OAKLAND — As David West sat in front of reporters and TV cameras at the Golden State Warriors practice facility, the power forward wasn’t afraid to offer his thoughts on the 2016 election.
“I think that the message was loud and clear last night,” West said when asked if the election of Donald Trump would have any impact on the proliferation of national anthem protests across pro sports.
West is playing in his first season with the Warriors and his 14th in the NBA — a league that has been a leader in the realm of social justice in recent years.
In 2014, the NBA banished then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and forced him to sell the team after he made racially charged comments that would be par for the course during the rise of Trump.
“[Trump] speaks for the majority of the people in this nation,” West said. “His attitudes about black people, Muslim people, about women, about just about every sort of political group you can name, folks agree with his positions. And you can’t deny that because folks voted for him.
“So, I think throw that on the table. This whole fairy tale about some post-racial, post — this utopia that [Barack] Obama supposedly created — is all bull. That’s the bottom line when you look at what the results say from last night. This nation has not moved a thread in terms of its ideals.”
Andre for President
Andre Iguodala was less inclined than West to talk politics, but the former Finals MVP still managed to get his point across.
“I play basketball. I do,” Iguodala insisted when asked for a comment on the outcome of the election.
Iguodala admitted that the result didn’t surprise him, but wouldn’t offer much else beside that. Before the team’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, head coach Steve Kerr predicted Iguodala’s reluctance to join the debate.
“Andre could be a good president,” Kerr said. “But he knows too much and he sees too much and he would just be so disgusted by the process [that] he would just walk away.”
When apprised of his coach’s qualified endorsement, Iguodala didn’t disappoint.
“Bullshit,” he said.
“I ain’t messing with y’all. I don’t do politics. Yeah, that’s how we end up dead.”
Trusting the ‘process’
When the topic of conversation returned to the court —and integrating Kevin Durant into the team — Iguodala became more talkative.
“It’s a process. That word sucks, but it is what it is,” Iguodala said.
“Everyone’s making adjustments and everyone’s trying to — it’s like kind of [a] like feeling out type of thing. You have so much talent — especially with one major guy who’s new — and you want him to be as comfortable as possible.”
The forward suggested that he and the rest of his teammates have actually gone out of their way to ease the transition for the former Oklahoma City superstar — sometimes to their detriment.
“You kind of move around him when you’re normally just doing things for yourself,” Iguodala said. “And it’s going to take some growing to that role and some more experience and more game-like situations.”
Iguodala believes the early-season accommodating will pay dividends down the line.
“I’ve seen a lot of things that are going to help us late in the year and I’ve seen a lot of things that we’re going to have to fix that are going to help us late in the year,” he said. “And it’s going to be hard for other teams to figure out, if we get there.”