- Trump said Kerr was "like a little boy," saying he was "shaking" because he was "scared" to answer questions. Trump said Popovich looked less scared.
- Trump said Kerr and Popovich speak "badly" about the U.S. but didn't say anything about China, calling the situation "sad."
- The NBA has been in hot water in China after Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted a message of support for protesters in Hong Kong. Several Chinese businesses have suspended operations with the NBA and Rockets since.
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U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday mocked Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich for their responses to the NBA's ongoing controversy in China.
Neither Kerr nor Popovich spoke extensively on the situation in China after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted a message of support for protesters in Hong Kong . Kerr said he wanted to learn more about the situation before commenting. Popovich recognized the situation as complicated and complimented Commissioner Adam Silver on his handling of the issue.
Kerr and Popovich have both been vocal critics of Trump and outspoken on issues like social injustice.
Trump on Wednesday said Kerr looked like "a little boy" while declining to discuss the incident in China. Trump said Kerr was "shaking."
"I watch this guy Steve Kerr, and he was like a little boy. He was so scared to even be answering the question," Trump said. "He couldn't answer the question. He was shaking ... And yet he'll talk about the United States very badly.
"I watched Popovich, sort of the same thing, but he didn't look quite as scared, actually.
"But they talk badly about the United States, but when the talk's about China, they don't wanna say anything bad. I thought it was pretty sad, actually."
The NBA has found itself in hot water in China in the aftermath of Morey's tweet. Though the NBA called Morey's tweet "regrettable" and recognized it offended some Chinese citizens, the league did not apologize for Morey's tweet. Silver backed Morey's freedom of speech, saying the NBA won't regulate what its members say.
In the aftermath, numerous Chinese companies have suspended operations with the Rockets and NBA, while two NBA preseason games slated to take place in China could be in danger of being canceled. Chinese state network CCTV has said it won't broadcast the games.
Curry was speaking to reporters at the Warriors practice and said he would "welcome Steve to the club" of being criticized by Trump. Curry and the Warriors declined to visit the White House after winning the 2017 championship, leading Trump to disinvite them.
Trump's comments can be seen below:
- White House says Trump 'cannot permit his administration' to cooperate with the 'partisan and unconstitutional' impeachment inquiry
- A White House official who listened in on Trump's Ukraine call described it as 'crazy' and 'frightening'
- Trump says he's a master dealmaker, but his record of dancing to the tune of foreign leaders says otherwise