President Donald Trump, in his first public comments about the NBA’s relationship with China, criticized Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for their response to questions about the controversy.
Trump weighed in on the topic Wednesday afternoon, saying NBA officials have to “work out their own situation” with China, while he was critical of Kerr and Popovich, saying they “were pandering to China.”
Popovich also avoided directly discussing the specific issue regarding protests in Hong Kong, though he did praise NBA commissioner Adam Silver for his stance supporting free speech.nfl nike jerseys cheap china
“I watched Popovich — sort of the same thing, but he didn’t look quite as scared actually,” Trump said. “But they talk badly about the United States, but when it talks about China, they don’t want to say anything bad. I thought it was pretty sad, actually. It’ll be very interesting.”
Warriors star Stephen Curry, who was made aware of Trump’s comments about Kerr by team officials, including GM Bob Myers, told reporters Wednesday that he got to “welcome Steve to the club.”
Curry was singled out in tweets by Trump in 2017 after he had said he would vote no if the team were invited to the White House.
“We’ve obviously been really outspoken since I can remember, in terms of our organization and all that,” Curry said. “But from the league and China and just our presence there and building a business, it’s an interesting situation because there’s so much history involved in it.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china
“I don’t know that history well enough to kind of speak on it or to form an opinion yet, so that’s kind of where I’m at with the situation. … I’m staying tuned like everybody else.”
Kerr had finished his post-practice news conference just a couple minutes before reporters saw Trump’s comments. He is not expected to address the media again until before Thursday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, unless the Warriors make an exception.
Many NBA coaches have remained largely mum on the current situation with China. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni refused to answer questions on the topic after his team’s game in Tokyo on Tuesday, while LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers didn’t go too deeply into specifics when asked his opinion.
“I watch the way that Kerr and Popovich and some of the others were pandering to China, and yet to our own country, it’s like they don’t respect it,” Trump said. “It’s like they don’t respect it. I said, ‘What a difference — isn’t it sad?’ It’s very sad. To me, it’s very sad.”