As noted yesterday, the Golden State Warriors took a trip to D.C. to meet and get a photo op with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, to celebrate their 2022 NBA Championship win — something they did not opt to do for their 2017 and 2018 championship wins while Trump was in office.
The visit had a whole Bay Area delegation in tow, as the Chronicle reports, including SF Mayor London Breed, newly elected Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, rapper E-40, radio personality Sway Calloway, House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi.
Coach Steve Kerr tells the Chronicle, "It honestly didn’t feel that different from seven years ago when we were here. It’s a thrill. You still walk through the doors and have that awe that you’re feeling and everybody’s so excited. … It’s pretty special to be able to do this."
When the Warriors assembled for a group photo with Biden and VP Kamala Harris, Biden — who, it should be noted, at 6'0" was dwarfed a bit by the players — decided to take a knee in front of the group, in a highly symbolic gesture that appeared very deliberate.
"I'll tell you what," Biden said as he did it, eliciting a loud reaction from the crowd.
Joe Biden elicits a reaction from the Golden State Warriors after he drops to one knee in front of Kamala Harris for a picture with the team.— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) January 17, 2023
Harris indicates "I'm not doing that" as she remains standing pic.twitter.com/Dw4GgeYodh
Steph Curry called it "an iconic moment in the sense of what that image means," speaking to the Chronicle, adding, "But the fact that he would do it there, I don’t know how he’d put words to it, but he’s just a humble server, man. That’s how you want anybody to approach the position that he’s in. … That picture is going to be one to keep."
On the more rightward side of the political spectrum, the New York Post called it an "awkward moment," noting that as Biden was going to kneel, Harris said "I'm not doing that," and just stood in front of the group.
The Warriors also gifted Biden with an honorary jersey with the number 46 on it, for his presidency.
The visit in the East Room of the White House was preceded by Kerr and Curry saying a few words in the White House Press Briefing Room. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre joked to Kerr that she "almost went pro" as a basketball player herself, but "Being 5-foot-2, 5-foot-3 didn't make it happen."
Curry also expressed gratitude to the Biden Administration for their role in helping secure the December release of Britney Griner from custody in Russia.
The Warriors had not been to the White House since 2016, when they won their first championship in the Kerr era, during President Obama's last year in office. The team was invited but then disinvited by Trump in 2017 after Trump learned that Curry had commented that they wouldn't come anyway. And when they took home another trophy in 2018, there was no mention of an invite.
Never at a loss for words, Draymond Green told the Chronicle of Biden't welcome, "It spoke a lot to me. To win two championships and not have the opportunity to celebrate what’s been a tradition since Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics, it sucked."