President Donald Trump told reporters Friday morning that he will not invite the Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors to visit the White House following the conclusion of this year's NBA Finals.
Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Warriors guard Stephen Curry said their teams had no interest in a prospective White House visit.
"I didn't invite LeBron James, and I didn't invite Steph Curry. We're not going to invite either team," Trump told reporters before departing for Canada, where he will participate in the G7 Summit.
"But we have other teams that are coming. If you look, we had Alabama — national champion. We had Clemson, national champion. We had the New England Patriots. We had the Pittsburgh Penguins last year."
Trump also said he believes the Washington Capitals will make a visit to the White House after clinching their first Stanley Cup title with a 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night. The president congratulated the team on Twitter earlier Friday.
"I think we'll have the Caps. We'll see," Trump told reporters. "You know, my attitude is if they want to be here, the greatest place on Earth, I'm here. If they don't want to be here, I don't want them."
In a similar situation last year, Trump uninvited the Warriors from visiting the White House after Curry and other prominent members of the team said they weren't interested in attending a ceremony. The move prompted a tweet from James, who wrote "U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!"
Professional and college sports teams have long celebrated championships with a ceremonial visit to the White House, but the tradition has become increasingly controversial under Trump.
Just this week, the president abruptly uninvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles from visiting the White House, in part because they planned to bring a "smaller delegation" rather than their full team. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders accused the Eagles of pulling "a political stunt."
The Minnesota Lynx, the reigning WNBA champions, did not receive an invitation to the White House and instead spent a day performing community service in Washington this week.