Will the NBA champion Warriors visit the White House?

Kevin Durant and Steph Curry celebrate Monday night.
Image: M. DAVEY/EPA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

The Golden State Warriors are NBA champions for the second time in three years, but this go-round comes with a dramatic little coda that has yet to be decided.

It boils down to this: Championship sports teams typically visit the White House for some celebratory time with the President, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr and star Steph Curry have not been shy about criticizing Donald Trump’s time in the Oval Office. Moreover, this fits with an NBA-wide sentiment that is vehemently anti-Trump.

So will or won’t the Warriors visit the White House?

You may have seen this very question dominating your Twitter feed Tuesday morning. As often happens when the pack mentality gloms onto a particularly buzzy story, there was some sketchy reporting out there.

We’ll get to the real state of affairs in a minute, but these two tweets pretty well encapsulate the phenomenon of Twitter users taking a shaky story and absolutely running with it.

If you’re scoring at home, that’s 24,000 retweets for the original tweet of purported news, but literally one retweet for the subsequent admission that it was simply an anonymous lifting of stuff other people said.

Anyway. Good ol’ Twitter, the global town square.

The Warriors released a statement Tuesday morning to set the record straight:

Today is all about celebrating our championship. We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary.

So, no. The Warriors haven’t declined any invitations to the White House because they haven’t even been invited to the White House.

But it’s hard to imagine Trump doing so.

A history of criticism

Steve Kerr.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Kerr has taken several digs at the Trump administration’s penchant for incendiary rhetoric and aversion to facts. But his criticism of Trump’s sought-after ban on immigrants from many Muslim countries in January was especially poignant.

“If we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, by really going against the principles of what our country is about and creating fear, it’s the wrong way to go about it,” Kerr said. “If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror, so I’m completely against what’s happening. It’s shocking and it’s a horrible idea.”

Kerr speaks from a place of personal experience: His father, a professor and president of the American University of Beirut, was shot to death by an Islamic extremist group when Kerr was a freshman in college.

Curry was more succinct in his criticism of Trump the following month. Other prominent figures across the NBA have not been shy about criticizing Trump either, which only served to further heighten uncertainty about whether pro basketball’s champs would visit the White House whether or not the Warriors or another team ended up winning the title.

But Trump did receive another championship team at the White House in April.

What about the Patriots?

Trump flanked by Patriots coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft at the White House.

Image: REX/Shutterstock

Trump rebuffed one presidential sporting tradition when he declined to throw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game in March, but the following month he hosted a visit by the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots.

Several Patriots players said they wouldn’t attend due to politics, and a viral photo seemed to show an embarrassingly tiny turnout. That story ended up having more to it, but there are some reasons why a White House visit by the Patriots is a much different proposition than a visit by the Warriors.

Remember during the presidential campaign when Tom Brady coyly had a “Make America Great Again” cap in his locker? Trump also claimed during the campaign that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had written him an endorsement letter. Team owner Robert Kraft is also a friend of Trump’s.

That’s a much different dynamic than what exists between the Warriors team and current presidential administration so don’t hold your breath for a White House visit from the NBA champs, even if Tuesday morning’s reports jumped the gun by a lot.

Additional reporting by Marcus Gilmer.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/13/warriors-white-house-visit/