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Golden State denies any talk of possibly declining a visit to the White House, instead focusing now on celebrating yet another NBA championship

Arnie Leshin

NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins reported that they will respond if invited and will attend as a team     

By Arnie Leshin | June 15, 2017

Is the game of “fake news” now being played in the sports world?

Why not? So not long after CNBC commentator Josh Brown announced that the NBA champion Golden State Warriors will be skipping the White House visit as a unanimous team decision per reports, questions rose.

When reports of this could not be found, Golden State did respond to Brown’s statement.

“Today is all about celebrating our championship,” the Warriors said via their own statement. “We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary. And we deny any reports that say we will decline an invitation.”

Still, the question was brought up at a time when the franchise was celebrating its second title over the last three years. It was not the time to find criticism of President Donald Trump.

Deciding “when and if” it receives the usual honor of meeting with the President, it’s so far very early to even discuss it now, and the club has swept aside reports that it has already decided it wasn’t going to attend the festivities that national football champion Clemson did on the front lawn of the White House Monday.

Believe what you care to believe, but it’s probably safe to say that Golden State’s denial defeats Brown’s announcement.

Yes, there were comments following the presidential election by its head coach, Steve Kerr, and by its talented guard Stephen Curry. The two had nothing good to say about Trump, but then you wonder what the new president has to say about the Warriors.

No matter, celebrating at the White House has little to do with its occupant.

When mentioned to the NHL-champion Pittsburgh Penguins, there was no confusion, only the answer that reported that the hockey team would never turn down a visit to the White House.

They specified they would not hesitate to RSVP.

“If invited,” said team CEO and president, David Morehouse, “we would go as a team, and you can say you heard it here.”

No sign of politics here. Regardless of the occupant, the Pens realize that being honored for their second-straight championship is just that and has no connection to who was elected and who wasn’t.

For instance, Pittsburgh owner, Ron Burke, has been a Democrat donor and Morehouse worked in the Bill Clinton campaigns, as well as for Al Gore in 2006. Both agreed that celebrating at the White House has little to do with the occupant in office.

Long before the NBA finals, Kerr, hampered by serious back problems, was outspokenly critical of the President’s travel ban. He tossed in nasty names that don’t need to be repeated. Curry, a frequent golf partner of former President Barrack Obama, put aside his quest for another title by finding a number of negatives to shoot down the new President.

Trump didn’t comment on this than or now. Instead, he promply contacted Golden State to offer his congratulations, even spoke with Kerr, Curry and finals MVP, Kevin Durant. He didn’t mention anything about being invited to the White House, but spoke of how great an achievement this was for the Warriors.

The Cavaliers won it all last year, had no problem being invited and celebrating at the White House than occupied by Obama.

Same with the Oklahoma NCAA-champion softball team last year, and after winning a second-straight time, made mention of how the Sooner women look forward to another visit and never mentioned the new occupant because it apparently didn’t matter.

As for the Warriors, a White House visit wouldn’t be until the next time they play at the Washington Wizards, and that schedule has not yet been released.

Neither has any report that backs up the “fake news” reported by Brown.

But Democrat congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who is the Golden State area representative, got in the mix by inviting the Warriors to swing by her house close-by the White House, and that she would host their celebration. She made it clear that this could happen if Golden State chooses not to attend the White House or weren’t invited.

Amazing how these politicians find a way to politically support a sports franchise, while the commander-in-chief relates to the business at hand that includes reaching out to congratulating a champion.

See you in D.C. Golden State, whether at the White House or Pelosi’s house, that is its option.

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