Move over, White House. In the afterglow of their NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors may not have gotten Trump's White House invite to celebrate their win, but the team may head to D.C. anyway, after two Democratic lawmakers sent them an invite. On Tuesday, California Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee wrote a joint letter to the victorious team, praising their victory against The Cleveland Cavaliers.
"With your third title in the last four years, the Golden State Warriors have once again dazzled America with your outstanding performance on the court and inspired leadership off the court. You continue to make the Bay Area and indeed the country deeply proud," Pelosi and Lee's joint letter said. "In celebration of your victory, we would be delighted to welcome you publicly as a team or personally as families to the United States Capitol. Please consider this as a blanket invitation whenever your individual schedules allow."
Pelosi shared the statement on Twitter, writing, "@Warriors and @SteveKerr, you have once again dazzled America with outstanding performance on the court and leadership off the court."
The invitation comes days after Donald Trump brusquely told the press that he would not be inviting the Golden State Warriors to the White House to celebrate their win. According to ABC News, the president was responding to a reporter who pointed out that the Warriors' Steph Curry and the Cavaliers' LeBron James said they wouldn't go to the White House.
A terse Trump responded, "I didn't invite them. No, I didn't invite LeBron James, and I didn't invite Steph Curry." Trump said that he didn't invite either team but that he had invited other sports teams, such as the Capitol-based Washington Capitals. He added, "If [Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers] want to be here — it's the greatest place on Earth — I'm here. If they don't want to be here, I don't want them."
The letter from Pelosi and Lee may jog some observers' memory as it is similar to reports of Golden State Warriors refusing to go to the White House in 2017. Last year, several of the team's players said they would not meet with the president.
"My views haven't changed at all. I don't know if anybody's changed. But that's where I stand right now," Curry, the Warriors' star, told journalists at the time. "I don't want to go. That's my nucleus of my belief."
Trump did not take well to the Golden State Warriors' lack of interest in visiting the White House, and rescinded the invitation for the team. "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team," Trump tweeted that year. "Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!"
Most recently, Trump canceled his invitation for Philadelphia's NFL team, Eagles, after they won the Super Bowl in February. The move came amid the debate over NFL players protesting during the national anthem. In his statement uninviting the team, Trump criticized them for not supporting his insistence "that they proudly stand for the National Anthem." (No Eagles player kneeled during the national anthem throughout the regular season in 2017.) The team responded to Trump's rant by simply thanking their fans without acknowledging the president. Not even once.
It's common to have rivalries in basketball. But Trump's critical tweet against Curry and his team seemed to unite some of Golden State Warriors' biggest professional opponents against Trump, including Cavaliers' James. The iconic basketball player retweeted Trump and said, "You 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."
So far, neither the Golden State Warriors nor Curry have responded to Pelosi and Lee's invitation. But it's clear that, at least when you consider recent history, the world of basketball isn't neutral to national politics. Legends like Curry and James are not hesitant to state their minds. If that bothers the current president of the United States, the teams don't seem in any hurry to censor themselves.