For the first time in 40 years, the Warriors are back in Oakland — as NBA champions.
With more than a hundred team employees donning the team colors, the Golden State Warriors received a hero’s welcome — as they should. Holding off LeBron James’ best efforts to save the Cavaliers, sweet victory came at the cost of the Cav’s 105-97 loss in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Helicopters hovered above the airport and the chartered flight received an escort from a police car and two fire trucks on standby. The Warriors’ arrival was akin to a celebrity wedding, with people snapping photos and shooting videos with their smartphones. MVP Stephen Curry was the first player off the plane, quickly joined by his elated teammates.
“We Are the Champions” by Queen blared. Warriors employees, shuttled from team headquarters on three buses, cheered, and gave hugs and handshakes to players and coaches.
Forward Draymond Green is the team’s only first string Warrior not yet signed for next season. As a restricted free agent, the Warriors would be able to match any offer he receives from another team — and they would be remiss not to do so.
When asked if he will be back next season, Green responded, “Hell yeah I expect to be back here.”
Congratulations poured in from many sources, including a phone call to Warriors’ Head Coach Steve Kerr to congratulate the Warriors and an invitation to the White House.
“You’re still kind of on an adrenaline rush and excited to win a championship, so guys are taking naps, guys are listening to music, just talking about how fun the journey’s been,” said Stephen Curry. “And now we get to celebrate for real.”