Oakland effectively shuts down Thursday afternoon when the Golden State Warriors go marching through the streets, beginning at Old Oakland at 11th Street and Broadway, hoisting a Larry O'Brien trophy high for the one million fans expected to attend. Stephen Curry and the Warriors did the same two years ago, paralyzing the city in celebration of the franchise's first championship since 1975. The...
Oakland effectively shuts down Thursday afternoon when the Golden State Warriors go marching through the streets, beginning at Old Oakland at 11th Street and Broadway, hoisting a Larry O'Brien trophy high for the one million fans expected to attend.
Stephen Curry and the Warriors did the same two years ago, paralyzing the city in celebration of the franchise's first championship since 1975. There aren't official odds on it, but there's zero chance Thursday's festivities are subdued by comparison after the Warriors secured revenge against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, putting 3-1 to bed for good.
For fans in Oakland and those traveling far and wide to get there, the challenge is to one-up Cleveland's celebration last year.
Where: Downtown Oakland, California
When: Thursday, June 15 beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
Watch: ESPN nationwide and NBC Bay Area locally
Live Stream: Mercury News on YouTube
The early bird will get the proverbial worm when it comes to Thursday's parade. The expected million-plus descending upon the city will clog public transit and streets for as far as the eye can see.
For those aiming to go or perhaps avoid it, ABC7 provided the official route:
ABC7 News @abc7newsbayarea
Here's a look at the #Warriors championship parade route for this Thursday in #Oakland. Details here: https://t.co/Ah7iosWV8V #DubNation https://t.co/NjbXYFQN1J2017-6-13 05:51:05
It's going to be a crowded, fun time along the route, though city officials continue to stress the importance of preparing for a normal June day. According to the Mercury News' Matthias Gafni, the forecast calls for a high of 77 degrees and sunny proceedings.
Getting to the route itself is a tad tricky. No matter the choice of transportation, city officials continue to warn about new records and getting out as early as possible.
"First, know that BART is going to be crowded like you've never seen it before. If you're not going to the celebration and will be taking BART to work or elsewhere, we suggest leaving home early—maybe even before 7 a.m," the BART agency said, according to Gafni.
There are few things worth getting up that early for—but for Warriors fans, this qualifies.
After the first Finals win of his career during his debut with the Warriors, Finals MVP Kevin Durant gave fans a taste of what's to come right after Game 5:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Kevin Durant got out of his car to celebrate with Warriors fans (via @anthonyVslater, @NBA) https://t.co/7UBCAcGCyQ2017-6-13 16:41:21
Indeed, Durant seems hyped about Thursday's event. Here he is on the team's Instagram account talking about it:
The city itself isn't looking too shabby ahead of the big day, either:
Noteworthy storylines will unfold as the Warriors work their way through Oakland.
One is the fact Durant and the Warriors won't just have the Larry O'Brien trophy to raise. Thanks to WWE's Triple H, a championship belt will likely make an appearance:
Triple H @TripleH
The @NBA Championship is back in the Bay...and @KDTrey5 is going to have his hands full with all this gold. #MVP Congratulations @Warriors! https://t.co/d4AQZLJls12017-6-13 16:35:54
So will the legendary Warriors toaster. For those out of the loop, Klay Thompson signed a fan's toaster and the team proceeded to go on a run propelled by the hype of the device normally regulated to more mundane tasks.
The fan, Ronnie Reyes, says Thompson invited him and the toaster to the parade:
Ronnie • GSWToaster @R_Dollaz
Still can't believe it. @KlayThompson legit invited me to the parade last night. All because of a toaster. #DubNation2017-6-13 18:20:07
As much as Thursday is a celebration of Golden State's second title in three years, it also falls under the category of a forward-looking celebration. As it stands, the current core seems downright unstoppable.
Said current core has made it clear it wants to stay together, too, even if Durant has a player option this summer and Stephen Curry is a free agent.
"It's a special team, a special group," Durant said, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. "It's a business of basketball, obviously, so nothing is for sure, but here, I feel like we can work that out and everybody will have a chance to do this again next year. It's easier said than done, obviously, but that's the goal."
For now, the players will tune out the approaching noise surrounding the roster and celebrate the accomplishments with a city that has waited patiently for a string of success like this.