The Golden State Warriors are great at basketball, and nearly as good at matters of diplomacy.
Amid multiple reports that the new NBA champions have decided not to participate in the traditional visit to the White House, the team’s official position is that no decision has been made regarding whether they’ll attend. The team also said that it hasn’t received an invitation to visit the White House, and that it will make a decision on whether to attend “when and if necessary.”
Which means as a practical matter that the invitation will never come, and that the Warriors will never have to spurn it. Given the things that coach Steve Kerr and star player Steph Curry have said publicly about the Commander-in-Chief and the widespread reports of a unanimous decision to not make the trip, the White House surely won’t be inclined to issue the invitation. Which means that the Warriors will get their wish without creating a headline that could alienate some fans or otherwise generate the impression that they are disrespecting the office.
Of course, it remains possible that the White House will now be even more determined to issue the invitation, forcing the Warriors to say no. Ultimately, the administration will have to balance the embarrassment of having the invitation rejected against forcing the Warriors to say no.
As to skepticism regarding whether the Warriors had time to unanimously decide not to make the trip after winning the NBA title, the notion that the question somehow came up after the confetti dropped (after the fourth win, not after the first three) overlooks the very real possibility that, at some point during the team’s dominant playoff run, they decided among themselves that if/when they win, they won’t be going to the White House.
Regardless, the likely end result is that they won’t be going to the White House, whether it’s because they decline an invitation or because they never get one.