President Obama gives the Cleveland Cavaliers a White House welcome

President Obama honors Cleveland Cavaliers at White House
Published: Nov. 10, 2016 at 5:38 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2016 at 11:28 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - President Barack Obama welcomed the 2016 NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to the White House Thursday afternoon.

The president wanted to personally congratulate the team on winning their first ever world championship and for ending Cleveland's major sports championship drought of more than 50 years.

In addition to Cavs players, coaches and team owner Dan Gilbert, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and his two daughters were also present.

One thing that wasn't missing was J. R. Smith's shirt and President Obama made sure to thank it for coming.

"I want to give a special thanks to J.R. Smiths' shirt. I wasn't sure if he was gonna make an appearance today, I'm glad you came…and it's a very nice shirt too," President Obama said.

The president talked about how the Cavs broke numerous record during their playoff run and how they were the first team to win a championship after coming back from being down 3-to-1.

"The comeback was remarkable and you learn a lot about people when they are down," said Obama. "Through it all Cleveland was always 'Believeland'. I  know that Cleveland couldn't be happier and prouder of this [championship trophy]."


The Cavs were invited to Washington back in June. Coach Tyronn Lue received a phone call from President Obama shortly after Cleveland rallied to beat Golden State in the NBA Finals. Lue wanted the visit to happen before the first African-American president left office.

Cleveland plays at Washington on Friday night.

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