NBA champion Warriors say talk of a team boycott of White House visit is premature

Members of the Golden State Warriors celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy after winning Game 5 of NBA Finals over the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 12.
(Larry W. Smith / EPA)

The Golden State Warriors have won the NBA championship. They have not yet been invited to the White House to be honored by President Trump. Anything else relating to the two matters seems to be just speculation at this point.

And, yes, there’s already been plenty of speculation since the Warriors clinched the title with a 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. A lot of it started with this tweet from CNBC analyst Joshua M. Brown on Tuesday morning:

Based on Brown’s tweet, numerous other outlets started reporting the “news” that the Warriors had unanimously decided to boycott their White House visit. But when asked about his source by Voactiv, Brown said he based his tweet on this one by Mike Sington, former director of operations at Universal Studios.


Brown told Voactiv that he had seen other similar tweets from verified accounts, hence he said his information was “per reports.” Deadspin has since pointed out that Sington’s tweet actually went out before Brown’s, which seems to confuse the matter further.

The Mercury News went ahead and got a statement from the Warriors organization itself on Tuesday morning: “We have not been invited to the White House. Today is all about celebrating our championship. We will make those decisions when and if necessary.”

Athletes from championship teams have skipped the traditional White House visits before. But these days it seems more athletes are doing so in order to make a political statement.

According to the New York Times, more than two dozen members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots skipped out on the team’s traditional visit to the White House. While some, like superstar quarterback Tom Brady, had nonpolitical reasons for doing so, many players stated in one way or another that they were staying away because of their disapproval of the current administration.

Defensive back Devin McCourty told Time magazine in a text message the day after the Patriots’ win in Super Bowl LI: “I’m not going to the White House. Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in November he was “disgusted and disappointed” by Trump’s election. And last month Kerr told reporters that Trump is a “blowhard” who is “ill-suited to be president.”

Back in February, Golden State star Stephen Curry said he thought Trump was an asset to the country — “ “if you remove the ‘et,’” Curry said.

Also earlier this year, teammate David West said Trump represents “the complete opposite” of how he teaches young people to act. And guard Shaun Livingston said he wouldn’t visit the White House if the Warriors won the title.

“Just with everything that’s going on right now, I just don’t agree with a lot of stuff that’s happening,” Livingston said in a radio interview. “I definitely wouldn’t go.”

So it’s very possible that some, if not all, members of the Warriors may forgo a celebratory trip to the White House this time around. But, so far, there doesn’t seem to be any real news on that front.

Twitter: @chewkiii


12:45 p.m.: This article has been updated with a report that the tweet from Sington came after the tweet from Brown.

This article was originally published at 10:50 a.m.