The Warriors weren’t extended the traditional White House visit from President Trump after Steph Curry said he probably wouldn’t consider going. That happened last fall; you might remember it best because it led to LeBron calling the President of the United States a bum.
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!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
The Warriors said at the time they’d still take their day in D.C. to celebrate equality, and now we know what they’ll be doing: visiting with local kids in a setting that won’t include any media members.
Head coach Steve Kerr left it up to the players to determine how they wanted to spend their time, and the players selected a venue in which local kids would join them. It will be closed off to the media, sources said.
The players wanted the outing to be a personal, intimate experience.
“It’s their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it’s up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans,” Kerr told ESPN. “I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they’re doing.”
The tour will consist only of players, coaches and students, sources said.
That last part is key; not only will the more intimate setting likely mean more meaningful interaction between the kids and players, it also cuts off any criticism that the Warriors are simply doing it for PR optics. It’s tough to be mocked for a photo op without a photo op.
They’ve attempted to cut off another potential angle of criticism by declining invitations from Democratic politicians as well:
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, two members of the Democratic Party, extended invites to the Warriors to celebrate winning their second championship in three years at the U.S. Capitol. Pelosi represents a congressional district that includes San Francisco.
But a consensus emerged around the option agreed upon because the players didn’t want to be seen as politicizing an event.
“At the end of the day, it’s about us celebrating a championship, so there’s no point in getting into the political stuff and all that,” forward Draymond Green told ESPN. “It’s about something we did great. Why make it about [politics]?”
It’s a tough situation to be in, given that Adam Silver had originally said he’d hoped the Warriors would go to the White House, though that came before the Trump meltdown on the topic. They seem to be walking the fine line well.