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Charles Barkley rips defending NBA champion Nuggets for canceling White House trip: 'You should always go'

Charles Barkley rips defending NBA champion Nuggets for canceling White House trip: ‘You should always go’

Tooba Shakir 1 month ago 0

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The Denver Nuggets have decided not to make the trip to the White House, a standard for defending champions.

The 2022-23 NBA title winners were originally slated to visit President Biden in January, but he needed to reschedule to March 18.

Now, just over a week until the date, the Nuggets have canceled due to scheduling conflicts of their own.

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Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic celebrate at the championship parade

Jamal Murray, #27, and Nikola Jokic, #15 of the Denver Nuggets, celebrate during the 2023 Denver Nuggets Championship Parade on June 15, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Nuggets face the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 19 in Minnesota. Denver, Minnesota and the Oklahoma City Thunder are all within one game of each other for the top seed in the Western Conference.

TNT NBA insider Chris Haynes reported that Denver is skipping the White House trip because they are “prioritizing that No. 1 seed.”

“They’re really trying to do all that they can to get into that spot heading into the playoffs,” Haynes said on Thursday night

“It was clearly a basketball decision. . . . The Nuggets wanted to do it, but the schedules just didn’t work out.”

However, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said the Nuggets are making a mistake.

“Are they flying Southwest or something? Come on, man. I actually have a problem with this whole thing that’s happened in sports the last few years, not just now,” Barkley said on Thursday, hinting that teams skipped visits with former President Donald Trump. 

Denver Nuggets celebrate

The Denver Nuggets pose for a photo after winning Gme Four of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22, 2023, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

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“It’s an honor and a privilege to go to the White House. It shouldn’t matter who’s in the White House. It’s an honor and a privilege to go to the White House. You should always go. But these guys act like they’re flying Southwest.”

“You always go to the White House. It’s the president. Whether you like the president or not. It’s an honor and a privilege to go to the White House, and you should always go.”

The 2021-2022 NBA champion Golden State Warriors visited the White House in January of last year after not doing so in 2017 and 2018 while Trump was in office.

Neither the Toronto Raptors nor the Los Angeles Lakers, the winners of the 2019 and 2020 NBA Finals, visited the White House to commemorate their titles, but the Milwaukee Bucks made the trip to visit Biden in November 2021.

Nikola Jokic celebrates at a parade

Nikola Jokic, #15 of the Denver Nuggets, celebrates during the 2023 Denver Nuggets Championship Parade on June 15, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The last championship team to visit Trump in office were the 2019 Washington Nationals, five days after their World Series victory over the Houston Astros. The pandemic made visits tougher, and by the time restrictions started to be lifted, Biden had taken office.

The UConn men’s and LSU women’s teams visited Biden last year. The President was criticized for originally not inviting the University of Georgia football team last year. After they got an invitation, the Bulldogs did not go. They did not make the trip the year prior, either, due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

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