Fans rejoice in Oakland after Warriors win: ‘Is this real?’
Fans of the Golden State Warriors rejoiced in Oakland on Tuesday evening after the title-starved team defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers and won its first NBA championship since 1975.
After the Warriors’ 105-97 victory over the Cavaliers, Peter Boyd sprinted out of Halftime Sports Bar in downtown Oakland, pumping both fists in the air.
“Is this real? Is this real?” said Boyd, 40, a fourth-generation Oakland resident who was just months old when the team last won the NBA championship. “I sat through decades of awful garbage. This is for Oakland.”
His brother Casey, 34, took a drag of his cigarette as he took in the victory.
“You got to support Oakland. It’s just love,” the younger Boyd said.
Thousands of fans poured into the streets from crowded bars and restaurants, high-fiving each other as cars honked across downtown in a show of cathartic delight in the Bay Area city. A crowd of several hundred stopped traffic at 14th Street and Broadway, popping champagne bottles.
“It’s our time. It’s wonderful,” said longtime resident Napata Mero, adding that the victory coincided with the city benefiting from an economic upswing and a thriving cultural scene.
The city last won a championship in 1989 when the Oakland Athletics swept the San Francisco Giants in the somber, earthquake-interrupted World Series.
To commemorate the Warriors’ triumph, the 41-year-old owner of DeLauer’s Super News Stand, Fasil Lemma, ordered 2,000 issues of Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle. Before peddling the papers, Lemma marched through the streets with blue-and-gold painted hair.
At one point, fireworks were shot into the sky, and some voiced fears of the celebration turning to a riot. Oakland police and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies were patrolling on motorcycles and standing at the edge of gatherings.
More than a few officers shot selfies with the revelers, and some Oakland Police motorcycles had Warriors flags attached as they whizzed by.
Minutes before the game ended, Oakland police Officer Kevin Tran said no unusual activity had been reported, but police were ready.
“We have officers out in preparation -- for when they win,” Tran said.
Panzar reported from Oakland, Hamilton from Los Angeles.
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