CLEVELAND — The biggest names in the NBA Finals said they were not surprised that President Donald Trump uninvited the Super Bowl champion Eagles to the White House.
LeBron James called it “typical” and added that the team that wins this series doesn’t want an invitation from Trump and won’t be going to the White House.
Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant agreed with James’ stance, and Golden State coach Steve Kerr said he looks forward to when Trump is no longer president — preferably after one term in office.
“The president has made it pretty clear he’s going to try to divide us, all of us in this country, for political gain,” Kerr said before practice Tuesday. “I think we all look forward to the day when we can go back to just having a celebration of athletic achievement and celebrate Americans for their achievement, their good deeds.
“It will be nice when we can just get back to normal in three years.”
The Eagles were supposed to be celebrated at the White House Tuesday, but Trump rescinded the invitation citing disagreement over the NFL’s national anthem policy.
James said he had just heard the news on his way to the podium for the news conference.
“I didn’t really digest it enough. But it’s typical of him,” James said. “I’m not surprised. It’s typical of him. I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. So it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.
“As long as he’s in office, then the communication and things like that are going to continue to happen. It’s a lot of things that we believe in as Americans that we don’t feel that he’s for. There are a lot of people that believe that he’s not for the people or doing things that’s right by the people. So it’s not surprising hearing the news today with the Eagles.
“But I think more importantly, as Americans and especially people in Philadelphia, we shouldn’t let that news take away from what that unbelievable team did and accomplished, I think the championship — winning a Super Bowl or winning a Stanley Cup or winning a World Series or winning an NBA championship or national championship — is way bigger than getting invited to the White House, especially with him in there, in my opinion.”
The Warriors lead the NBA Finals 2-0 with Game 3 Wednesday night. After winning the championship last season, the Warriors made an organizational decision not to visit the White House. Trump then withdrew the invitation.
Instead, the Warriors toured the National Museum of African-American History and Culture with local students when they visited Washington to play the Wizards in late February. They are not planning to visit the White House if they can close out the series and win their second straight NBA title.
“I agree with LeBron,” Curry said. “Pretty sure the way we handled things last year, kind of stay consistent with that.
“You’ve got to do what is in the best interest of your team and kind of handle that accordingly, like we did last year,” Curry added. “Kind of a similar situation here. But not surprising. It’s unfortunate, but we all have our right to kind of do what we want to do. The Eagles fall in line with that.”
Jenkins: Not about anthem
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins says NFL players who have been speaking out politically are fighting for racial and social equality, not disparaging the national anthem.
Jenkins issued a lengthy statement on Twitter on Tuesday after the White House disinvited the Eagles from an event originally intended to honor the Super Bowl champions after the Eagles reportedly decided to send only a small contingent of players.
President Donald Trump has framed the decision around the national anthem and his repeated arguments that NFL players should be required to stand on the field when the song is played before games.
Jenkins says the White House made a decision “to lie, and paint the picture that these players are anti-America, anti-flag and anti-military.”
He says he will “continue to fight for impacted citizens and give a voice to those who never had one.” — AP
I think we all look forward to the day when we can go back to just having a celebration of athletic achievement and celebrate Americans for their achievement, their good deeds.
“It will be nice when we can just get back to normal in three years.” — Warriors coach Steve Kerr