Biden wrongfully calls WNBA champion a coach during White House visit

 

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President Biden welcomed the back-to-back reigning WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces, to the White House on Thursday but made a flub in his speech.

Recently retired Candace Parker was a member of the squad, playing in 18 games during the season.

While she did not play in the playoffs, she still earned her third championship ring as a player.

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Parker announced her retirement on April 28 following an illustrious career.

She did not make the trip to the nation’s capital, but Biden made sure to single her out. However, he called her “one of the greatest all-time coaches” in WNBA history. Parker has not coached a game.

“And while she couldn’t be here, I want to acknowledge someone who will be considered one of the greatest all-time coaches, Candace Parker,” Biden said, followed by applause. “She played 16 seasons in the league, two Olympic Gold Medals, two regular season MVPs, and a Final MVP. And look — and going out on top of the world with her third ring, she announced her retirement from the game.”

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Biden also joked that he, like the Aces, wants to go back-to-back, referencing the election later this year.

During his address, the president said it has been a “banner year” for women’s basketball.

“It matters to girls and women, finally seeing themselves represented,” Biden said during the celebration, held in the East Room of the White House. “It matters to all Americans. That’s why as a nation, we need to support women’s sports.”

The Las Vegas Aces defeated the New York Liberty in the WNBA championship in October to win their second consecutive WNBA title.

The defending NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets, notably canceled their visit earlier this year, citing their quest to earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference (they got the No. 2 seed after a tiebreaker).

The 2021-2022 NBA champion Golden State Warriors visited the White House in January of last year after not doing so in 2017 and 2018 while then-President Donald Trump was in office.

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Neither the Toronto Raptors nor the Los Angeles Lakers, the winners of the 2019 and 2020 NBA Finals, visited the White House to commemorate their titles, but the Milwaukee Bucks made the trip to visit President Biden in November 2021.

The last championship team to visit Trump in office were the 2019 Washington Nationals, five days after their World Series victory over the Houston Astros. The pandemic made visits tougher, and by the time restrictions started to be lifted, Biden had taken office.

The UConn men’s and LSU women’s teams visited Biden last year. The president was criticized for originally not inviting the University of Georgia football team last year. After they received an invitation, the Bulldogs did not go. They did not make the trip the year prior, either, due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

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