Adam Silver: NBA uninvolved in White House visit decisions
NBA commissioner Adam Silver indicated the league will take no active role nor get involved in a championship team’s decision whether or not to visit the White House, something that has become a divisive issue during the Donald Trump presidency.
“It’s a team decision, we’ll see who the champion is this year,” Silver told TMZ Sports, “and what they decide.”
It was just last season that Trump declared the administration was “not going to invite either team” to the White House amid the NBA Finals showdown between the Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, no NBA team has paid a visit to the White House since Trump was elected.
The fact that the Warriors did not attend a White House ceremony the previous year after winning the NBA title — spurned on by Trump uninviting the team after critical comments about his administration from myriad members, including head coach Steve Kerr, of the organization. Such exchanges between the White House and teams have become commonplace whenever a team wins a title.
Silver lamented how Trump uninvited the Warriors last season, saying it saddened him “because historically we’ve been able to use the NBA and all of sports to bring people together.”
The polarizing nature of the Trump presidency is evident in the animosity that exists between him and athletes, professional and otherwise. Such adversity stands in stark contrast to the previous administration, as Barack Obama enjoyed a collegial relationship with many teams and players.
“A lot of our players still have relationships with President Obama and I think it’s wonderful,” Silver added. “… Players make their own decisions, organizations make their own decisions.”
The Warriors, it merits noting, interestingly opted to meet with Obama after their 2018 title in lieu of the traditional White House visit.
All that said, regardless of who wins the NBA title this season — whether it be the Bucks, Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Rockets, Raptors, 76ers or Warriors — odds are an invitation from the White House will not be extended, rendering any deliberations over whether or not to attend a ceremony that will never happen a moot point.