WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden celebrated the NBA champion Golden State Warriors at the White House on Tuesday.
The Warriors have won four championships in eight years, but they didn’t visit the White House when Donald Trump was president. He publicly uninvited her after team star Stephen Curry said he wasn’t interested in leaving.
“The Golden State Warriors are always welcome in this White House,” Biden said Tuesday. He also honored Curry as “one of the great athletes of our time”.
He said the Warriors “reflect America” with their style of play, displaying “constant movement, with individual freedom and personality that comes together as a team, a team that plays with joy and strives to be their best.”
The Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in a six-game championship series last year, a win that came after a difficult period for the team.
Despite winning the championship in 2015, 2017 and 2018, their dreams of a dynasty were shattered when key players were injured. The Warriors fell to the bottom of the league.
“The last few years have been pretty tough,” Biden said. “Critics wondered if this team is gone forever as a championship team.”
Biden has faced his share of doubters over the years, and he joked, “Guys, I know how it feels.”
Vice President Kamala Harris, a California native and longtime Warriors fan, spoke first at Tuesday’s ceremony.
“As a very proud daughter of Oakland, California, as Vice President of the United States, it gives me great personal pride to say Dub Nation is in the house,” she said.
Harris said she has a custom-made Warriors jersey that she keeps at home next to her treadmill, calling it “a symbol of determination, determination and teamwork.”
Along with Biden, Harris got a new jersey from Curry on Tuesday. It had number 1 — for fan #1, she noted — and Biden got one at 46, since he’s the 46th president.
Curry said he hopes to see it “on the wall of the Oval Office.”
“Hopefully we can come back and see if it’s up there,” he said.
Curry and coach Steve Kerr stopped by the White House briefing room before the ceremony.
Curry thanked the government for its work in bringing home Brittney Griner, the women’s basketball star who was jailed in Russia on drug-related charges. He called them a “big part of our basketball family.”
“It means a lot to know that she is here and safe at home with her family,” Curry said.
Kerr said he attended a gun violence roundtable with White House officials and two of his players, Moses Moody and Klay Thompson.
“We’ve learned a lot about what this administration is doing to help create a safer environment in our country,” Kerr said.
Biden signed a gun law last year, but he has pledged to continue working toward tighter restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.