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Almost as soon as the final buzzer sounded on Monday night and Golden State became the 2017 NBA champions, many followers of both basketball and politics began to wonder whether or not the Warriors would take part in the White House visit that traditionally comes with winning a championship in a North American sport.
On Tuesday, rumors that the Warriors unanimously decided to forgo the trip went viral, but reporters from both the San Francisco Chronicle and USA Today would later prove the story untrue.
But while taking questions from reporters on Wednesday, Warriors star Stephen Curry was asked to address Golden State’s potential visit.
In response, Curry said, “Somebody asked me about it a couple months ago, like a hypothetical, if a championship were to happen what I’d do and I think I answered ‘I wouldn’t go.’ I still feel like that today.”
Despite the seemingly resolute answer, Curry did leave open the possibility of being talked into the ceremony and possibly honoring the tradition.
“But obviously, as a team, we’re going to have a conversation,” Curry said. “This is a moment we all need to enjoy together. Nothing should distract from what we were able to accomplish together. And different kinds of ceremonies and traditions that have happened around championship winning teams, we don’t want that to taint what we accomplished this year. So we’ll handle that accordingly.”
You can watch video of the exchange below.
The idea of a visit by the Warriors is complicated further by the outspoken political consciousness of basketball in general. Throughout the year, both players and coaches across the league have been very public and very clear about their feelings regarding the Trump presidency, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr speaking out against the president’s proposed Muslim ban and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich offering an indictment of Trump.
David Goldman/APIf a team was going to visit the Trump White House after such public refutations from some of the league’s highest profile personalities, there would be many left looking for justification.
Curry was sure to make clear that nothing was written in stone yet, and that the Warriors would talk the scenario over as a team before a final decision is made, but all signs currently point to Golden State passing on the opportunity. Steve Kerr reportedly decided in November that he wouldn’t accept an invitation to the White House if the Warriors won the championship, and Andre Iguodala told USA Today that the Warriors would follow the lead of Curry.
When you put the pieces together, the idea of Warriors shaking hands and taking pictures with Trump on the South Lawn seems highly unlikely.