Oakland was awash in blue and yellow confetti and streamers as the NBA champion Golden State Warriors celebrated their first trophy in 40 years on June 19. An estimated one million fans turned out to cheer the champs along the parade route then at the rally between the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center and Lake Merritt, which provided the perfect backdrop.
“We did it,” team co-owner Joe Lacob shouted to the crowd. “You know, they say life is about experiences. I’m not sure many people can say they’ve been booed by 20,000 people and cheered by a million people, all in a period of three years. That’s an experience.”
He referred to being booed throughout a halftime ceremony to retire Hall of Famer Chris Mullin‘s No. 17 jersey for his unpopular decision to trade Monta Ellis. The cheers rained down on him on Friday as he called the fans “the best in the world.”
He ended his nearly 10-minute speech by saying, “Guys, this was no accident. Nothing about this was an accident—and it will not be an accident when we do it again!”
Stephen Curry, the league’s regular season MVP, was introduced as “Riley’s dad” when he took the stage.
“I’m so excited to be a part of this group,” Curry said. “Every piece of the puzzle had to come together to make this happen and we did it. It’s been a long journey… Six years ago when i was drafted, I lived right here on Lake Merritt. I could walk around and not be recognized. Now we’re world champs. I’m known as Riley’s dad now, which i’m ok with. She’s a special little girl.”
He ended with, “Thank you very much. All of Dub Nation, we did it. Let’s celebrate!”
After that, it was off to Las Vegas for a party Sin City-style for some of the players, including Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogue and David Lee who partied at Marquee.