(Reuters) - Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry have been battling in the NBA Finals, but both stars agreed on Tuesday that whichever team wins the championship will skip the traditional White House visit to celebrate with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The players voiced their opinions on the day Trump escalated his feud with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles after most of the Super Bowl-winning team passed up a White House invitation.
“I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway,” James, whose Cavaliers trail the best-of-seven NBA Finals 2-0, told reporters in Cleveland on Tuesday during an off-day of the NBA Finals.
“So it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
It has been a long-standing tradition for championship teams to visit the White House, but there has been some controversy since President Donald Trump took the office.
Last September, Trump revoked an invitation to the Warriors, who beat Cleveland last June for their second title in three seasons, after Curry had said he would vote against a planned visit.
Curry, a former two-time league Most Valuable Player, said he and his teammates would likely repeat the stance they took last year should they successfully defend their NBA title.
“I hope to be in that situation and win two more games where we win a championship and obviously know what comes with that,” said Curry. “But I think I agree with LeBron. Pretty sure the way we handled things last year, kind of stay consistent with that.”
Trump yanked his invitation for the Eagles celebration after it became clear that most of the team’s players planned to boycott the event. Trump blasted NFL protests in which players kneeled during the playing of the national anthem, even though none of the Eagles kneeled during the anthem last season.
“When somebody says they don’t want to come to the White House, he disinvites them so the photo op don’t look bad. We get it at this point,” said Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who was named the MVP of last year’s NBA Finals.
“It’s good that guys are sticking to what they believe in and what they want to do. Like guys said before me, I’m sure whoever wins this series won’t be going.”
The NBA Finals resumes on Wednesday in Cleveland.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by David Gregorio