The President Honors the Golden State Warriors, 2015 NBA Champions

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The President: Welcome to
the White House, everybody. Give it up for the NBA
Champion Golden State Warriors! (applause) Everybody please
have a seat. Now, let me begin by saying
I was hoping that Riley Curry would be here today — (laughter) — to share the
podium with me, but I guess I’m going to
have to get media training some other day. (laughter) The East Room is not as
loud as the “Roaracle, ” but Dub Nation is
well represented. We’ve got some members of my
Cabinet and Congress in the house who are big fans, and
I don’t just mean Harrison Barnes, who apparently
they call “The Senator.” (laughter) He’s from Iowa, so maybe
he’s got some politics in his blood. But we’ve got one of the
biggest Golden State Warrior fans around, our
Leader in the House of Representatives, Democratic
Leader Nancy Pelosi. (applause) We’ve got Republican Leader
Kevin McCarthy is here, so this is bipartisan. (applause) We have Mayor
Schaaf is here. (applause) So we’re glad you’re here to
celebrate the best in the Bay. I also want to recognize
Warriors Executive Board member and NBA legend, one
of the greatest of all time, the logo, Jerry West. (applause) As well as owner Joe Lacob,
and General Manager Bob Myers. Give them a big
round of applause. (applause) Now, it is rare to be in the
presence of guys from the greatest team
in NBA history. So we’re pretty lucky today,
because we’ve got one of those players in the house
— Steve Kerr from the 1995-’96 Chicago Bulls! (laughter and applause) It’s good to see you back. (laughter) Now, for those of
you who don’t know, the Warriors started this
season without Coach Kerr, who was recovering
from back surgery. So Luke Walton stepped
up and led the team to a ridiculous 39-4 record. (applause) Unfortunately, the NBA won’t
let Luke count those wins as his own. (laughter) Which, man, that
doesn’t seem fair. (laughter) You defied the cynics, you
accomplished big things, you racked up
a great record, and you don’t get
enough credit. (laughter and applause) I can’t imagine
how that feels. (laughter) Now, let’s face it, the
Warriors are in the midst of a pretty special
two-year run. Folks are saying that they
are “revolutionizing” basketball. They are so good that they
seem to be just breaking the game itself. And I don’t play anymore,
but I still know a little bit about basketball, and
this really is one of the best that we’ve ever seen. Great shooting,
great passing, a small-ball “nuclear
lineup” — it’s almost not fair. And they play not just well,
but they play well together. They play as a team the way
basketball is supposed to be played. And it’s beautiful to watch
when they’re working on all cylinders. Now, let’s face it,
“beautiful” was not how folks described the
Warriors for many years. (laughter) I may be one of the few who
are old enough to remember the last time
they were good, back in the middle
of the ’70s, I was — the last time they
won a championship — I was 10 years old. (laughter) So the franchise, it had
some good teams and some great players, but it
had been struggling. One college player forgot
that there was even a team in Oakland — that was
Klay Thompson, by the way. (laughter) But a few years ago,
Joe Lacob took over, pointed to that 1975
championship banner and said, “That’s a
very lonely flag. We need another one.” And last year they
got it — 67 wins, 16 straight at one point. That used to seem like
a lot until this year — (laughter) — where they
started off 24-0. Ended last season with their
first title in 40 years. And obviously, a big part
of that was league MVP, Steph Curry. (applause) Steph is a pretty
good shooter. (laughter) For those of you who watched
the game against the Wizards last night, he was — to use
slang — he was “clowning.” (laughter) He was all jumping
up and down. (laughter and applause) Just settle down. By the way, for the record,
I heard during this summer, after our golf game, that
Steph was using the excuse of Secret Service being
intimidating for why he lost the match. That is not the case. (laughter) But he will have
another opportunity. Obviously, watching Steph
play is incredible. And for anybody who
enjoys basketball, it is just a lot of fun. But it’s not just Steph. There’s the other
“Splash Brother,” Klay, who dropped 37
points in a quarter, and whose jump shot is
actually a little prettier. (laughter) I’m just saying. There were Barnes
dunks, Bogut blocks, Draymond Green showing us
“heart over height” every single night. Draymond is also known to
add a few more words that I cannot repeat. (laughter) Then you’ve got a couple of
unselfish All-Stars in their own right that were coming
off the bench — Andre Iguodala and David Lee. (applause) And a bench that was so
good that an opposing coach complained, “they’ve got
two starting lineups.” In the Finals, Golden State
faced Cleveland and a guy named LeBron. Down two games to one, Coach
Kerr had the guts to shake up the lineup —
and it worked. Andre came off the
bench, played great D, took home the Finals MVP. And it was a perfect example
of the kind of team this is — everybody
doing their part, everybody ready to
step up at any moment. Unselfish play. Folks looking out
for each other. And it’s the same kind
of selflessness that the Warriors show in their
community, as well. They’ve led the way for the
NBA’s commitment to our My Brother’s Keeper initiative,
promoting mentoring in the Bay Area and nationwide. I know they met with some
students in the White House mentor program
earlier today. This team is also supporting
the city’s Oakland Promise effort to help more kids
make it through college. (applause) You’ve had players take a
stand against gun violence. (applause) They’ve worked with
Michelle’s Let’s Move initiative. They’ve dressed up as
Santa to deliver Christmas presents to those in need. And the first time I met
Steph was because he had partnered with the U.N. Foundation to donate three
anti-malarial mosquito nets for every
three-pointer he makes. So last night,
that’s 33 nets. (laughter) So keep shooting, Steph. Not that he needs any
encouragement, obviously. (laughter) The point is, this is a
great basketball team, but it’s a great
organization, it’s a great culture. And these are
outstanding young men. And some of them
I’ve met before. Steph I’ve gotten to
know a little better. They’re just — they’re the
kind of people you want representing a city,
representing the NBA, and the kind of people that
you want our kids to be rooting for. So they have a lot
to be proud of. Good luck for the
rest of this season. Maybe you’ll break
that Bulls record. But as Coach Kerr pointed
out, he wins either way. Either way, he’s
got the record. (laughter and applause) So thanks, everybody. (applause) Do you want to
say something? Coach Kerr: Thank you. I’m actually — I’m
a little thirsty. Is that my water or yours? (laughter) The President: It is. Go for it. Coach Kerr: I thought
maybe it was yours. I’m guessing it’s yours. I want to say thank you. I also want to say
congratulations for becoming the first President in our
nation’s great history to use the term “clowning.” (laughter) Although maybe Teddy
Roosevelt used it somewhere in there, I don’t know. (laughter) But we want to thank you. Our organization is so
honored to be here, to meet you, to tour
the White House, and to celebrate our
championship with you here. Our general manager, Bob
Myers, who you met earlier, also mentioned to me that
you’re going to be a free agent at the end
of this year. (laughter) So we don’t know if you
have anything lined up yet, but — The President:
I’m ready to go. Coach Kerr: You can consider
this a symbol of an offer that’s coming. We want you — as soon as
your duties are done here in the White House, we’d like
you to be the leader of Dub Nation. (applause)

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