Donald Trump Rumors
LeBron James said he was “not trying to make a statement” in deciding not to stay at President-elect Donald Trump’s SoHo hotel, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ residence while they are in town. “It’s just my personal preference,” James said as he talked to reporters from a baseline seat at Madison Square Garden with Cleveland preparing to play the New York Knicks later Wednesday night. “At the end of the day, I hope he’s one of the best presidents ever for all of our sake — my family, for all of us. But it’s just my personal preference. It would be the same if I went to a restaurant and decided to eat chicken and not steak.”
James said it was the first time in his career that he chose to stay somewhere other than the primary team hotel on a road trip. A team source told ESPN.com that the alternative hotel — which about half of the Cavs’ roster was excused to stay at should they choose to — was located close enough to the Trump SoHo that both factions of Cleveland’s traveling party were able to meet and take the same bus over to the shootaround. “I rode the bus like I do every [shootaround], like what I’ve done for 14 straight years,” James said. “With my teammates, coaching staff and everybody else that travels with us.”
The Cavs entered into a contract with the Trump SoHo for their regular season trips prior to the presidential election because the hotel could guarantee the team a block of rooms in the spring should Cleveland end up playing either the Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs.
Count in another athlete who won’t stay at a Trump hotel. Joakim Noah was unaware of LeBron James’ protest of the brand during his stay in New York, but the Knicks center supported the decision and responded “Nah, probably not” when asked if he’d patronize hotels bearing the President-elect’s name. “I think it’s just a comfort level, you know. Stick to your principles. Whoever you are,” Noah said. “Trump is our president. But that doesn’t mean we have to stay at his hotel.”
A group of Cleveland Cavaliers players have been excused from staying at the team’s planned accommodations, the Trump SoHo hotel in lower Manhattan, when the defending champions visit New York City this week to play the New York Knicks, multiple team sources told ESPN.com. Other members of the team’s traveling party will stay at the 46-story luxury building opened in 2010 and branded through a licensing agreement with President-elect Donald Trump, as the Cavs have a contract with the establishment.
LeBron James is included in the faction of players who will not be staying at the Trump SoHo, according to multiple sources. James publicly endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton about a month before Clinton lost the election.