Charles Barkley addresses Denver Nuggets canceled White House visit Photo credit: TNT

The Denver Nuggets are canceling their trip to the White House after a scheduling conflict, but Charles Barkley doesn’t agree with the decision.

After winning their first NBA championship in franchise history last season, the Nuggets were scheduled to make their customary visit to the White House in late January. According to TNT’s NBA insider Chris Haynes, the Biden administration moved the trip to March 18 because of a scheduling conflict.

With that date now approaching, Haynes reports the Nuggets have canceled the visit with President Joe Biden to focus on being the top seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are scheduled to play current No. 1 seed, the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 19. But after hearing the Nuggets reason for canceling their visit with Biden in Washington, D.C., Charles Barkley let out a chuckle Thursday night on Inside the NBA.

“Are they flying Southwest or something?” Barkley asked of the Nuggets. “Come on, man. I actually have a problem with this whole thing that’s happened in sports the last few years, not just now. It’s an honor and a privilege to go to the White House. It shouldn’t matter who’s in the White House. It’s an honor and a privilege to go to the White House. You should always go. But these guys act like they’re flying Southwest.”

“So you’re not buying the…” Ernie Johnson began to ask, insinuating that Barkley was not buying the Nuggets reasoning for canceling their White House visit.

“You always go to the White House,” Barkley said. “Whether you like the president or not…it’s an honor and a privilege to go to the White House and you should always go.”

It’s hard to imagine Barkley would have went to the White House with Donald Trump in office considering he recently threatened to punch some of the former president’s supporters. Interestingly, Barkley didn’t travel to D.C. in 1992 when then-president George Bush invited Olympic athletes to the White House to celebrate the Summer Games. To be clear, the Nuggets have said they’re canceling their White House visit for basketball reasons, not political differences, which Johnson reminded Barkley during the segment.

The Golden State Warriors went to the White House last year after winning the 2022 NBA championship and the Milwaukee Bucks visited Biden the year prior. Milwaukee became the first NBA team to visit the White House in five years, breaking a streak of no-shows caused by tensions between professional athletes and Trump.

Denver is not the first team to cancel a visit to the White House with Biden in office, however, the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t travel to D.C. after either of their national championship wins.

[Inside the NBA]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to