Warriors Motivated For Final Season At Oracle Arena Ahead Of S.F. Move
One of the Warriors' "biggest sources of motivation" this season is that it is the "last opportunity" to win a championship in Oakland, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. The Warriors following this season will move out of Oracle Arena and into the Chase Center in S.F., and Warriors G Klay Thompson said, "We want to do it for the fans of Oakland. ... It's leaving a big legacy behind in Oakland because people might not get to see us as much in San Francisco. And just enjoying this every night." Friedell noted winning one more championship in Oracle Area, for the "fans in the East Bay, was a major point" for Warriors coach Steve Kerr during training camp. Thompson believes that the team "will feed off that pride throughout the season." Kerr said, "We know this new arena's going to be great for our organization, and it's going to provide an incredible viewing experience for people coming in, but that doesn't make it any easier to leave Oracle." Warriors G Stephen Curry said, "Our fan base has been tremendously supportive. They've given us a feared place to play in from an opponent standpoint in terms of the noise and the energy and the atmosphere. That's something we really relied on" (ESPN.com, 10/14).
NOSTALGIA SETTING IN: In S.F., Ann Killion writes this year is "all about Oakland" for the Warriors, as their the last campaign in the East Bay "will be the story of the season." A "smoky nostalgia will penetrate everything about this coming season" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/16). The AP's Janie McCauley writes the Warriors' move to S.F. "will be a tough one for many." Fans, players, coaches and even execs all "realize how much the Warriors have done for the East Bay in nearly five decades at Oracle," even through the "down years." Warriors F Kevin Durant said, ''It's still tough for us moving out of Oakland. But we're just trying to come out this season and let them know that even though we're moving we're still going to be here in the Bay Area, we're still going to be your team and hopefully people understand that and realize we're still going to be the Bay Area's team no matter if we're playing in San Jose, Oakland or San Francisco'' (AP, 10/16).
REMEMBERING IT ALL: THE ATHLETIC's Phil Taylor noted Oracle Arena, built in '66, is the "oldest venue in the NBA," and as the Warriors begin their final season there, the people "who played there, coached there, broadcasted there or just watched games there are already feeling nostalgic about the place." Though the Warriors’ "current dynasty is unquestionably the high point in the life of the building, it represents just one part of Oracle’s eclectic history." The first ABA game "was played there," and the Grateful Dead have "played more concerts there than any other indoor venue." In the ‘70s, roller derby "drew raucous crowds with the Bay Bombers." The Golden Bay Earthquakes of the Major Indoor Soccer League "bounced balls off the arena walls in the ’80s, and during the inline skating boom of the ’90s, the Oakland Skates played their home matches in the start-up Roller Hockey International League" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/14).
RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR: The Warriors will receive their '17-18 championship rings tonight before they open the season against the Thunder, and Curry said that the ring celebration is "unlike anything the team does all season." He called it the "weirdest night of the year." Curry: "You're celebrating something that happened four months ago and then you got to appreciate the moment, see the banner fall, feel the energy from the crowd, then you got to put the rings back, go warm up for two and a half minutes and then play an NBA basketball game where the other team is just salivating, waiting to get ahold of you after seeing the whole ring ceremony." Thompson said, "It is a different feel obviously. Especially the lead-up and the hype to the game, but I'd rather have a ring night every year than not have one that's for sure" (ESPN.com, 10/15).