Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump said Friday that neither the Cleveland Cavaliers nor the Golden State Warriors would be invited to the White House following the NBA Finals.
Responding to remarks by Cavs star LeBron James and Warriors ace Stephen Curry — who both said they would not attend a White House reception — Trump said neither team would be invited.
“I didn’t invite LeBron James, and I didn’t invite Steph Curry,” Trump told reporters. “We’re not going to invite either team.”
Trump’s comments will not come as a surprise.
Last year, he withdrew an invitation to the NBA champion Warriors after Curry and several teammates indicated misgivings about attending a White House event.
James, who described Trump as a “bum” following the furore, said this week neither the Warriors nor the Cavs would be likely to accept an invitation after this year’s NBA Finals.
“I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Cleveland or Golden State going,” James said on Tuesday.
The NBA superstar was responding to Trump’s cancellation of a White House visit by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on Monday. The Eagles visit was scrapped after it emerged that only around 10-12 players were likely to attend.
Trump meanwhile said he was unfazed by snubs from the champion teams of the two most popular sports in the United States, citing other teams who had attended.
“We have other teams that are coming,” Trump said, noting that the newly minted Stanley Cup champions, the Washington Capitals, would be invited.
“I think we’ll have the Caps,” Trump said. “I mean, we’ll see.
“You know my attitude: If they 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.”