The 2012-2013 season was an anomaly in the eyes of many Golden State Warriors faithful. Awards, accolades, and an appearance in the 2013 Playoffs were just a few of the accomplishments achieved by the Bay Area’s NBA team. On Wednesday night, an estimated 6,000 fans dressed in Warriors hats, shirts, and foam fingers attended a free fan festival at Oracle Arena to show the home team some love—one last time.
It’s usually a bad sign when Warriors star player Stephen Curry is on the court in street attire, but on Wednesday night he was in the house purely to shoot the breeze, not shoot threes. Curry was accompanied on the floor by teammates: Carl Landry, Kent Bazemore, Festus Ezeli, Brandon Rush and Harrison Barnes. At 7:15, the time players would usually be running the last of their layup lines before tipoff, the event started. Prior to players addressing the fans, a number of city officials and stadium officers thanked the crowd for being the “best fans in all of sports”.
Mayor Jean Quan praised the Warriors for not just being champions on the floor, but also in the community. She sited their volunteer services, financial donations and Holiday help as to why there is such a great connection between the city and the team.
Councilmember Larry Reid was the first to go out a limb and say that next year the Warriors will win the NBA championship. Scott Haggerty, Vice Chair of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, followed Reid’s statement by saying, “I don’t view this as a celebration of last year. I see this as a kickoff to the championship season of next year.”
The crowd let out a booming cheer in response to that prediction.
Warriors standout forward Festus Ezeli then approached the microphone and saluted the crowd. “We didn’t have a game today, and look how many people showed up!” said Ezeli.
The Golden State Warriors players and fans can enjoy the off-season, knowing they will have something to look forward to the next year.
“I wish next season could start right now!” said Forward Carl Landry, who has the choice to opt out of his contract this off-season.
Stephen Curry followed Landry’s statement by saying, “hopefully, everyone will be back next season”. Curry then walked over to Landry, gave him a quick comical hand gesture, and continued his speech, “and we can do this thing again!”
The Warriors would love it if Curry and crew could do it all again. The 2012-13 season was Curry’s best season. He lead the team. He became the face of the franchise. He broke Reggie Miller’s single season record for three-pointers made. And although he was snubbed a seat at the NBA All-Star Game, he earned star status through his performance in the 2013 Playoffs.
But even Curry is quick to attribute his success to the coaching of Mark Jackson, the support of the fans, and the camaraderie of his team.
Curry concluded his address to the audience by saying, “think this is fun? wait until we get that championship!”
Curry was the third person of the night to allude to a future Warriors championship title—and arguably the most convincing. If you’re going to have someone mention bringing a championship to Oakland, why not Stephen Curry?