In November, ESPN reported that multiple NBA teams, including Mark Cuban’s Mavericks, were avoiding hotels with the Trump name while on road trips but did not specifically cite the Cavs. However, James was a prominent advocate for Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign and several of his teammates also expressed antipathy toward Trump.
In a recent magazine interview, Cleveland swingman Iman Shumpert said that, should his team win an NBA championship while Trump is in office, he would not join the traditional visit to the White House. “I can’t get caught up in the racial, sexist bulls— he’s got going on,” Shumpert said of Trump.
Around the time that the Cavs visited the White House last month for a ceremony with President Obama, another player, Richard Jefferson, suggested on social media that his would be the last squad to do so for the foreseeable future. At a November campaign rally in Cleveland, James, who introduced the Democratic candidate as “President Hillary Clinton,” was joined by teammate J.R. Smith.
Trump’s election as president brought expressions of dismay from many prominent NBA figures, including head coaches Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers and Stan Van Gundy. “I don’t think anybody can deny this guy is openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic and ethnic-centric,” Van Gundy said of Trump.