The Los Angeles Lakers have changed their lodging plans ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers were originally scheduled to spend Tuesday night at a Donald Trump-branded hotel in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, but a team spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times that they’ll stay elsewhere instead because of security concerns.
The source underlined that the team’s decision to avoid the Trump property had nothing to do with politics.
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes reported similar information late Tuesday afternoon. Neither the Times nor ESPN reported where the team plans to stay now, however.
While the Lakers spokesman blamed security concerns for avoiding the Trump property, others in the NBA have cited political differences.
Last week, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James opted to stay elsewhere while the rest of the team stayed in a Trump hotel ahead of a game against the New York Knicks. James, who wore a safety pin on his lapel on the Sportsperson of the Year cover of Sports Illustrated as a sign of support for people who feel vulnerable after Trump’s election, campaigned with Hillary Clinton in Ohio ahead of the presidential election last month.
Other teams as well are said to be avoiding Trump properties, including the Dallas Mavericks, who are owned by vocal Trump critic Mark Cuban. He attended the final presidential debate in October as a guest of Clinton’s.
Since the election Nov. 8, several NBA personalities have joined James and Cuban to voice their concerns about the president-elect. San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich said Trump’s election made him “sick to his stomach.”
James’s teammate, meanwhile, Iman Shumpert said recently that should the Cavs win another championship in the next few years, he would likely skip the ceremonial visit to the White House.
“We’ll have to cross that road if we get there,” Shumpert said last month. “We’ll see. I would hope to have to cross that road.”