Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Will the Golden State Warriors go to the White House?

THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS put to rest any doubt that they are the best team in the National Basketball League Tuesday night by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, will they go to the White House?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: UPDATED June 14 to include further comments from players.)

When the Warriors won the championship in 2015, they did go to the White House to visit President Obama,
an avid fan of the sport.

The Warriors convincingly beat the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 1, when Golden State beat the Cavs, 129-120.

The real question is, will Donald Trump even want to invite them to the White House?

It is customary for the president to invite championship teams of any sport vor photo ops at the White House. But will Trump, who has not expressed an interest in sports except for golf, issue invitations to a team that has been outspoken in their criticism about him.

The team has not taken an official position on the White House visit. In the past members of the Warriors organization have made statements regarding Trump. Several players, including two-time MVP Stephan Curry, All-star forward Draymond Green, reserve guard Shaun Livingston and reserve center David West stated that they would not attend the event.

In a Sports Illustrated article, Warrior coach Steve Kerr, was not subtle when he was asked about basketball coach Bobby Knight." Kerr answered:
“My personal opinion is Bobby Knight’s way smarter than Donald Trump,” Kerr said. “Bobby Knight was brilliant in a lot of ways. So there was some real foundation in terms of knowing and coaching the game. But he was a bully, so… I think being a bully doesn’t work today, or at least it doesn’t work coaching. The modern coach has to be much more communicative, flexible, aware, conscientious, all those things.

“Frankly, I think it’s why Trump couldn’t be more ill-suited to be president, because he’s a blowhard. You don’t see some of the qualities you talk about, the resilience, the ability to communicate, the compassion. None of that. But in the old days, a lot of great coaches who maybe didn’t have those, there was still a fiber there, whatever it was. To be a great leader, there have to be some qualities in there.

“Has anyone ever thought that Donald Trump was a great leader?”

Team leader Stephan Curry, who has played several rounds of golf with former President Barack Obama, had a tiff with one of his sponsors when Under Armour CEO praised Trump

In a CNBC interview, Plank said: "To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country."

Curry disagreed with this, and in a subsequent interview with The Mercury News he said: “I agree with that description – if you remove the ‘et’ (from ‘asset’).”

A day after their victory, Curry was asked what he would do. “Somebody asked me about it a couple months ago, a hypothetical, if a championship were to happen: ‘What would I do?'” Curry said. “I think I answered that I wouldn’t go. I still feel like that today.”

Additionally, Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are rumored not to have good relations with the new president. In 2016, after then-candidate Donald Trump made outlandish comments about trading the Golden State Warriors for the Great Wall of China to place along the border of Mexico, the owners and Trump exchanged words about how eminent domain works, with President Trump stating he could show them, using lawyers.

The entire NBA, as a matter of fact, seems to be at odds with the White House resident, including generally acknowledged best player in the league, the Cavaliers' LeBron James.

James campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Ohio and when the Cavaliers played the Knicks in New York, they refused to stay in the Trump SoHo.

Some commentators say that the Warriors could set an example of civility in a time of a deeply divided America by accepting the invitation from a man that they might disagree with.

If Trump doesn't invite the team to the White House, then the Warriors won't have to face that dilemma and Donald Trump will be saved from an awkward situation.