In what must have been the saddest moment of David Blatt's career, President Barack Obama phoned Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue to congratulate him on the team's NBA championship, reiterating several times how Lue brought a sense of cohesion to the roster that simply wasn't there under Blatt.
Then, Obama extended the customary invititation to the reigning champs for a White House visit, pleading Lue and his charges to stop by Washington, D.C., before he leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017.
"I know LeBron, so I'd already emailed him, but let the rest of the team know we're proud of them and congratulations," Obama told Lue in a taped phone conversation, "and seeing how the City of Cleveland responded tells you how important it was to those folks. And I'm hoping you guys have a chance to come by the White House before I leave office."
(Side note: Granted, James has already met Obama at the White House as a member of the Miami Heat on two occassions, but there's something comical about the president reaching out to LeBron before Lue, reinforcing our assumption that anything to do with the Cavs runs through the four-time MVP first.)
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Lue quickly accepted Obama's early invite. "We're definitely going to do that," he said. "If it's preseason or whatever, we're going to schedule it so we can come while you're in the White House, for sure."
But the president had one caveat to Cleveland's first White House invitation in 52 years: "Tell J.R. and everybody to put on a shirt, though. He can't be just walking around without a shirt for a whole week."
Even Obama followed the plotline of a shirtless Smith that began at a post-Game 7 party in Las Vegas ...
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 20, 2016
... and the plot thickened upon his arrival on the team plane in Cleveland ...
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 20, 2016
... before becoming the biggest question of the NBA offseason: Will J.R. wear a shirt before 2016-17?
OK, now he's shirtless. A fan just yelled: "Never put on a shirt again!" pic.twitter.com/1YFbFlY6CG
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 22, 2016
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 22, 2016
Because all good things must come to an end, Cavs teammate Richard Jefferson broke the news on Snapchat: J.R. Smith finally wore a shirt after the title celebration, ending a national debate as hotly contested as any topic Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have tackled this presidential election season.
Although, we're not entirely sure Smith followed golf etiquette for anything more than a fleeting moment.
Days since J.R. Smith last wore a shirt: four
Today he was shirtless on a golf course pic.twitter.com/tM0vChGgXD
— SportsBlogNewYork (@SportBlogNYC) June 23, 2016
Have no fear, though, because the fine folks at Fresh Brewed Tees have concocted the perfect recipe that allows Smith to adhere to Obama's dress code while still at least appearing to never wear a shirt again.
— Fresh Brewed Tees (@FreshBrewedTees) June 23, 2016
This tight t-shirt adorned with Smith's tattoos really shows off the pipes, if you catch their drift.
And for those of you wondering why Obama and the Cavs are so eager to visit the White House, it's not because he'd like to receive one last honorary No. 44 jersey before leaving office or because LeBron & Co. don't want to meet Trump or Clinton, it's because Smith may be sitting in the oval office come 2017.
Because the way to make America great again is for the president to arrive for work on a PhunkeeDuck.
Finally, a change of clothes we can believe in.
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