The Republican Party says they anticipated the LeBron James’ move to Cleveland and he won’t be able to block their convention plans.
In fact, they may have been planning for it, according to party and city officials.
“We’ve worked through all of these contingencies,” said Terry Egger, the chair of Cleveland’s host committee. “For all of the [host] cities that had NBA teams, [playoff basketball] was one of the considerations you had to put in to the equation.”
James, 29, announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers three days after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus revealed Cleveland as the party’s choice to host the 2016 national convention.
Priebus told Fox News the GOP hopes to begin the convention on either June 28 or July 18 to allow the party’s candidate to begin raising general election funds earlier in the summer.
Should the Cavaliers make it to the league finals in 2016, they could be playing well into June. In 2013, the last game was played on June 20, roughly a week before the RNC’s earliest date.
“Obviously if the Cavaliers are in the finals, it makes things difficult for a June 28 start,” Priebus said in his announcement.
Conventions, which have traditionally been held in August, can take up to six weeks of preparation.
RNC spokesperson Ryan Mahoney said the party will “choose a date that allows us to put on the best convention possible and all options remain on the table.”
According to Egger, party officials “absolutely” factored postseason basketball into account.
“The tech team from the RNC, they covered every conceivable detail,” he said.
The RNC has until Aug. 8 to decide on a start date, when delegates will gather in Chicago to approve Cleveland’s nomination.
While contemplating a potential playoff run, Republicans shouldn’t plan on an endorsement from James.
In March, the basketball superstar lent his talents to the White House for an Obamacare ad, and donated $20,000 to the Democratic Party in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.