Story by Chetskyman | Photos by Jho Bule, Alan Manosca, Alex Manosc
“ In life, basketball, whatever you go through, the lows make you better and they make the highs that much more special” – Steph Curry at the pre-rally interview
OAKLAND – How sweet it is. More than a million and a half basketball fanatics from all over the Bay area and the world came to Oakland, California last June 15 to celebrate what literally was “Day of Redemption”. After loosing the NBA championship last year to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Warriors brought the Larry O’Brien trophy once again back to the Golden State.
In a clear sign of solidarity and camaraderie, people of all ages and race started flocking into Oakland as early as 4 o’clock in the morning wearing nothing but Warrior colors. Dubnation was well represented that day in Oakland.
Even before the start of the parade, the streets of Oakland were overflowing with well wishers and curious onlookers. Police presence were visible in every corner of the city. Alameda Sheriff Department were continuously patrolling the area making sure everyone was safe.
It was a little past 10:00am when the floats started rolling down Broadway. People started jumping up and down trying to get a glimpse of their favorite Warrior. Yells and cheers filled up the air as one by one the players paraded the streets of Oakland. Finally, the NBA championship trophy found its way down Broadway and into Lake Merrit where millions more gathered for the rally.
Redemption at Lake Merritt
It was total chaos. The stage was set. Anxiety and excitement started to set in as the rally proper commenced. There couldn’t have been a better choice as emcee other than television play by play announcer, Bob Fitzgerald. The video screens showed highlights of the year past. It was obvious that everyone in attendance was having fun.
Introductions were made. Chants of WARRIOR – WARRIOR can be heard from miles away. Oakland was suddenly transformed into the city that never slept.
One by one management, coaches, and players addressed the crowd with such gratitude and enthusiasm. Seemingly, it was a family gathering of some sort. Nothing can seem to ruin the day even the scorching heat of the sun at the strike of noon.
Finally, all the players were called on center stage. The music of Queens, “We are the Champions”, echoed all throughout the open field of Lake Merrit. Confetti canon started shooting confettis in the air signifying celebration has begun and will continue in Oakland for as long as the royal blue and golden yellow are the only colors flying through the courts of the NBA.
What’s in store for the Warriors in the coming season? Well, nothing is definite for sure. Experts predict another 2-3 more years of Warriors – Cavaliers finals showdown. The only thing certain though is that the Golden State Warriors is in the record books as one of only five teams in the NBA to ever win 5 or more championships. Go Warriors !
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