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Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said his team still hopes to use its visit to Washington early next year to do something to impact people, but he said he wasn’t surprised when President Trump tweeted last month that the team would not be welcome at the White House. “We had been debating for a couple months what we would do in terms of visiting the White House, if we would or not, how it would unfold,” Kerr said in an interview with former Obama administration adviser Dan Pfeiffer that aired on Monday’s Pod Save America podcast. “We were sorting through it all, but before we could get to anything, the President beat us to the punch. “I don’t think we would have gone. And I think he knew that. Several of us had been very critical of the president in the past year, and it would have been awkward, for sure.”
Tim Bontemps: Steve Kerr says “everything is still on the table” re: Democrats invite while in DC, but says focus of team now is on getting through camp.
Magic Johnson made an exception by offering respect to the NBA All-Stars and to the Golden State Warriors after the NBA champions were denied a White House visit they didn’t appear to want. “I was really proud of them. I was very happy,” Johnson told The Undefeated during the Lakers’ media day on Monday. “I can’t say a lot because now people are saying, ‘Oh, Magic is trying to recruit everybody. … ’ But I am proud of them for standing for something.”
In regards to the Trump administration, Popvich said, “The childishness and the gratuitous fear-mongering and race-baiting has been so consistent that it’s almost expected.” He called President Trump’s rescinding of the Golden State Warriors’ invitation to the White House “disgusting … comical … like a sixth-grader who was going to have a party in his backyard and he finds out somebody might not come, so he disinvites him.”
“It’s a polarizing time right now. It’s a disheartening time. I commend the Golden State Warriors for the decision they made,” Spoelstra said of the Warriors not making a White House visit in the wake of last season’s NBA championship. “I commend the NFL players and organizations for taking a stand right now for equality for inclusion, for taking a stand against racism, bigotry, prejudice.”
Rockets guard Chris Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, said the Rockets would respond to President Trump’s comments about NFL players and his decision to “uninvite” the Warriors to the White House, but they had not determined what that response would be. He was determined, however, not to adhere to anyone’s call to “stick to sports.”
Billionaire businessman and NBA owner Mark Cuban responded to President Donald Trump both calling for NFL owners to “fire” players who protest during the national anthem and uninviting Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry from visiting the White House in an email exchange with Business Insider on Sunday.
“I don’t think people realize how involved in the community every NBA and NFL team is,” Cuban told Business Insider. “We all have community programs and foundations and every single one of those groups has to get involved in politics in order to help get buildings built and programs organized with our communities. We work with our cities to push forward agendas.”
“Want to keep politics and sports separate?” Cuban tweeted. “Don’t accept donations from athletes, mgmt or owners. $$ speak far louder than taking a knee.”
He woke up to 20 text messages telling him that choice had been made for him, thanks to President Trump’s tweet that Curry’s White House invitation had been rescinded. “It’s surreal, to be honest,” Curry said after that practice had concluded at the team’s facility in downtown Oakland. “I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals, rather than others. “I have an idea of why, but it’s kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That’s not what leaders do.”
“My stance is the same as it was [Friday],” Curry said Saturday. “And even kind of cemented even further about how things in our country are going, especially with [Trump] representing us in a very damaging way. “I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others. I have an idea of why, but it’s kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That’s not what leaders do.”
James says: “Just giving ya’ll a little bit more in-depth insight about my tweet from earlier. I think it’s basically at a point where I’m kind of just a little frustrated because this guy that we’ve put in charge has tried to divide us once again, and obviously we all know what happened with Charlottesville and the divide that caused. Now, it’s even hitting home for me more because he’s now using sports as the platform to try to divide us. “We all know how much sports brings us together, how much passion it has, how much we love and care, and the friendships and everything that it creates. For him to try to use this platform to divide us even more, it’s not something I could stand for and it’s not something I could be quiet about.
On a more serious note, Kerr — who has been to the White House seven times — said he had always appreciated the experience and was saddened that the current political climate had led to this situation happening. “In general, the idea of going to the White House as part of a championship team is awesome, an incredible honor,” he said. “You honor the office, the institution. I can speak from personal experience. It doesn’t matter, you set aside personal differences. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with [Ronald] Reagan, George Bush, [Bill] Clinton, George W. Bush, [Barack] Obama. “I didn’t necessarily agree with all of them, but it was an incredible honor to be in their presence. There was a respect for the office and also a respect from not only us, but from the president himself. I think we would, in normal times, very easily be able to set aside political differences, go visit and have a good time. But these are not ordinary times.”
