That’s not a headline I ever figured I’d be writing for TDS, but I also never thought the world would come to a screeching standstill in 2020 due to a global pandemic either. I guess that’s just the type of year that it’s been.
But Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta met with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry, and there were some pretty interesting quotes to come out of that sit down.
Perhaps most notable were some discussions at the roundtable of the infamous Daryl Morey China incident. Fertitta then cracked a joke at Morey’s expense. Just a bad attempt at humor or some nefarious undertones on how the Houston owner still feels about his GM? You be the judge.
The interaction between Tilman Fertitta and President Donald Trump about #Rockets GM Daryl Morey— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) May 18, 2020
Fertitta: “You know, it’s funny you brought up about China. I should have realized it was gonna be a bad year for China when my general manager tweeted out “Freedom for Hong Kong.” pic.twitter.com/oywIGoDgsW
This could be nothing more than a couple rich guys hobnobbing about rich guy stuff, but Fertitta is still a wild card as an owner.
In addition, they also talked James Harden and Russell Westbrook, with President Trump commenting on their salaries, and Tilman making another bad joke, this time about the PPP program, which has dealt with several controversies during the shutdown, most notably about favoritism. Just more rich guys joking with rich guys, tone deafness, or something else?
President Trump: Good luck with the basketball, you've got a hell of a team. Say hello to those two great players, all of your players, but man, they can play— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) May 18, 2020
Fertitta: They can play
Trump: So you say they make 40 a year?
Fertitta: Russell and James both make 40 million a year pic.twitter.com/aIBQv7T4jv
And finally, these two also discussed whether or not the NBA would return this year, with Fertitta predicting that the league would, in fact, start back up in some capacity this summer. But of course, that wasn’t without its rich guys joking with rich guys moment either.
President Trump asked Tilman Fertitta what's going to happen with basketball:— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) May 18, 2020
"I think that if things keep going the way that it's going, I think the NBA, the commissioner...and the 30 owners will make the decision to try to start the season up again." pic.twitter.com/DZjTZ7r35U
So there you have it, folks. Tilman Fertitta and Donald Trump appear to be buddies. Or at least buddies enough to shit talk in a cringe-worthy manner.