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Former NBA player and current Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has met five presidents and is confident someone will someday “restore some dignity to the Oval Office.”
The eight-time championship winner at a Thursday news conference reacted to recent personal attacks from the president. Kerr said it was “surreal” Trump mocked him for declining to express an opinion on the NBA’s fragile relationship with the Chinese government and that he prefers to comment on subjects where he’s knowledgeable.
“I was thinking about my various visits to the White House, I’ve lived a privileged life and met, I think, the past five previous presidents prior to President Trump," said Kerr, whose father, Malcolm, was shot dead in Lebanon in 1984 while serving as president of the American University in Beirut. An Islamic extremist group claimed responsibility for the murder. Kerr’s first White House visit was a result of that tragedy.
“The first one was in 1984, and Ronald Reagan was president. He invited my mom and me, six months after my dad was killed in a terrorist attack,” he told reporters. President Reagan and Vice President (George H.W.) Bush invited us into the Oval Office, spent about half an hour with us thanking us for my dad’s service... thanking us for my dad’s commitment to American values in the Middle East."
During a bill-signing Wednesday Trump mocked Kerr for acting like a “little boy” who was “scared” to get involved in a clash between China and NBA executives, that kicked off earlier this week when a Houston Rockets exec angered the communist government by tweeting support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Trump also accused Kerr of having no “respect” for America. For Kerr, the president’s insults underscored how far the office has fallen.
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