Obama hosts NBA champion Golden State Warriors to the White House

Obama hosts NBA champion Golden State Warriors to the White House

President teasings MVP Steph Curry for clowning and says the California teams lineup and playing style is so good its almost not fair

Barack Obama welcomed Americas all-conquering basketball champs into the oval office on Thursday and indicated the experiences of a US president and NBA stars are not so different.

Standing 6ft 7ins tall outside the White House after the 10 -minute meeting, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green said he and Obama had compared notes on sports and life.

To think that you would be the president, thats one of those goals where its like playing in the NBA. Its so far-fetched that you dont know how youre going to get there, said Green, a 25 -year-old power forward. So you can dream of it, you can believe it, but whats the odds of it really happening?

He kind of compared it to what we go through, when were on special courts, its a task. Everybody else is in awe and aroused but for us youre going out there, youre going to try to do the job as best you can. He says its the same for him: sometimes you have to pinch yourself and make sure you dont get too comfy and make sure you stay hungry and want to do more. He said it does feel surreal sometimes but, at the same time, do your job.

The Warrior, based in Oakland, California, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in last years NBA finals to win their first championship for 40 years. They have made a record start in their bid to retain the crown with 45 wins and only 4 defeats so far this season.

Hosting Americas champion sports squads offered some light relief for Obama from additional burdens of office. He welcomed the Warrior to the ornate east room, watched over by portraits of George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt, where recent public events have included a press conference with the French president after the Paris attacks and a tearful speech about gun control.

On Thursday, however, there was jollity. The most powerful man in the world hopped up and down on the spot in an impression of reigning most valuable player Steph Curry celebrating victory over the Washington Wizards. For those of you who watched the game against the Wizards last night, he was to use slang he was clowning, Obama said to laughter. He was all jumping up and down.

The president also noted how he beat Curry at golf last summertime, but the guard blamed the presence of secret service agents on the course for intimidating him. That is not the case, Obama jokingly insisted. But he will have another opportunity.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr temporarily stepped down at the start of the season because of health problems in favour of Luke Walton, who won 39 games and lost merely four. Regrettably, the NBA wont let Luke count those wins as his own, Obama said. Which, human, that doesnt seem fair. You defied the cynics, you accomplished big things, you racked up a great record, and you dont get enough credit.

To more laughter and applause, he quipped: I cant imagine how that feels.

The Warriors have become so dominant that they are said to be revolutionising basketball, Obama continued. They are so good that they seem to be merely transgressing video games itself. And I dont play anymore, but I still know a little bit about basketball, and this really is one of the best that weve ever seen.

Great shooting, great happen, a small-ball nuclear lineup its almost not fair. And they play not just well, but they play well together. They play as a team the route basketball is supposed to be played. And its beautiful to watch when theyre working on all cylinders.

The short reception was attended by House majority leader Kevin McCarthy and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the biggest Golden State Warriors fans around.

Obama could not resist making a couple of references to his own beloved Chicago Bulls, whose mid-1 990 s records are under threat from the Warriors. Kerr presented him with a Warriors vest marked Obama 44 he is the 44 th chairwoman and said: I also want to say congratulations for becoming the first president in our nations great history to use the term jester. Although maybe Teddy Roosevelt employed it somewhere in there, I dont know.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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