The ongoing saga of the Warriors White House visit that’s definitely not happening continued on Saturday, as coach Steve Kerr and Warriors players fielded questions about president Donald Trump’s decision to forgo custom and not invite them to Washington.
The Warriors met with reporters Saturday following Trump’s tweet in response to guard Stephen Curry taking a strong stance against a potential White House visit. It had never been clear if the team was officially invited, and Golden State had originally planned to meet Saturday morning as a team to discuss whether or not they’d go. Trump’s tweet effectively preempted that.
On Saturday, Curry called Trump’s tweet “kind of surreal,” adding that “it’s kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That’s not what leaders do.”
Steph said this is a "Wild, wild turn of events & we want to make sure focus is on the right things." Cited recent hurricanes/earthquakes— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) September 23, 2017
“[This is] probably one of the most divisive times of my life,” Steve Kerr told reporters. “Because of the differences...the president made it really difficult for us to honor [the White House]. Our differences, I think in terms of our team and our organization’s values are so dramatically different, in terms of inclusion, civil discourse, dignity, and it’s hard for us every day. We’re seeing the things he’s saying.
“I thought yesterday his comments about the NFL players were as bad as anything he’s said to this point. Awful, you talk about young men who are peacefully protesting police brutality and racism, racial inequality, peacfully protesting, hallmarks of our country, come on. This has been really difficult for us to have to reconcile.”
Steve Kerr on the tradition of visiting the White House and why Trump made possible visit "very difficult for us to have to reconcile." pic.twitter.com/UalScZaOkp— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 23, 2017
Kerr snuck in a couple of jabs during Saturday’s presser, as well.
Steve Kerr on Donald Trump's tweet: "Not surprising. He was going to break up with us before we broke up with him." Kerr was laughing.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 23, 2017
Steve Kerr on chances of the Warriors going to WH changed after Charlottesville, "No because there are very fine people on both sides."— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) September 23, 2017
Draymond Green also discussed the matter and defended Curry with a sense of humor.
“Being there, sitting in such a high position, I’m pretty sure it’s the highest position you can sit in in this country, maybe the world...Steph, you made it,” Green joked. “They’re going at it personally, from the president of the United States. I don’t think I need to defend Steph, I think he defended him with his tweet. I think we’ve got way more problems going on in this country, in this world, than to worry about what Steph Curry said during media day.”
Green also chuckled while discussing LeBron James’ defense of Curry on Twitter.
Draymond Green on LeBron James calling Trump "U Bum." pic.twitter.com/hUYseAR2rB— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 23, 2017
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also commented on the matter.
Adam Silver statement on Warriors' disinvitation to White House: pic.twitter.com/YoZmXsuTrm— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) September 23, 2017
The Warriors issued a statement later Saturday stating that the team had intended to meet and discuss earlier that morning whether they would accept an invitation to the White House. Golden State is scheduled to play the Wizards in Washington on Feb. 28 and implied that the team would plan to use that trip as a platform for the players to voice their opinions.
General manager Bob Myers told ESPN on Saturday that the Warriors were considering visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture when they visit D.C.
“We accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited,” the Warriors wrote in their statement. “We believe there is nothing more American that our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We’re disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise.
“In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values that we embrace as an organization.”