NCAA Basketball

Kamala Harris speaks with U.S. men's Olympic basketball team: 'Bring back that gold'

LAS VEGAS — Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team during a break at practice Tuesday at UNLV's Mendenhall Arena. Stepping onto the court at 4:23 p.m. ET, she was escorted to the star-studded group of players by head coach Steve Kerr. Harris shook hands with Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry before speaking with the team. “Our nation is cheering you on. We are so proud of you,” she said. “Go to Paris and bring back that gold.” She then shook hands with Devin Booker, LeBron James and Anthony Edwards before taking a photo with the entire roster. The U.S. team — loaded with future Basketball Hall of Famers including Curry, James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard — plays Canada in an exhibition on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. They begin their quest for an Olympic gold medal on July 28 vs. Serbia. “It was cool. We got her support,” Durant said after practice. “She’s been out here working and her life is so busy so for her to come out here and check us out, it’s an honor. I’m glad she was able to come through.” Asked exactly what Harris told the team, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo said she kept it brief. “‘Win the gold.’ Short and sweet and to the point,” he said. “Being able to have her here and speak to us is a dope moment. I’ll be able to tell my kid’s kid’s kids about that.” Harris made the stop at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, prior to the formal launch of “AANHPI Voters for Biden-Harris,” the campaign’s latest coalition group for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders voters. She spoke in front of more than 200 people at the event off the Las Vegas strip. Harris called the upcoming November election against former President Donald Trump the most “consequential, important election of our lifetime. “Now we always knew this election would be tough,” she said. “And the past few days have been a reminder that running for president of the United States is never easy, but the one thing we know about our President Joe Biden is that he is a fighter. And he is the first to say when you get knocked down you get back up.” Tuesday wasn’t Harris’ first involvement in the world of basketball. The former senator from California hosted her hometown Warriors at the White House and has been to multiple Golden State games in recent years. Kerr, who coaches the Warriors, said he’s “met her many times given that she’s from Oakland.” “It’s a great reminder of the fact that we’re playing for our country,” Kerr said. “She’s a Warriors fan. She loves our team and loves basketball."