Biden welcomes the Warriors, pledges support for California

Jan 16, 2023, 11:15 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2023, 5:44 pm

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris hold up team jerseys as they welcome the 2022 ...

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris hold up team jerseys as they welcome the 2022 NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, to the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden celebrated the NBA champion Golden State Warriors at the White House on Tuesday as he expressed concern for Californians who have suffered through waves of destructive weather.

“We’re all closely monitoring the storms, the floods, the landslides all across California, and our heart is with all of the families of the communities that are hurting,” he said.

Biden plans to visit the state Thursday, and he has approved disaster assistance for the state.

The Warriors have won four championships in eight years, but they didn’t visit the White House while Donald Trump was president. He made a show of publicly disinviting them after Stephen Curry, the team’s star, said he wasn’t interested in going.

“The Golden State Warriors are always welcome in this White House,” Biden said. He also honored Curry as “one of the great sportsmen of our time.”

He said the Warriors’ “reflect America” with their style of play, showcasing “constant motion, with individual freedom and personality that comes together as one team, a team that plays with joy, with drive to be their best.”

The Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in a six-game championship series last year, a victory that came after a difficult stretch for the team.

Although they won the championship in 2015, 2017 and 2018, their dreams of a dynasty fell apart when key players were injured. The Warriors fell to the bottom of the league.

“The last couple of years were pretty tough,” Biden said. “Critics wondered if this team was gone for good as a championship team.”

Biden has faced his share of doubters over the years, and he joked, “Fellas, I know what it feels like.”

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, it gives me immense personal pride as the vice president of the United States to say, Dub Nation is in the house,” she said.

Harris said she has a custom Warriors jersey that she keeps by her treadmill at home, calling it “a symbol of grit, determination and teamwork.”

Along with Biden, Harris got a new jersey from Curry on Tuesday. It had the number 1 — for No. 1 fan, she remarked — and Biden got one with 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 check 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 administration for its work to bring home Brittney Griner, the women’s basketball star who had been jailed in Russia on drug charges. He called her a “big part of our basketball family.”

“It means a lot to know that she’s here and home safe with her family,” Curry said.

Kerr said he participated in a roundtable on gun violence with White House officials and two of his players, Moses Moody and Klay Thompson.

“We learned a lot about what this administration is doing to help create a safer environment in our country,” Kerr said.

Biden signed gun legislation last year, but he’s pledged to keep working toward tighter restrictions, including an assault weapons ban.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Biden welcomes the Warriors, pledges support for California