WASHINGTON -- The Golden State Warriors visited the White House on Thursday, in commemoration of their 2015 championship. President Barack Obama praised the Warriors, while also delivering a few jokes at their expense.
Obama, opened with, "Now, let me begin by saying I was hoping that Riley Curry would be here today -- [laughter] -- to share the podium with me, but I guess I'm going to have to get media training some other day."
The president, a devoted Chicago Bulls fan, went on to address the team, saying, "Now, it is rare to be in the presence of guys from the greatest team in NBA history. So we're pretty lucky today, because we've got one of those players in the house -- Steve Kerr from the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls! It's good to see you back."
When praising All-Star Klay Thompson, Obama said, "There's the other Splash Brother, Klay, who dropped 37 points in a quarter, and whose jump shot is actually a little prettier. I'm just saying."
Obama referenced Curry's 51-point performance the night before in a win over the Wizards, joking, "For those of you who watched the game against the Wizards last night, he was -- to use slang -- he was 'clowning.' He was all jumping up and down."
The president then shifted to Curry's golfing loss to Obama over the summer, noting, "By the way, for the record, I heard during this summer, after our golf game, that Steph was using the excuse of Secret Service being intimidating for why he lost the match. That is not the case. But he will have another opportunity."
Obama also ribbed Golden State's newest All-Star, forward Draymond Green. The president said, "Draymond Green, showing us heart over height every single night. Draymond is also known to add a few more words that I cannot repeat."
The president took a break from the jokes to praise the Warriors on their season and their impact, saying, "The point is, this is a great basketball team, but it's a great organization, it's a great culture. And these are outstanding young men. And some of them I've met before. Steph, I've gotten to know a little better. They're just -- they're the kind of people you want representing a city, representing the NBA, and the kind of people that you want our kids to be rooting for."
Before offering his congratulations, Obama's closing statement of the afternoon was, "So they have a lot to be proud of. Good luck for the rest of this season. Maybe you'll break that Bulls record. But as Coach Kerr pointed out, he wins either way. Either way, he's got the record."
In turn, the Warriors presented the president with a Golden State jersey, with the No. 44. Warriors coach Kerr joked about Obama's impending "free agency," and said of the jersey offering, "You can consider this a symbol of an offer that's coming. We want you -- as soon as your duties are done here in the White House, we'd like you to be the leader of Dub Nation."
After Obama's news conference, Green discussed what he talked about with the president, saying, "I asked him and he kind of compared it to what we go through. It's like when we're on the court it's a job. Everybody else is like 'Oh, I'm excited' but for us it's just going out there and you're going to try to do your job the best you can. He says it's the same for him."
On the question of whether Obama thinks the Warriors are better than the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, Green said, "He didn't say anything on who's better. I mean I know he has an opinion and I'm sure it's the Bulls. He's a big Bulls fan, as we all know. He didn't say anything about who's better and secretly I know he doesn't want us to break the record."
Curry, when asked if Obama believes the Warriors can best the 1995-96 Bulls' 72-win record, said, "He mentioned it, so I would assume so. But it doesn't change our perspective on what our goals are for the year, as coach said, like a true coach probably would say."