NBA Finals: Warriors Sweep 4-0 Watch Party
For the third time in four years, the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Finals Championship.
As Warriors went up 2-0 at home, then won game 3 in Cleveland, it seemed likely that they'd win the whole thing (to win one out of the next 3 would be significantly easier than the Cavs winning the next four in a row). With the potential of a sweep, USA Today Sports images assigned me to the watch party at Oracle Arena.
I covered this when they won in 2015 (it was AMAZING) and I covered game 6 last year (when they lost... but it's ok because then they won it at home) and I was pretty excited to cover it again.
Warriors games in the regular season, and even more so during the playoffs are not so much big time fans, but casual fans with big time bank accounts. Sure the action is incredible, covering elite level basketball, but it lacks the fan engagement and passion. Watch party is this incredible mix of extreme fans that want to watch the game with other fans, as well as families that want to give their kids the "game experience" without have to spend hundreds of dollars for three hours of entertainment.
And the "game experience" is amazing. The "players" are introduced, the flag is displayed for the national anthem, the dancers, breakdancers, and junior jam squad perform, t-shirts are thrown.
And Montell Jordan performs at half time. This is How We Do It!
And then the Warriors handedly win and everyone celebrates in the plaza between Oracle Arena and Oakland Coliseum (where the A's beat the Royals). And by everyone, I mean everyone. People smoking pot, kids dancing, adults losing their wallets and folks hollering out their name "Daniel ..... Daniel... we found your wallet" and returning it to him. Establishing a community with your neighbors and people you interact with regularly is fantastic, but I LOVE the idea of community.
And since Wednesday didn't stay within the law, with a shot being fired in the parking lot post game, and the event was high profile in a way that might attract rogue criminals, thanks to the officers who had a strong but friendly presence to ensure the safety of everyone.
As we have conversations about the GOAT I think it's unquestionable, LeBron James is one of the best players we'll ever see play in the league. But the greatest (whether it's players or people in general) make the others around them great as well. Congratulations to the Warriors team, the players, the fans, the town.
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