to invite as many teams to the White House as possible, as it’s become a tradition that many championship teams look forward to and mark their calendar for.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were the latest team to be honored in this way, as they paid the President a visit last week in order to be honored for their 2016 NBA title.
The event was held outside and in his usual way, Obama stepped to the podium, shook every player and coaches hand, and delivered a speech that was filled with humor, praise and most of all, respect.
He started the speech by thanking Cavs guard J.R. Smith for wearing a shirt to the event.
“I want to give a special thanks to J.R. Smith’s shirt for showing up,” Obama said. “I’m glad you came. You’re a very nice shirt.”
This stems from Smith infamously not wearing a shirt for the immediate two days after the Cavs won the title in June, when they were celebrating at a club and when they came back to Cleveland for the championship parade.
Other highlights of the speech were when Kevin Love gave the President a replica black-sleeved jersey of the one they wore during Game Seven of the Finals and Obama asked if he could rip the sleeves off, alluding to LeBron James famously ripping off his sleeves early last season, expressing discomfort with how they felt.
In one of the better punchlines of the speech, Obama addressed the fact that the Cavs winning the first title for the city of Cleveland since 1964 was a huge change for the city.
“That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about hope and change,” President Barack Obama joked.
After the initial proceedings, Michelle Obama joined in on the fun, as the Cavaliers all participated in the “Mannequin Challenge,” a viral sensation where everyone freezes in their place and a camera pans to show the actions and expressions. The First Lady was in mid-selfie with James and Smith when the camera panned in their direction, adding to the light-hearted and celebratory feel of the day.
With Donald Trump recently becoming our newest President, this will likely be the last team that Obama hosts at the White House for a championship celebration. It’s fitting that the last team to be honored was there representing a first for its franchise and city.
Do you think that Trump will continue this tradition? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.