Raptors have heard from Justin Trudeau, nothing from the White House

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse revealed on Wednesday that his team has been invited to 24 Sussex Drive, but hasn't heard anything from the White House. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

With their first championship in franchise history and the parade in the books, there’s only one thing left for the Toronto Raptors to do before they can truly relax and reset before preparations for next season begin: sort out the customary visit to the residence of the nation’s leader.

For years, elite American sports teams have been invited to the White House by the President. It’s a tradition that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will adopt as he’s proposed that the country’s lone NBA basketball team join him in Ottawa, Ontario.

“Definitely the Trudeau meeting, um, because they’ve been asking me about scheduling it,” said Nurse on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown and Richard Deitsch when asked if the team has been invited to visit either the Prime Minister or President on Wednesday. “I’ve heard nothing about the White House. We’re Canada’s team anyway, right?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Nurse said when asked if he’d go if Donald Trump welcomed the Raptors to his home. “Well, I think, you know, we’re here... Let’s go see Trudeau up in Ottawa... We’re Canada’s team.”

When it comes to Canadian teams winning elite North American professional sports league titles, history has been interesting over the last 30 years. While George H.W. Bush invited the Toronto Blue Jays to the White House after claiming the 1992 World Series, the 1993 squad that did the same weren’t welcomed during Bill Clinton’s administration.

Trump’s rocky relationship with the NBA as of late may add another wrinkle to the narrative. After the Golden State Warriors declined his invite after winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2017, Trump’s administration didn’t even bother to send the offer to the team when they repeated the following year.

If the Raptors don’t end up having the opportunity to head to Washington to hand Trump his custom jersey and participate in the obligatory photo shoot, I feel they’d really be missing out. That spread of the finest creations that American fast food restaurants has to offer still seems to be something that needs to be seen in person to be believed.

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