The Golden State Warriors landed in Oakland nearly an hour after their scheduled arrival time of 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Welcomed by droves of joyous fans lining the street outside of the private air strip next to the Oakland International Airport, the team looked to be dealing with the lingering effects of an all-night championship celebration.
When asked if anyone had slept the night before, Warriors Guard Shaun Livingston replied:
For as tired as the team looked and sounded, energy and life was supplemented by the hundreds of fans, who embraced the organization like a platoon back coming back from a hard-fought war.
Stepping off the plane first with the coveted Larry O’Brian Trophy, in his arms was Stephen Curry who literally danced to his own beat at the top of the stairs to exit the charter flight.
As each player exited the plane, a new wave of cheers rose from the crowd seemingly louder than the last.
Livingston spoke to the passion of the fans:
“Man, it’s Dub Nation right here. Best fans in the league by far.”
The highlight of the arrival, perhaps, was JaVale McGee and shirtless Nick Young who sprayed magnum-sized bottles of champagne as they walked off of the plane. Clearly $400,000 worth of Moet from the night before wasn’t enough for the pair.
For as excited as Young and McGee were, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expressed a sense of relief instead when addressing the media.
With his voice clearly hoarse from the festivities of the night prior, Kerr told SFBay just how difficult this journey was compared the seven other championships won over the course of his illustrious playing and coaching career:
“Probably the most difficult. It’s been a long year. Long, difficult season but it’s definitely all worth it in the end. Just an amazing finish.”
After exiting the facility, the Warriors took to the street outside where hundreds more die-hard blue and gold-clad fanatics awaited their presence.
Once again, McGee took the opportunity to show his support of the fans, this time popping out of the roof of his Maybach.
— Javale McGee (@JaValeMcGee) June 10, 2018
As festive as the environment was in Oakland Saturday afternoon, the celebration is only getting started. The Warriors third championship parade is set to take the streets of Oakland by storm Tuesday.
SFBay caught up with Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown who expressed his excitement for the parade before his departure:
“This is truly amazing, I can’t wait for Tuesday.”