WASHINGTON — With an offer to visit the White House as NBA champions rejected and rescinded, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors instead spent their day off in the nation's capital touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture with local students.
In town ahead of their game against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time), Warriors players, coaches and front office executives met with students from Durant's hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, which is eight miles from the White House. Traditionally, the reigning champs will be feted by the president when they play at Washington.
The Warriors didn't want to wade into much political talk at their pregame shootaround Wednesday, a day after they went to the museum.
Did they miss the pomp and circumstance of the customary White House visit?
"No," Durant said. "Not at all."
His teammate David West simply shook his head when asked the same question. Coach Steve Kerr? "You're not going to get me to go down that path, sorry," was his reply.
The Warriors spent Tuesday at the museum with 40 students from Seat Pleasant and 10 more from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which helps children who have lost loved ones that served in the military. The private museum tour lasted three hours.
"The kids — their smiles lit up the room," Kerr said. "Our guys understand how much of an impact they can make on these kids. It's a reminder of how powerful sports can be and how transformative sports can be for change."
Warriors guard Stephen Curry said in September that he would not visit the White House if invited. President Donald Trump then announced on Twitter that the "invitation is withdrawn!"
Golden State visited the White House at the invitation of President Barack Obama after its 2015 championship.
Curry said that going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in 2016, offered the Warriors a better use of their time than meeting with a president whose policies they disagree with.
"Rhetoric and hate and just general disdain from the top, trying to be divisive and whatnot, has had the opposite reaction from what it intended," Curry said. "We've done our part, I think, to try to further that message."