Trump on winning teams: 'If they don't want to be here, I don't want them'

Trump on winning teams: 'If they don't want to be here, I don't want them'
© Greg Nash

 

President Trump said on Friday that he won't invite either NBA Finals team to the White House no matter the winner, but noted that other winning teams have visited while sounding hopeful that the Washington Capitals would make the short trip.

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"You know my attitude. If they want to be here, it’s the greatest on Earth," he said of teams visiting the White House. "If they don’t want to be here, I don’t want them."

Trump's feuds with professional athletes have stoked headlines throughout his presidency and hit a new level on Monday when he abruptly canceled a planned visit the next day by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. 

The decision, which Trump blamed on the furor surrounding player protests of police violence and other issues during the playing of the national anthem, led NBA star LeBron James to say neither NBA Finals team would accept a trip to the White House. 

Trump in his comments made it clear an invite will not be forthcoming.

"I didn’t invite [Cavaliers forward] LeBron James and I didn’t invite [Warriors point guard] Steph Curry. We’re not going to invite either team," Trump said. 

Trump insisted, however, that the White House has "other teams that are coming," naming Alabama's college football team, which visited in April; the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Clemson University Tigers football team, who visited the White House last year.

Baseball's Houston Astros also visited the White House.

"I think we’ll have the Caps," Trump said the morning after the hockey team in the city he now resides in won the Stanley Cup. "I mean, we’ll see."

The president made the remark to reporters outside the White House as he prepared to leave Washington for the Group of Seven Summit in Quebec.