Donald Trump tries to pander to sports fans and shoots an air ball

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Donald Trump Makes a Major Sports Mess Up

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.

SEE ALSO: Best court designs in the NBA: Where do the Warriors and Cavs rank?

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.

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Donald Trump tries to pander to sports fans and shoots an air ball
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, foreground, hugs Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry after Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Monday, May 30, 2016. The Warriors won 96-88. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) drives to the basket as Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant defends during the second half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 120-111. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry waits for a interview as confetti comes down after a 118-91 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after being hit in the face by teammate Tristan Thompson #13 during the first half against the Toronto Raptors in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 21, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 11: DeMarre Carroll #5 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball and is fouled by Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat in the first half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 11, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker during the first half in Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 11: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket in the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) drives past Golden State Warriors' Harrison Barnes, bottom left, and Shaun Livingston (34) during the second half in Game 1 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 118-106. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Miami Heat's Joe Johnson (2) tries to block a shot-attempt by Toronto Raptors' Bismack Biyombo (8) during the first half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals, Friday, May 13, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 29: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates during the 101-83 win over the Toronto Raptors in game six of the 2016 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets' Courtney Lee (1) passes the ball to a teammate as Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) defends during the second half in Game 6 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, April 29, 2016. The Heat won 97-90. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller flies over fans as he chases a loose ball during the first half in Game 5 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers scores on a dunk in a 108-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) drives past Houston Rockets' Trevor Ariza, bottom left, and Dwight Howard, top left, during the first half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 114-81. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee, left, and forward Al-Farouq Aminu, right, during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 25, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard, center, battles for control of the ball with Golden State Warriors' Ian Clark, left, and Marreese Speights during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 24, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) and Toronto Raptors' Bismack Biyombo (8) battle for a loose ball during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff basketball series Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Indianapolis. Indiana won 100-83. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Miami Heat's Goran Dragic, right, pleads to referee Mike Callahan, left, after being called for his third foul during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series against the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, April 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 26: Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks battles under the basket against Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: Norman Powell #24 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball late in the second half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on April 26, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket on DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter of Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center on April 23, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers won the game 96-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 22: Jonas Jerebko #8 of the Boston Celtics and Evan Turner #11 react after a foul was called against Turner during the fourth quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden on April 22, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Hawks 111-103. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 18: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets is guarded by Draymond Green #23, Andrew Bogut #12 and Leandro Barbosa #19 of the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 18, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 16: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers goes up to shoot against Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 17:Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs battles JaMychal Green #0 of the Memphis Grizzlies for a rebound in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 17, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) reacts after scoring against the Houston Rockets during the first half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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