WASHINGTON – Even for someone like LeBron James, there are still pinch-me moments.
Thursday at the White House, celebrating the 2016 NBA championship with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama was one of those moments.
“Yes, it is surreal,” James said Friday morning. “Never in a million years did I think I would be this close with a President of the United States with the No. 1 biggest position of power in the world. We just have a real genuine relationship. We’ve got so many things in common we can talk about, not only from sports but community service and growing up in the inner city and figuring out ways that we can help the youth.
“Like I said, my life has definitely been pretty awesome. I never take it for granted when I get an opportunity to be around the President, be around the First Lady. They’ve become really good friends and that’s something that’s special to me and my family.”
The Cavs made a mannequin video during their visit to the White House, and it included a cameo from Michelle Obama, who posed next to James.
It was James’ third trip to the White following a championship but the first trip for most of his teammates.
“I’ve been to the White House a few times and I never take it for granted, but I get more joy out of seeing my teammates happy,” James said. “If it’s in Miami, if it’s here, the fact that I can see my teammates excited about being at the White House where we probably wouldn’t get a visit besides being a champion, that brings joy to me more than anything. It’s not about me.”
James said he plans to continue his relationship with the Obamas after the leave the White House. “We looked at each other and we know there’s still a lot to be done. We will regroup,” James said.
James supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton, and while disappointed in the election result, he is moving forward.
“No matter if you agree with it or disagree with it, he’s the guy and we all have to figure out a way that we can make America as great as it can be,” James said. “We all have to do our part. Our nation has never been built on one guy, anyway. It’s been built on multiple guys, multiple people in power, multiple people having a dream and making it become a reality by giving back to the community, giving back to the youth, doing so many great things.
“So obviously we always had a guy that has the No. 1 position of power, and that’s the president of the United States, but it’s never been built on one guy. So we all have to figure out a way that we can better our country because we all know that and we all feel it. This is the best country in the world, so we all have to do our part. It’s not about him at all. Especially not for me and what I do.”