Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors celebrated another NBA championship at the White House on Tuesday, January 17.
At the invitation of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who is from the Bay Area and was a US senator from California, the Warriors were at the White House for the first time since 2016. They were honored for their NBA Finals victory over the Celtics in June 2022.
Curry and Golden State defeated Boston to claim their fourth title in eight years. An invitation to the White House was withdrawn by then-President Donald Trump in 2017 after Curry said he wouldn’t attend if asked.
“It’s something we don’t ever take for granted. Seven years ago we were here last celebrating our first championship,” Curry said.
“Now we’re back here celebrating our fourth. To have this opportunity to reflect on this accomplishment last year, to bring everybody together to celebrate that, to also acknowledge that sports bring people together from all walks of life, backgrounds to provide inspiration, love, togetherness. That’s what our journey was last year. To have the opportunity to celebrate that means a lot to us.”
Curry thanked Biden and his staff for bringing WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner back to the US from Russian captivity.
“It means a lot to know that she’s here and home safe with her family,” Curry said.
Veterans Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson also joined head coach Steve Kerr in a roundtable with White House staff members regarding gun control reform and measures planned to impact the hardest-hit communities.
Kerr’s father, Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated by terrorists who shot him outside of his office at the University of Beirut, where he was campus president, in 1984.
“We learned a lot about what this administration is doing to help create a safer environment in our country, something that’s very close to my heart,” Kerr said.
Kerr spoke before Curry on Tuesday and said his message to the team was an obvious one.
“It’s a great reminder of how lucky we are to be Americans, to live in a country where we can chase our dreams,” Kerr said.
It was the first time that a sitting US president had received the team since Biden’s fellow Democrat Barack Obama in 2016, after Trump revoked their invitation in 2017 and declined to extend one a year later.
Thompson and other members of the team chuckled and looked down sheepishly as Biden said, “Let me just say that the Golden State Warriors are always welcome in this White House,” adding emphasis to “this.”
The Warriors’ title win in June capped a remarkable turnaround for the franchise, after the previous two seasons had ended in disappointment.
“You struggled in 2020, missed the playoffs in ’21 and critics wondered if this team was gone for good as a championship team,” said Biden, who twice before unsuccessfully ran for president.
“Fellas, I know what it feels like. I’ve been there.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Warriors had a record of 22-22 this season, seventh in the Western Conference standings. The team remained in Washington, DC, on Tuesday after defeating the Wizards Monday night and next head to Boston to face the Celtics on Thursday night. – Rappler.com