What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt breaks down what he’s hearing following the game between the Lakers and Nets which took place in China. USA TODAY
President Donald Trump took another swipe at Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr regarding the latter’s response to questions surrounding the ongoing situation involving the NBA and China.
“So funny to watch Steve Kerr grovel and pander when asked a simple question about China. He chocked (sic), and looks weak and pathetic. Don’t want him at the White House!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The tweet was sent late Friday night following the president’s rally in Louisiana, which at one point featured the Little League World Series champions taking the stage with Trump.
The back-and-forth of sorts between Kerr and the president began Wednesday when Trump, speaking at a news conference, said Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich were “pandering” to China amid the ongoing saga between the country and the NBA that began with a pro-Hong Kong tweet sent by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
“I watched this guy Steve Kerr. He was like a little boy who was so scared to be answering the question,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “He couldn’t answer the question. He was shaking like, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ He didn’t know how to answer the question. Yet, he’ll talk about the United States very badly. I watched Popovich do sort of the same thing. But he didn’t look quite as scared, actually.”
Kerr said Thursday that he was merely the latest “shiny object” for Trump, and that “This is just another day. I was the shiny object yesterday. There was another one today, there will be a new one tomorrow. And the circus will go on. It’s just strange, but it happened.”
For context, here is what Kerr had said earlier in the week regarding his reasoning for largely declining to comment on the NBA-China situation, which drew Trump’s initial criticisms: “What I’ve found is it’s easy to speak on issues that I’m passionate about and feel like I’m well versed on. What I found is that it makes sense to stick to topics that fall in that category. I keep my comments to those. It’s not difficult. I’m more trying to learn.”
The coach, entering his sixth season leading the Warriors, said he had emailed his brother-in-law – whom he said is a Chinese history professor – in hopes of learning more about the situation.
As per the final part of Trump’s tweet, it could be in reference to the fact that the Warriors have not gone to the White House either year they won the title during Trump’s time in office … though it should be noted Golden State isn’t actually the defending champs this year.
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