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Donald Trump Tries to Pander to Sports Fans and Shoots an Air Ball

Photo: James Devaney/WreImage

There are three generally accepted ways to refer to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors without using the team’s full name. They are “the Warriors,” “Golden State,” and “the Dubs.”

Call them something stupid like “San Francisco,” which is both unacceptable and inaccurate (they play in Oakland) and you’ll reveal yourself as a charlatan and a phony, which is what Donald Trump did at a San Jose rally last night, in a misbegotten attempt to suck up to sports fans. The mistake came as Trump was bragging about what a large crowd had showed up to watch his peculiar brand of improv, despite the “San Francisco” game tipping off at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Trump was never going to do very well in Northern California, and Dubs fans were never going to put him over the top. Drawing their ire is no biggie. But this gaffe could hurt Trump with dudes.

Since the beginning of his candidacy, Trump has positioned himself as the alpha-male tough guy that America needs. He’s bullied dweebs, bragged about his bank account, and talked up his golf game, always with a piece of eye candy on his arm. His bro-na fides are without dispute.

Unless he’s talking sports. Trump has repeatedly stuck his foot in his mouth while trying to relate to the common sports fan. There was the time he asked a crowd in Pittsburgh, “How’s Joe Paterno?’” — apparently forgetting that the disgraced Penn State football coach is dead. Not a week later he was booed by a crowd deep in Ravens country when he invoked the name of a dimple-chinned Boston devil. “Do we love Tom Brady? Right, right?”

And now Trump has exposed his lack of NBA knowledge. Mr. Masculinity doesn’t even know the city in which last year’s NBA champions play. Repeatedly, when Trump talks sports, he shows himself to be something he despises — a pandering politician.

He hasn’t been alone this cycle. Carly Fiorina forsook her alma mater to curry favor in Iowa. And Ted Cruz, in the gym where Hoosiers was filmed, became the first person to ever refer to the “basketball ring.” It’s really not that difficult. If you know sports, talk about them. If not, don’t. And go Dubs.


Trump Tries to Pander to Sports Fans and Fails