NBPA: On behalf of the NBPA.
Jemele Hill: Hey @StephenCurry30, welcome to the club bro 😂
LeBron James: U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up! Karl-Anthony Towns: 💯
Kyle Wiltjer: In 2012, I was able to visit the White House for being apart of a national championship team. It was a moment I’ll never forget. Not only did I get to go a place with so much history but I got to meet an incredible leader who instilled hope and unity. I’ll never forget when he knew every person on this team on a first name basis, from the starters to the walk ons. It’s a shame that some of these amazing players have to miss out on this opportunity because of the ignorance of the man that is now in charge. Respect to UNC and Golden State for standing up for the values they believe in. 🏀
Anthony Slater: David West: “Trump has become a mirror for America.” Says things about society that have been in the dark are being brought to light.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors general manager Bob Myers confirmed to ESPN’s The Undefeated that the team is considering visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture during their Washington, D.C. trip this season.
Michael Carter-Williams: GSW should have a nice little dinner with Obama and his family.
Chris Haynes: Dell Curry, father of @StephenCurry30, to ESPN.
Draymond Green: Still wondering how this guy is running our country…. ??????
LeBron James: U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up! Jaylen Brown: 😂Im dying
The Warriors had been planning to meet as a team to discuss the White House visit this morning, according to team & league sources.
Alex Poythress: LMAO twitter.com/realdonaldtrum…
Sam Amick: Let the record show: Steph Curry’s forceful voice was the difference maker here. Not bad for a guy accused of avoiding sensitive subjects.
Mark Medina: David West said, “I will let everyone know my opinion” on team meeting about making White House visit. He’s been critical of Trump.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors guard Stephen Curry hopes to “inspire change” by the team not going to the White House and is adamant about not wanting to go.
Rachel Nichols: Steph Curry on #TheJump just now, says he’ll vote “no” on the Warriors going to the White House, wants them not going to make a statement.
Sam Amick: Steph Curry on his White House view: “My views haven’t changed at all. I don’t know if they can be changed. That’s…where I stand.”
Tim Bontemps: Draymond Green on the White House: “We are going to decide on whatever is the best thing for us. We are the ones who have to attend.”
Mark Medina: Draymond Green on his own opinion for White House visit: “I pretty much have an opinion on everything.” Stressed it will be team decision
Marcus Thompson: Warriors have had discussions with the White House. Next is to meet with the team and discuss. Myers: “It deserves a proper forum.”
The Golden State Warriors plan to meet as a team this fall to discuss whether they’ll celebrate their NBA championship at the White House, team and league officials told ESPN. “We will meet as a team to discuss it and make a decision,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN.
“I’ve talked to a couple of them about it,” Kerr told ESPN. “There are a lot of different dynamics to this and different viewpoints. We’ve got players from all over the world and all over the country, and they’re going to have different perspectives, so I think it’s important for us all to get in a room and hash it out and decide what we want to do. “The league isn’t going to tell us what to do. They know it’s our decision and that, for me, really, it’s the players’ decision.
Kevin Durant has become newly outspoken since winning his first NBA championship, returning to his once-loved feistiness on social media. Britt McHenry has become newly outspoken since departing from ESPN, often espousing conservative viewpoints she said she kept under wraps during her time at the worldwide leader. Circumstances brought these two together on Twitter Friday afternoon,
“If issue (fairly) is divisiveness in the USA, then use celebrity & platform to come together,” McHenry tweeted. “Great leaders meet, not shun invitations to WH.” The subject of McHenry’s observation seemed to be Durant, and he sure seemed to take it that way. “Boo hoo. Sad story,” he wrote to McHenry. “Keep tellin me more.”
“Ok let’s discuss how a successful man such as yourself can show unity meeting w/ WH just 20 min from PG County,” she wrote. “Your presence can inspire.” “By doing the opposite, I am inspiring more people,” he wrote back, although he later erased that message.
Monte Poole: 4 #Warriors on record declining White House visit: Curry, Durant, Iguodala, Livingston. Safe to add West. Likely Kerr. This equals a no-go.
