Warriors invited to celebrate NBA Championship on Capitol Hill, not at White House (yet)
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The Golden State Warriors have not been afraid to express their negative feelings about President Donald Trump and a new invitation to the nation's capital might help them avoid an awkward encounter.
In a letter sent to coach Steve Kerr, Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Nancy Pelosi of California invited team members and their families to celebrate their championship win on Capitol Hill.
The representatives stated that the basketball stars were "outstanding" on the court and have "inspired us with the leadership you show off the court as well."
After winning the 2017 NBA championship earlier this month, former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala said, "Hell nah" when asked whether he would visit the White House if invited, while Steph Curry said in February that Trump was a great asset for America, "if you remove the 'et' from asset."
Coach Kerr has also called the president "ill-suited" for the office and a "blowhard" but during an appearance on a sports talk show, Kerr said he would leave the decision to attend a White House ceremony to his players.
"I, like many of our players, are very offended by some of Trump’s words and actions. On the other hand, I think there’s something to respecting the office, respecting our institutions our government," Kerr said during the interview. "I think it could make a statement at a time when there’s so much divide and everybody seems to be angry with each other."
The day after the Warriors won their title, a rumor surfaced on Twitter from CNBC contributor Josh Brown saying the team had already unanimously voted to skip the White House visit. But in a statement, the team denied the rumor, stating it hadn't received an official invite yet.
"Today is all about celebrating our championship. We have not received an invitation to the White House but will make those decisions when and if necessary," the team said.
Rep. Lee's invitation is expected to fuel the flames even more about whether the team will actually visit 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. as has been the tradition for many years. A Democratic staffer tells SB Nation that the invitation to Capitol Hill was "a nod to the Warriors' leadership on and off the court - many of the players' and Coach Kerr's vocal opposition to the bigotry and anti-American values of Trump."
The White House has not made any plans with the team at this time. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House's deputy press secretary, told SB Nation there is "nothing to announce at this time."
President Barack Obama hosted the Golden State Warriors at the White House in 2016 after the team won the 2015 NBA Championship.
Here is the full letter from Lee and Pelosi:
Dear Coach Kerr and the Golden State Warriors:
Congratulations on your triumphant victory winning the 2017 NBA Championship!
The Golden State Warriors have once again dazzled America with your outstanding performance on the court and inspired us with the leadership you show off the court as well. You make the Bay Area and indeed the country deeply proud.
In celebration of your victory, we would be delighted to welcome you publicly as a team or personally as families to the United States Capitol. Please consider this as a blanket invitation whenever your individual schedlues allow.
We look forward to honoring your championship in the heart of our democracy.
Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader
Barbara Lee, Member of Congress