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Warriors visit White House to see Steph Curry’s friend President Obama

President Obama welcomed the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors to the White House on Feb. 4. "Obviously, watching Steph play is incredible," Obama said. (Video: Reuters)
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Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry’s 51 points against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday drew the notice of the nation’s baller-in-chief. President Obama welcomed the Warriors to the White House on Thursday and couldn’t help but give it up for the NBA’s best player.

“Steph’s a pretty good shooter,” Obama said during a ceremony in the East Room to honor the 2015 champions. “For those of you who watched the game against the Wizards last night, he was, to use slang, he was clownin’.”

Then then president did a little jig to reenact the swagger Curry showed on the court.

Curry laughed but Obama, a basketball fanatic, seemed to be in even better spirits. He opened by ruing the absence of Curry’s daughter, Riley, who gained attention during the Warriors’ championship run by overshadowing her dad at post-game press conferences.

“I was hoping that Riley Curry would be here today to share the podium with me,” Obama said with a chuckle, “but I’ll have to get my media training some other day.”

Obama, who during his August vacation in Martha’s Vineyard played golf with Curry and the player’s father Dell, also poked a little fun at Riley’s dad. Curry, Obama said, complained that the intimidating Secret Service agents on the course were the “reason he lost that match. That is not the case!”

The president also praised assistant coach Luke Walton for leading the Warriors to a 39-4 start in the absence of head coach Steve Kerr, who has since rejoined the team. Obama compared Walton’s unsung success – the NBA refused to credit him with the wins when selecting a Western Conference All-Star Game coach — to his own battles with Republicans.

“Man, that doesn’t seem fair,” Obama told Walton. “You defied the cynics, accomplished big things, racked up a great record and you don’t get enough credit.” He paused a beat and then added: “I can’t imagine how that feels.”

But the president had the most praise for Kerr, a guard on the Chicago Bulls’ 1995-96 championship squad that set the NBA mark of 72 victories that the Warriors are threatening this season.

“It’s rare to be in presence of guys from the greatest team in NBA history,” Obama said, turning to look past the players and towards Kerr, in a suit. “Luckily, we’ve got one of those players in the house: Steve Kerr!”

Kerr later gave Obama a Warriors jersey with the number 44 – Obama is the 44th president – and told the president that after he leaves office, the team would welcome him as the “president of Dub Nation.”

While they waited for the president, they visited with students from the White House mentorship program.

Curry is getting to be quite familiar with 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., having visited the place almost a year ago. During last year’s visit, which came about four months before the Warriors won the NBA championship, Curry asked to be shown where presidents celebrate champions.

“I actually saw the [East] room, so I know where to go, which will be fun,” Curry said Sunday. “The defending champs rolling through D.C., the whole ceremony and the president speaking, I’m excited about it.”

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