By Juan Martinez
After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals and winning their second championship title, the Golden State Warriors held a parade and rally for all of “Dub Nation” in downtown Oakland on Friday, June 19.
The Warriors’ adopted slogan, “Strength in Numbers,” was on display for the world on Friday. From colorful floats to cable cars, from luxurious BMWs to classic Ford Mustangs, the world got to witness what the Bay Area is all about.
The parade started on 11th and Broadway, continued onto W. Grand Ave., then headed onto Harrison, Lakeside Drive and Oak Street before finally ending at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.
The Warriors dance crew and Jam Squad banged on drums and got the crowd pumped. Members of the East Bay Dragons rode their motorcycles in unison. Oakland rapper MC Hammer and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf waved to the crowd on a fire-shooting, snail-looking vehicle.
But, it was the 2015 NBA champions on blue and yellow buses who received the loudest cheers.
NBA MVP Stephen Curry, NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, and fan-favorite Draymond Green stole the show at the parade with their big smiles and golden trophies. Dubs fans of all ages stood on top of roofs and looked on from the top floors of buildings to view the trio.
Some people danced, chanted “Warriors” repeatedly, and blew their royal blue vuvuzelas when Curry and Iguodala’s bus passed them. Others held signs and fatheads of the two players and took photos of them with their phones and selfie sticks on un-walkable street corners and sidewalks.
Another highlight was when Green came down from his bus and gave fans hugs and high-fives.
“It was a beautiful thing to witness,” said Luis Navarro, a die-hard Warriors fan from Oakland. “It is probably one of the best things that has happened to the city.”
For him, it was really important that his kids see Oakland portrayed positively.
“Bad and negative things are always being said about Oakland, so it means a lot to have it here,” Navarro said. “People look forward to something like this. Kids need to see positive things like this. The best feeling is being able to share this moment with my family.”
But it wasn’t just people from the Bay Area that gathered in Oakland. Some Dubs fans drove up from Los Angeles and many more flew in from Las Vegas and other parts of the country to celebrate the team’s victory.
Tony Regalado, an Oakland native who lives in Redlands, California, said, “I wish I was there. But I’m happy to see how the ‘Town’ was portrayed. All the pictures and views of the city looked beautiful.”
Sophie Meas, an Oakland native who lives in San Leandro, said, “My favorite part of the parade was seeing the community and people from other places come together to celebrate history, and or, being a part of history.”
While the city and organizers might have prepared for about 500,000 spectators, an estimated 1.1 million fans attended the joyous and celebratory victory ceremony. Players took to social media to express their gratitude.
“1.1 million showed up for the parade today…Most loyal fans in the world #GSW #DubNation,” Warriors forward David Lee tweeted.
At the rally held at Lake Merritt Boulevard between East 12th & Oak Street, the message from the organization was the importance of teamwork. Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, Warriors’ owners, thanked the fans for their endless support and reiterated that this “Golden” season could not have happened without “Dub Nation.”
“Today is all about the people,” Lacob said. “You deserve it. You are the best fans in the world.”