White House visits have long been a tradition for NBA champions. But since Donald Trump was elected to office, the narrative surrounding these trips has dramatically changed.
There was, of course, the infamous moment last offseason when Trump rescinded his White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors after a few players had suggested that they would not accept the invitation. As a result, the defending champs didn’t visit the President during their trip to Washington this winter, and instead spent the day touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
And now, once again, the White House has come into discussions. After members of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles criticized the Trump-influenced NFL rule mandating that players stand for the National Anthem, the President rescinded their invite as well.
Not surprisingly, NBA players were asked about this at the NBA Finals media day in Cleveland, as the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers prepare for Game 3. LeBron James, who has been a very vocal, strong, and eloquent critic of Trump, stated that neither team would welcome a trip to the White House.
LeBron James on Donald Trump disinviting the Eagles: “I know whoever wins this series, no one wants an invite.”— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 5, 2018
Not surprisingly, Stephen Curry - who has also been a strong critic - completely agreed with James’ assertion.
Stephen Curry says “I agree with ‘Bron.” https://t.co/NSYZYh0eDK— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 5, 2018
The rest of the Warriors squad chimed in as well, with Draymond Green stating that, “Maybe it’s just a tradition that needs to stop,” and “You don’t make a reaction to his reaction you just kind of go along with whatever else you want to do.”
Full quote from Draymond Re: Trump pic.twitter.com/wxhUSDq7XX— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) June 5, 2018
Kevin Durant noted that, “We get it at this point,” before echoing James by saying “I’m sure whoever wins this series won’t be going.”
Kevin Durant on Eagles/White House controversy pic.twitter.com/fSK6mCsCnH— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 5, 2018
As he often does, Steve Kerr also had strong words, and accused trump of “Trying to divide the country for political gain.”
Steve Kerr on the Trump/White House stuff, said it was another example of Trump "trying to divide country for political gain": "I'll look forward to when we can get back to normal. In three years." pic.twitter.com/gmuiGROBn0— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 5, 2018
Needless to say, if the Dubs win two of the next five games, they won’t be heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.