2018 NBA Finals: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

Adam Silver reacts with 'sadness' to President deciding not to invite NBA champion to White House

From NBA.com Staff

Acknowledging the unifying role that sports can play in a politically divided atmosphere, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed disappointment at President Trump’s decision to not invite the winner of the 2018 NBA Finals to the White House as had been tradition before Trump took office in 2017.

The decision — similar to last year’s de-invitation to the Golden State Warriors — came after Cleveland star LeBron James declared that “no matter who wins this series, no one wants an invite anyway. It won’t be Cleveland or Golden State going.” Warriors All-Stars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry agreed when asked about James’ statement.

Heading into Game 4 of the Finals, Silver addressed the issue during an interview with Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.

“Championship teams, not just in our sport but in other sports, aren’t getting to celebrate in that way, something that has historically been apolitical in Washington, but I have to put it in the greater context of where we find our country,” Silver said. “I would say, though, ultimately it saddens me because historically we’ve been able to use the NBA and all of sports to bring people together.”

Silver also recognized the voice NBA players have used in political and social issues in the past, dating back to Hall-of-Famer and 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell. The Boston Celtics legend continued to use that voice in the wake of Trump’s statement, saying on Twitter, “Respect is a two way street. If @realDonaldTrump won’t show it why sould he expect it. Very proud of these young guys, let’s not forget @KDTrey5 also.”