Steve Kerr, one of the NBA’s most vocal critics of President Donald Trump, says the Warriors should think twice before skipping their potential visit to the White House as a championship squad.
In an interview with The Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami on Monday, the Golden State coach said the team, which is the first to win an NBA title during the Trump administration, should consider the benefits of a meet-and-greet with the President.
“The biggest thing, for me, is it’s about the players,” Kerr said. “This is a visit that is about the team. We have not met about it, because we haven’t been invited.
“But I would want to make sure the players gave this really a lot of thought. And everybody knows I’ve been a very outspoken critic of Trump, and as a result, maybe we won’t even get the invitation,” Kerr laughed. “But I do think it’s very important to consider a potential invitation because I think it could have really positive ramifications if we did go.”
Warriors star Steph Curry said earlier this year that he would not visit the White House if his team were to reclaim the title from the Cavaliers, which it did in a five-game Finals victory last week. After the series, Curry said that he and his teammates would have a “conversation” about making the trip.
Golden State forward Andre Iguodala also said the team would get together after celebrations die down, when “there might be somebody different in (office).”
But Kerr, who along with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy ripped Trump throughout the presidential campaign, said an invitation to the White House would be an honor regardless of who occupies it.
“I, like many of our players, am very offended by some of Trump’s words and actions,” Kerr said. “On the other hand, I do think there’s something to respecting the office, respecting our institutions, our government. And I think it could make a statement in a time where there’s so much divide and everybody seems to be angry with each other.
“It might be a good statement for us to go and to show that, hey, let’s put this aside, put all this partisan stuff aside and personal stuff aside, respect the institution,” Kerr continued. “And maybe even if one of you players wants to voice your concerns over what’s happening, what better opportunity to do so? Now, that may be incredibly idealistic. But I would want to at least bring that up with our players as an option rather than just coming out and saying, ‘No way. I’m not going.’”
Kerr and the Warriors joined former President Obama for a photo-op after beating the Cavs in 2015. The NBA champs, however, would not be the first team to visit the 45th President. In April, Trump hosted the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, though multiple players, including Tom Brady, did not show. Trump also welcomed the NCAA champion Clemson football team earlier this month.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who won their second straight Stanley Cup title on June 11, said they would accept an invitation as a team.
The Warriors, however, likely aren’t as eager to hear from the White House as the NHL champs are.