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OAKLAND (CBS SF/AP) — After NBA stars LeBron James and Steph Curry criticized President Donald Trump over his cancellation of a Philadelphia Eagles White House visit, the President told reporters Friday whoever wins the NBA Championship will not be invited to Washington.
The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers meet Friday night in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. If the Warriors win, they will repeat as NBA champions.
Trump told reporters on Friday, “I didn’t invite LeBron James, and I didn’t invite Steph Curry. We’re not going to invite either team.”
Trump canceled a visit by the Philadelphia Eagles to commemorate their Super Bowl win after most of the players decided they’d skip it. But Trump said he’d be happy to host the Washington Capitals, who just won the Stanley Cup.
“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,” he said.
Earlier this week, both James and Curry said they were not expecting an invitation this year.
“It’s typical of him,” James said of cancelling the Eagles visit. “I’m not surprised…I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants to invite anybody. It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
“Listen we have a lot of freedom in our country. Males or females have the right to do what they want to do,” he continued. “If they (the Eagles players) decided they didn’t want to go, they have the right.”
After last year’s NBA title victory, Trump withdrew an invitation to the Warriors after Curry said he was considering not going. At the time, James took to social media to support Curry.
“I think as long as he is in office, the communication and things like that are going to continue to happen,” James said. “There is a lot of things we believe in as Americans that we don’t feel that he is for. There is a lot of people who believe that he’s not for the people or doing things that are right by the people so it’s not surprising hearing the news today with the Eagles.”
When asked about the WNBA Minnesota Lynx not even being offered an invitation for a White House visit after they won their title, James said it didn’t surprise him.
“I think it’s laughable at this point,” he said. “You always hear the saying — ‘You laugh to stop you from crying’”
When asked about the Eagles, Curry said any team that wins a championship will be faced with the decision of whether or not they will travel to the White House.
“Any team that wins the championship is going to be in a decision-making situation where you have to do what is in the best interest of your team,” he said.
“It’s not surprising,” Curry added. “It’s unfortunate, but we all have our right to do what we want to do and Eagles fell in line with that.”
Like LeBron, Curry does not expect Trump to invite this year’s champs to the White House.
“I agree with ‘bron,” Curry said. “I’m pretty sure the way we handled things last year we’d stay consistent with that (choosing not to go if invited)”
Kevin Durant agreed with both Curry and James.
“When someone says they don’t want to come to the White House, he disinvites them so the photo op doesn’t look bad,” he said. “We get it at this point, but it’s good that guys are sticking to what they believe in…I’m sure whoever wins this series will not be going.”