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NBA Champion Golden State Warriors Visit President Obama at the White House

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04:  U.S. President Barack Obama holds a Golden State Warriors basketball jersey presented to him during an event with the team in the East Room on February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Obama welcomed the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors to the White House to congratulate the team on their championship season.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2016

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors visited the White House and President Barack Obama on Thursday to celebrate last year's NBA Finals triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The team took a tour of the White House before meeting with the president, per the NBA on Twitter:

And Stephen Curry and Co. brought the president a little gift:

Warriors radio play-by-play broadcaster Tim Roye shared an image of Obama accepting his new jersey: 

The president didn't take long to crack jokes, comparing his own tenure in office to that of Luke Walton, the Warriors' interim coach who wasn't credited with any of the team's wins while head coach Steve Kerr was sidelined, per CNN Politics:

He also jokingly expressed his disappointment that Curry's daughter Riley wasn't present.

"I was hoping that Riley Curry would be here today to share the podium with me," he said, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, before adding, "I guess I’ll have to get media training some other day.”

And, of course, he couldn't resist praising his beloved Chicago Bulls, referencing the 1995–96 Bulls team that went 72-10, per the NBA:

The 45-4 Warriors are currently on pace to win 75 games, though President Obama clearly wasn't ready to crown them the NBA's best team in history just yet.

He did shower them with praise, however, specifically referencing the team's small-ball lineup, which he called "a nuclear lineup." He went on to say, "It's almost unfair. ... It's beautiful to watch," per Zillgitt.

And he praised individual players too.

"Draymond Green shows us heart over height on every night," President Obama said, per Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

He had a bit of fun at the expense of the team's superstars, Curry and Klay Thompson, however.

He noted that Curry was "clowning" a bit while dropping 51 points against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night before imitating him:

As for Thompson, he noted, "One player forgot there was even a team in Oakland. That was Klay Thompson, by the way," per Simmons.

Thompson admitted in September that he was a Los Angeles Lakers fan growing up and joked that he had forgotten there was a team in Oakland, since the Warriors weren't very good while he was younger, per Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group (h/t FoxSports.com).

The Warriors certainly look like a team that will be going to the White House next season, albeit to visit a new president. Of course, winning another title—let alone reaching the Finals again—is hardly a given, considering the San Antonio Spurs (41-8) have been fantastic this season and the Cleveland Cavaliers (35-13) have played well since Tyronn Lue took over as head coach.

But the Warriors have the game's best player in Curry, as well as some amazing chemistry. They are on a historical pace and play a style of basketball that no team has found a counter for up to this point. That makes them the prohibitive favorite to win another title and offer a jersey to the country's next president. 

 

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