President Obama welcomed the Golden State Warriors to the White House on Thursday in honor of their 2015 NBA championship, ribbing Stephen Curry for "clowning" during a game and even offering his opinion on Klay Thompson's jump shot.
"I don't play anymore, but I still know a little bit about basketball, and this really is one of the best that we've ever seen," Obama said. "Great shooting, great passing, a small-ball 'nuclear lineup' — it's almost not fair."
The team gave Obama, an admitted Chicago Bulls fan, a jersey, noting he'll be a "free agent" next year and he's invited to be the leader of Dub Nation.
Obama recognized guard Stephen Curry, forward Draymond Green, power forward Harrison Barnes, center Andrew Bogut, guard Andre Iguodala and forward David Lee for their skills, and for what they've done for the Bay Area community, including mentoring young men through the president's My Brother's Keeper initiative.
"They're the kind of people you want representing a city, representing the NBA, and the kind of people that you want our kids to be rooting for," he said.
And Obama gave the players something to compete over, saying shooting guard Thompson's "jump shot is actually a little prettier."
Afterward, Curry told reporters that listening to the president list off the team's accomplishments was "surreal."
"Just for what President Obama means for our country, the story of his journey and for him to be up on the podium and acknowledge our accomplishments, talk a little bit about us and our personalities, and stuff that he knows about, it's just surreal, something I'm going to remember for a long time," he said.
Coming off a 134-121 win Wednesday against the Washington Wizards — during which he scored 51 points — Curry said there was a little extra pep in the game knowing he was going to be recognized by Obama.
The president, for his part, teased Curry for showboating during the game.
Curry said the team will be talking about who has the prettiest jump shot all the way home to California.
"I hadn't heard that one before. The president said it; I can't argue with the president. He said Klay's is nice," Curry said. "I guess I've got to work on that."
Coach Steve Kerr jumped in to add, "As their coach, I will say their shots are equally as beautiful."
Kerr said recognition from the president meant a lot: "We're thankful for this day and this opportunity."
In the hours before the event, the Warriors toured the White House, including a stop in the Oval Office. They also met with students in the White House mentoring program.
Several California members were on hand during the ceremony, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin.)
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Read more about the 55 members of California's delegation at latimes.com/politics
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