Adam Silver: NBA Won't Interfere If Teams Skip Donald Trump, White House Visit

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2019

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the NBA All-Star festivities, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. The 68th All-Star game will be played Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday the league office will never force a championship team to visit the White House regardless of the sitting president. 

TMZ Sports provided comments from Silver after the Golden State Warriors skipped the trip to see President Donald Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue after winning the NBA title each of the past two years.

"It's a team decision, so we'll see who the champion is this year, and what they decide," he said.

Earlier this year, the Dubs opted to hang out with former President Barack Obama, who's maintained an office in Washington, D.C. since leaving the presidency, during their only trip to the nation's capital.

"A lot of our players still have relationships with President Obama and I think it's wonderful," Silver told TMZ. "Players make their own decisions, organizations make their own decisions."

He added: "President Obama is doing a lot with the NBA. We announced down in Charlotte at the All-Star Game that he was going to be involved in Africa with us, we're starting a league down there. He's one of our partners."

Meanwhile, Trump previously rescinded an invitation to the Warriors following their 2017 championship after Golden State superstar Stephen Curry said he was likely going to skip the trip.

That led to a response from LeBron James, the NBA's longtime gold standard, that went viral:

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora decided against attending the 2018 World Series champions' trip to the White House on Wednesday. He told Esteban Pagan Rivera of El Nuevo Dia his decision was based on what he felt was a lackluster response from Trump to Hurricane Maria relief efforts in his native Puerto Rico, a U.S. Territory.

"Puerto Rico is very important to me," he said. "During the winter I spent a lot of time back home, visiting my family and friends. Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting. Some people still lack basic necessities, others remain without electricity and many homes and schools are in pretty bad shape almost a year and a half after Hurricane Maria struck."

Other title-winning teams, such as the College Football Playoff champion Clemson Tigers, have enjoyed their time visiting Trump.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence called the trip "awesome."

It's unclear whether any of the seven teams left standing in the 2019 NBA playoffs would make a White House trek if they win the Larry O'Brien Trophy, but Silver isn't going to sway their opinion.

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