Trump Rips Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich for China Controversy Responses

Trump accused Kerr and Popovich of "pandering to China"

Trump Rips Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich for China Controversy Responses
Gregg Popovich coaches the USA in their FIBA quarterfinal loss. (Zhizhao Wu/Getty)
Getty Images

President Trump took time out of his busy tweeting schedule to address the media about how NBA coaches Steve Kerr and Greg Popovich responded to the ongoing controversy in China.

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Trump said Kerr and Popovich, both of whom have been vocal critics of the president were “pandering to China” with their comments, or lack thereof.

Known for sharing their opinions, Kerr and Popovich both avoided addressing the situation in China head-on and deferred commenting further until a later day.

“He couldn’t answer the question — he was shaking, ‘Oh, oh, oh, I don’t know. I don’t know,’” Trump said of Kerr. “He didn’t know how to answer the question, and yet he’ll talk about the United States very badly.”

Popovich went a little farther than Kerr did in his comments and praised NBA commissioner Adam Silver for protecting free speech, so he was awarded partial credit by Trump.

“I watched Popovich — sort of the same thing, but he didn’t look quite as scared actually,” Trump said. “But they talk badly about the United States, but when it talks about China, they don’t want to say anything bad. I thought it was pretty sad, actually. It’ll be very interesting.”

The president wasn’t the only Trump to go after the coaches.

In China, today’s Lakers-Nets preseason game in Shanghai went on as planned but all media availability — including a scheduled news conference from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and postgame news conferences with the teams — were canceled.

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