Cleveland Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert wore “biker jeans, brown combat boots, an olive green beanie, and a distressed Guns N’ Roses T-shirt” to his interview with Complex recently, so you can get an idea that he was more than composed and ready for his interview with Karizza Sanchez.
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After talking fashion, sneaker lists and the like with Complex, Sanchez touched on Shumpert’s initial instinct should his team be once again invited to the White House following an NBA title.
Couched in a question about Kanye West’s (perhaps self-serving!) assertion that he would have voted for Republican nominee Donald Trump earlier in November was Shumpert’s declaration that he wants nothing to do with meeting the president-elect should the Cavaliers be invited to the White House following a 2016-17 NBA championship:
I understand people’s stance on Trump. I can’t get caught up in the racial, sexist bulls–t he’s got going on. That’s his personal thing, ya dig? But I just don’t think he can make anything shake like that. He not finna start no civil war out here. I do think he’s crazy—straight up. I think he did that stuff to get people to think he’s willing to shake it up. But did I vote for him? No. The other stuff that comes with him, I can’t get with. But now that he’s here, I’m not finna drag my feet. I gotta work here, at least until the offseason, if I wanna go get a crib in the Islands.
Will you go to Trump’s White House if the Cavs win the championship again this year?
I’m not going to the White House.
We should remind that we are ages away from determining whether or not the Cavaliers would have to consider such a meeting. Based on early intelligence briefings, it is worth wondering if any of us will even be around for something called “the 2017 NBA Finals.” If such an event takes place, the Cavaliers would have to down what would likely be a Kevin Durant and (healthy) Stephen Curry-led Golden State Warriors outfit to take the title.
Then there is the question as to whether or not Donald Trump would invite an NBA team to the White House. He has shown disdain, as president-elect, for standard presidential protocol. With that in place, Donald Trump does very much enjoy having his picture taken with famous people.
The idea that NBA teams would decline invitations has already been bandied about. Shumpert’s teammate LeBron James, likely speaking for many, refused to commit to making a decision based on the idea, in a talk after James and the Cavs met with President Barack Obama to celebrate the team’s 2016 NBA title earlier in November:
“I don’t know. That’s something I would cross,” James said Friday. “We’ll have to cross that road, I guess. We’ll see. I would love to have to cross that road.”
From here, Iman Shumpert got to talkin’ about bustin’ asses.
First, there was Phil Jackson – the Knicks president who recently clashed with LeBron James and all right-thinking adults when dismissing James’ representatives and agents recently.
Jackson dealt Shumpert away from the Knicks nearly two years ago for what turned into Lance Thomas and what could be a 2019 second round pick. Iman hasn’t forgotten:
He always got a comment. It’s Phil Jackson. Whatever.
Did you think it was offensive?
I think ‘Bron would bust Phil Jackson’s ass. If Phil Jackson was in his prime, playing basketball, ‘Bron would bust his ass. I’m glad Phil Jackson got the rings for Chicago. You traded me away from New York, cool. It’s all business, it’s all love, whatever. But I’m a grownup now. You not my hero no more. The Bulls era is gone, Mike is gone, Pippen is gone, you ain’t coaching the Bulls no more. So, I don’t care what you got to say about ‘Bron. I don’t know how conscious he was of that word upsetting LeBron the way it did, but I understand why ‘Bron’s heated.
We all do. And, despite the “cool. It’s all business”-kiss off that Shumpert gave Phil Jackson, being traded away from anywhere for a conditional second round pick and half-season of Lou Amundson is always going to feel like a professional slap in the face. Yes, Iman Shumpert would have rather spent 2015-16 with the champs as opposed to the 32-win Knicks team, but it’s still just fine to house a little resentment.
As Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green does, after the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals. When informed that Green had made it a point to set a Finals annihilation of Cleveland as a 2016-17 goal of Golden State, Shumpert responded as he should:
He should. We supposed to hate them, and they supposed to hate us. It’s OK. They supposed to take cheap shots at us. They’re gonna hate us, fam. That’s what sports is. It’s great. I love every bit of it. I’m glad he said that ’cause we gon’ bust they ass, too. You need to type that up: We gon bust your ass. Period.
These are the right answers.
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