When the Golden State Warriors visit the nation’s capital on Feb. 28 to take on the Washington Wizards, superstar Kevin Durant tells ESPN he will not be visiting President Donald Trump at the White House, should the team be invited. “Nah, I won’t do that,” said Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”
He expounded on why he will bypass the White House visit, a ritual for professional teams coming off of championship seasons. “I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” said Durant, who said it wasn’t an organizational decision. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.” The White House has not extended a formal invitation to the Warriors.
Durant believes the President has played a role in the escalation of racial tension and the public rise of white supremacists. “He’s definitely driving it,” Durant said. “I feel ever since he’s got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it’s not a coincidence. When [Barack] Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black President, and that was a first.”
The defending champion Warriors are slated to attend the White House on Feb. 27. That’s the day before they visit the Washington Wizards. It is also the final off day of Black History Month. Nah. They aren’t going.
Technically, they haven’t been invited. Which means, technically, they haven’t declined the invitation. That’s the only thing holding this story back. But this isn’t happening, though it would be incredible theater if it did.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that while he doesn’t believe the league should have a say in whether championship-winning teams decide to visit the White House, his personal belief is that they should make the trip if invited. “Regardless of people’s personal, political views, I think that these institutions are bigger than any individual politician, any individual elected official,” Silver said during an interview with Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, which was shared by The Players’ Tribune on Friday. “It concerns me that something like going to the White House after winning a championship, something that has been a great tradition, would become one that is partisan.
More than 50,000 people have signed an online petition started by the social change group CREDO Action, urging the Golden State Warriors to turn down a potential visit to the White House should President Trump invite the newly crowned NBA champions.
The San Francisco-based organization asks its supporters to “Tell the Golden State Warriors: Not one NBA champion at Trump’s White House.” The petition comes in response to coach Steve Kerr’s comments last week on a potential White House visit. Kerr, who has called Trump a “blowhard” and tabbed him “ill-suited” for the presidency in past comments, said last week on the TK Show podcast that he believes it’s “important to consider a potential invitation because I think it could have really positive ramifications if we did go.”
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that although the NBA champions have not received an invitation to visit the White House, he would urge his players to consider going as a gesture of goodwill. “I would want to make sure the players gave this really a lot of thought,” Kerr told “The TK Show” podcast. “And everybody knows I’ve been a very outspoken critic of [President Donald] Trump, and as a result, maybe we won’t even get the invitation. But I do think it’s very important to consider a potential invitation because I think it could have really positive ramifications if we did go.”
He reiterated that stance Wednesday and said, “I think it could make a statement in a time where there’s so much divide and everybody seems to be angry with each other. It might be a good statement for us to go. And to show that, ‘Hey, let’s put this aside, put all this partisan stuff aside and personal stuff aside, respect the institution.'” He added: “Maybe even if you know, if one of you players wants to voice your concerns over what’s happening, what better opportunity to do so. Now, that may be incredibly idealistic. But I would want to at least bring that up with our players as an option rather than just coming out and saying, ‘No way, I’m not going.'”
Several sources told The Undefeated, however, that Warriors players and head coach Steve Kerr and his staff would be expected to collectively decline a possible invitation. Warriors captain Stephen Curry told reporters Wednesday his preference would be to decline, and four teammates have offered similar decisions publicly.
“Somebody asked me about it a couple months ago, the hypothetical, ‘If a championship were to happen, what would I do?’ I answered, ‘I wouldn’t go.’ I still feel like that today. But obviously as a team we’re going to have a conversation. This is a moment we’re going to enjoy together. Nothing should distract from what we were able to accomplish together, the different kind of ceremonies and the tradition. We are a championship-winning team. We don’t want that to taint what we’ve accomplished. We will handle that accordingly and responsibly and do the right thing for us individually and as a group.”
But Steph Curry told reporters Wednesday that while the team will still decide as a group on what they plan to do, he hasn’t changed his stance from what he would like that decision to be. “Somebody asked me about (going to the White House) a couple of months ago, like a hypothetical, if the championship were to happen would I do it and I think I answered ‘I wouldn’t go’. I still feel like that today,” he said. “But, obviously as a team, we’re going to have a conversation.
The Warriors are prepared to make a political statement, multiple sources confirmed to NBCSportsBayArea.com Tuesday afternoon.
Though the Warriors quickly issued a statement later Tuesday morning indicating no final decision has been made, not a man in the locker room or in the coach’s office would be comfortable visiting a president who has sowed such division while renouncing civility and from the country’s highest office. “Today is all about celebrating our championship,” said the statement. “We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary.”
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November 19, 2017 | 8:03 pm EST Update
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