Golden State Warriors honoured at White House and push for gun control

Invitation to White House in 2017 was withdrawn by then president Donald Trump after star player Stephen Curry said he wouldn't attend

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Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors celebrated another NBA championship in a White House ceremony on Tuesday, the team’s first visit since 2016.

They were being honoured for their NBA finals victory over the Celtics in June 2022, their fourth title in eight years.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who is from the Bay Area and a was US senator from California, called the team “a constant source of joy and pride”.

Ms Harris then shared a personal story before introducing President Joe Biden and team captain Curry.

Curry presents Mr Biden and Ms Harris with team jerseys during the White House ceremony. EPA

“We were headed to the game but stuck in stand-still traffic, and we were worried that we were going to miss the tip off,” Ms Harris said.

“Now I was attorney general of California at the time, and to the dismay of my security detail, I decided to jump out the car and take Bart [public transit] instead.”

The crowd packed into the East Room responded with laughter as she continued her story.

“[Husband Doug Emhoff and I] got on a jam-packed train with all the other fans and we got to the game on time. And yes, the Warriors did win.”

An invitation to the White House in 2017 was withdrawn by then president Donald Trump after Curry said he would not attend if asked.

Mr Biden prefaced his remarks by mentioning the devastating California storms and his plan to visit the ravaged area on Thursday, and then good-naturedly spoke about the team’s struggles.

“Critics wondered if this team was gone for good as a championship team — but fellas, I know what it feels like. I've been there,” h said.

“My dad said, ‘Joe get up just get up and never give up.’ But you never gave up and you always believed, coached by one of the greats, a man of courage and humility … Steve Kerr.”

Curry thanked Mr Biden for bringing Brittany Griner home. EPA

Curry, is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and as the greatest shooter in NBA history,

Earlier in the day, Curry and Kerr appeared at the White House briefing where the player thanked Mr Biden for bringing WNBA star Brittany Griner home from Russia.

Griner had been sentenced to nine years in prison and was moved to a penal colony last month.

The Phoenix Mercury basketball star, who played in Russia during the off-season, pleaded guilty to drug smuggling in July after customs officials found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

Golden State Warriors basketball coach Steve Kerr took time to advocate for gun control. AFP

"A great opportunity for us from the basketball community to thank President Biden and his staff for all their hard work and diligence on getting Brittney Griner home," Curry said.

"It means a lot to know that she's here, at home safe with her family.”

Teammates Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson joined Kerr in a discussion with White House staff members on gun control reform and measures planned to affect the hardest-hit communities.

Kerr's father, Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated by terrorists outside his office at the University of Beirut, where he was campus president, in 1984.

"We learnt a lot about what this administration is doing to help create a safer environment in our country, something that's very close to my heart," Kerr said.

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Updated: January 17, 2023, 10:42 PM
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