SOMERSET, N.J. — President Donald Trump says if a basketball player doesn’t want to visit the White House to celebrate an NBA title, then don’t bother showing up.
Trump responded Saturday on Twitter to star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors — who’s made it clear he’s not interested in a traditional post-title White House visit.
Curry told reporters on Friday: “I don’t want to go … my beliefs stay the same.”
Trump weighed in Saturday from his golf club Bedminster, New Jersey. He said: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”
It was not immediately clear whether Trump was rescinding the invitation for Curry or the entire team.
Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said Friday that the team expected to meet as a group in the coming days to decide whether to visit Trump’s White House.
General manager Bob Myers said the Warriors have had discussions with the White House, and Golden State owner Joe Lacob also would be involved in the decision.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Myers said. “It’s not as clear as, well I assume some people think it is and some people think it isn’t. So, from our opinion, my opinion, it deserves a proper forum. It deserves the right amount of thought.”
Curry said that “just like our country, every opinion counts and matters.” He said he knows where most people stand, but “we want to respect the opportunity to represent not only ourselves, our own beliefs, but our organization because we’re obviously in this position because we won a championship and we did something special together. So for us to just really take the time to understand the magnitude of this decision and the right thing to do, the right way to go about it is important.”
Curry said a decision to not visit the White House would only be a first step.
“By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” Curry said. “It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.”
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James later weighed in on the controversy, saying on Twitter: “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!