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LeBron, Curry, Durant say NBA champ won’t go to White House

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by Jim SLATER / Agence France-Presse

Cleveland star LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry said Tuesday the NBA Finals winner will not be visiting US President Donald Trump in the White House no matter whether the Cavaliers or Warriors win the crown.

Both spoke a day after Trump revoked an invitation to the NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the White House amid reports fewer than 10 players would take part in the traditional trip to celebrate a major US sports crown.

“It’s typical of him,” James said. “I’m not suprised. Typical of him.

“I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Cleveland or Golden State going.”

Curry later added, “I agree with ‘Bron” before team-mate Kevin Durant concurred, saying, “I’m sure whoever wins this series won’t be going.”

Last September, Trump revoked an invitation to the Warriors after they beat Cleveland in last year’s final following comments from Curry saying he didn’t want to attend.

“You’ve got to do what’s in the best interest of your team,” Curry said. “It’s unfortunate but we all have to do what we have to do and the Eagles fall right into that.”

The Warriors, who lead Cleveland 2-0 in the best-of-seven series entering game three Wednesday, would likely follow the lead of what they did last year when they went to Washington and spent the day with children instead of what would have been a White House trip.

“I hope to be in that situation,” Curry said. “I agree with ‘Bron. The way we handled things last year, we would stay consistent with that.

“Every team has the right to speak for themselves in that situation and I think that’s big.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he wasn’t surprised at Trump’s latest sporting snub and said teams look forward to returning to the tradition of White House visits without Trump there.

“It’s not surprising,” Kerr said. “The President has made it pretty clear he’s going to try and divide us all in the country for political gain. We’re all looking forward to the day when we can go about celebrating Americans for their athletic achievements.

“It will be nice when we can get back to normal, in three years.”

James also supported NFL players who choose to kneel during the pre-game playing of the US national anthem.

“There are a lot of things we believe in as Americans we don’t believe he’s for,” James said. “As long as he’s in office, (these) things are going to continue to happen.”

Curry said he was not shocked to see how the White House appearance issue has escalated since last September.

“You can’t control what other people try and do to control the narrative,” Curry said.

James said people should not forget the championship season the Eagles had because of the situation with Trump.

“Let’s not have someone disinviting them from his house take away from that moment,” James said. “It’s way bigger than getting invited to the White House, especially with him in there.”

James also shook his head at the Women’s NBA champions not being invited last year.

“It’s laughable at this point,” James said. “You laugh to stop from crying.” (AFP)