Oakland celebrates Warriors with festive parade

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors twirled T-shirts over their heads and waved to the crowd from atop double-decker buses as blue and yellow confetti rained down on them during a parade Thursday to celebrate the team's latest championship.

Stephen Curry held the Larry O'Brien trophy, his wife and kids beside him. He got off his bus and hopped and shouted as he gave high fives to the crowd. NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant rode on a different bus with his mom.

"I was expecting more," coach Steve Kerr told KTVU-TV, joking about the size of the crowd. 

Kerr said he was proud that the team "came back from the heartbreak of last year." 

The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals last year and lost the title to the Cleveland Cavaliers after posting the best regular-season record in NBA history.

The Warriors went 15-1 in this year's postseason, with sweeps in the first three rounds before beating LeBron James and the Cavaliers in five games in the Finals. 


"We've overcome a lot of doubts," said Tulio Zelada, 28, a San Francisco resident who attended the parade. He described himself as a Warriors fan since elementary school. 

The parade wound through downtown Oakland, where fans in Warriors shirts and hats cheered their favorite players. 

Oakland recently learned it's losing one of its other beloved teams, the Raiders, to Las Vegas, and the city is still reeling from a police scandal and mourning a deadly warehouse fire. The Warriors are also headed to San Francisco, where they broke ground this year on a new arena slated to open in 2019.

But Thursday was a rare chance to celebrate.

"Oakland represents all of us," Kerr told KTVU. "You've got people of every race, color, religion, creed, whatever, and everybody's just coming together and loving this team."

The impending loss of the Warriors to San Francisco was on the minds of some fans who came out to cheer, though many threw the word "dynasty" around and expected one more championship parade in Oakland next year.

"It's a bittersweet moment today," said Carolina Gallegos, 32, an Oakland resident. 

Sheldon Glasgow, who has been living in Oakland for 10 years, said he wasn't angry the Warriors were moving. Glasgow held posters of Durant.

"It's still in the Bay," he said. "No matter where they go, it's still in the Golden State."