- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Golden State Warriors, in town this week to play the Washington Wizards, spent Tuesday visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture, bringing along some students from Kevin Durant’s nearby hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland.

It probably would have been the day the defending NBA champions visited the White House, but President Trump revoked the team’s invitation in September when Warriors star Stephen Curry said he didn’t want to meet him.

At the Warriors‘ shootaround before Wednesday night’s game, they avoided mixing politics with the experience they had at the museum.

“If you haven’t gone before, you have to go,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s one of the most powerful experiences you’ll ever have. Our guys were really happy to be there and be with the kids from Seat Pleasant and it was a great day for them.”

Kerr, normally an outspoken critic of the president, was then asked something about Trump.

“You’re not gonna get me to go down that path,” he said.

He did expand on his love for the city of Washington and his previous times at the White House.

“I didn’t get to make a White House trip after every championship” Kerr said. “A couple times I changed teams. I think one time I retired, when I was with the Spurs, after 2003. But I love coming to D.C. regardless. Visiting the White House is an amazing experience. Just visiting the city, feeling the history here, is great.”

Curry said his main takeaway since the day he said he didn’t want to meet Trump was “how unifying it’s been with the conversation around how sports is mingled in with not just politics, but just the change in society.”

“When you come to the arena tonight, you’ll see people from all different walks of life, all different backgrounds, enjoying entertainment and sports on the court,” Curry said. “But it brings people together and I think that’s how it’s manifested itself with this whole conversation.”

He appeared to allude to Trump for a moment.

“Rhetoric and hate and just general disdain from the top, trying to be divisive and whatnot, has had the opposite reaction that I think it intended,” he said. “We’ve done our part, I think, to try to further that message. Guys around the league understand the power of their voice and having each other’s back and really trying to, we always say, just spread love and positivity.”

It was Durant’s first time in the museum, which opened in late 2016. In addition to inviting children from his hometown to visit the museum and spend time with the Warriors, Durant recently pledged $10 million for a program to help disadvantaged students in Prince George’s County.

The museum was beautiful, Durant said, and he echoed Kerr’s opinion that “everyone needs to see it.”

“I went in just like one of those kids, just trying to learn and just happy to be there,” Durant said.

Durant made clear the team was not disappointed about not going to the White House. Then he was asked if their time was “better served” at the museum than meeting Trump.

“We had a great time yesterday,” he said.

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