Cleveland star LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry said Tuesday the NBA Finals champions will not be visiting US President Donald Trump in the White House no matter whether the Cavaliers or Warriors win the crown.
Both spoke a day after Trump revoked an invitation to the NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the White House amid reports fewer than 10 players would take part in the traditional trip to celebrate a major US sports crown.
“It’s typical of him,” James said. “I’m not suprised. Typical of him.
“I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Cleveland or Golden State going.”
Curry later added, “I agree with ‘Bron” and teammate Kevin Durant concurred, saying, “I’m sure whoever wins this series won’t be going.”
Last September, Trump revoked an invitation to the Warriors after they beat Cleveland in last year’s final following remarks from Curry saying he didn’t want to attend because he objected to Trump administration comments and policies.
“You’ve got to do what’s in the best interest of your team,” Curry said. “It’s unfortunate but we all have to do what we have to do and the Eagles fall right into that.”
The Warriors, who lead Cleveland 2-0 in the best-of-seven series entering game three Wednesday, would likely follow the lead of what they did last year when they went to Washington and spent the day with children instead of what would have been a White House trip.
“I hope to be in that situation,” Curry said. “I agree with ‘Bron. The way we handled things last year, we would stay consistent with that.
“Every team has the right to speak for themselves in that situation and I think that’s big.”
– Normal in three years? –
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he wasn’t shocked at Trump’s latest sporting snub and said teams look forward to returning to the tradition of White House visits without Trump there.
“It’s not surprising,” Kerr said. “The President has made it pretty clear he’s going to try and divide us all in the country for political gain. We’re all looking forward to the day when we can go about celebrating Americans for their athletic achievements.
“It will be nice when we can get back to normal, in three years.”
James also supported NFL players who choose to kneel during the pre-game playing of the US national anthem.
“There are a lot of things we believe in as Americans we don’t believe he’s for,” James said. “As long as he’s in office, (these) things are going to continue to happen.”
Curry said he was not shocked to see how the White House appearance issue has escalated since last September.
“You can’t control what other people try and do to control the narrative,” Curry said.
James said people should not forget the championship season the Eagles had because of the situation with Trump.
“Let’s not have someone disinviting them from his house take away from that moment,” James said. “It’s way bigger than getting invited to the White House, especially with him in there.”
Durant said the Eagles snub was no shock, saying “What else do you expect Trump to do?” but call off the event “so the photo op won’t look so bad.”
– Laugh to stop from crying –
James also shook his head at the Women’s NBA champions not being invited last year.
“It’s laughable at this point,” James said. “You laugh to stop from crying.”
Trump tweeted the Eagles didn’t want to appear because he “insists they properly stand for the National Anthem” but no Eagles player ever took part in the anthem kneeling protest, started to raise awarenes of social injustice and police violence.
Trump, who has equated the protest with disrespect of flag and nation, said last September that any protesting “son of a bitch” should be fired and added recently “maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
Curry snubbed Trump last September, noting having golfed with former President Barack Obama and adding, “I’m pretty sure I won’t get a tee-time invite during this regime.”
James defended Curry after Trump blamed him last Septembr for the disinvitation, tweeting: “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.”