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‘Definitely changes’: Stephen Curry on NBA’s visits to a very different White House

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors wore jerseys that paid tribute to Oakland while running on a Chase Center court that screamed The Town’s name, too.

They represented their former longtime home on a day their longtime former home was represented in the White House.

As President Biden takes office and Oakland’s own Kamala Harris becomes vice president, a tremendous amount will change in the world and in the country.

Far more locally, there probably will be fewer reasons for Steve Kerr to demonstrate his disgust with Donald Trump; fewer reasons for sports teams to contemplate whether visiting the state capital after winning a title would send the wrong message.

Following the Warriors’ 2016-17 championship, Stephen Curry said he would not visit a president who had, among many other grievances from athletes, called a player who kneels during the national anthem a “son of a bitch.” Trump then made a show of disinviting the Warriors, who skipped the White House visit altogether.

The next year, the champion Warriors visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. No NBA champ visited the Trump White House. Asked how much that could change now, Curry was pretty clear.

“It definitely changes,” Curry said over Zoom on Wednesday, after the Warriors’ 121-99 victory over the Spurs, which followed the inauguration. “It’s about progress and decency. I think today was obviously a day of hope and looking at the future — we know nothing’s just changing overnight — but there’s a different sense of positivity and again just decency.

“I think we all understand there’s a lot of work to do across the board. But the office of the presidency took a step in the right direction in my opinion.”

If LeBron James and the Lakers visit, they would see a Warriors jersey hanging in the office of the former California senator. The Warriors gifted Harris a “Madame VP” jersey, underscoring how the athletes have gone from reviled to honored in DC in a day.

For Curry, who endorsed Biden and Harris, there was reason for optimism everywhere he looked, whether it was toward Washington or a couple feet under him. His two daughters saw a Black woman from Oakland entering the White House.

“We talk about progress in our society and what we’re striving for, but when you see that — that’s the best teaching lesson and the best sense of hope and inspiration,” Curry said. “The message that they can accomplish anything and that this world is ready for them to do so. It means a lot. And it’s nice to have that moment this morning — the whole family watching the Inauguration and just being able to smile.”


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