Still don’t believe what you just saw, do you? That’s right —a real, live Warriors championship parade in your lifetime.
Players smiled and waved to an estimated half-million fans who held signs and perched themselves on trees. Ex-Athletics ballboy MC Hammer rode a float that was on fire (purposely). Draymond Green’s buddy and Oakland’s own Marshawn Lynch was atop a team bus and actually said words (accidentally?). Jet skiers skied and Lake Merritt never looked bluer or better.
And if you listened hard enough on Friday, you could hear Bill King shout “Holy Toledo!” up there . . .
JOE STEALS SHOW: Fiery, passionate team co-owner Joe Lacob led the celebration in exclamation points. The same fiery, passionate Joe Lacob who made big promises and was practically booed out of Oracle Arena not that long ago.
“You know, they say life is about experiences,” Lacob said while his eyes teared up. “And I’m not sure many people can say that they’ve been booed by 20,000 people — and cheered by a million people all in a period of three years! That’s an experience.”
Not even a heckler who shouted “Keep us in Oakland!” could stop him now.
“Four years, seven months and one day from the first day we had a game at the Coliseum with this ownership group, we won a championship!”
Lacob just started to get warmed up . . .
“Our biggest parter out here are you guys. Our fans are our greatest asset! You have been fan-tastic! Give yourself a great hand of applause, because you deserve it! You are the greatest fans in the world! Other people say it, but you are!”
Now Lacob was close to full cardiac arrest . . .
“Guys, this . . . was . . . no . . . accident! Nothing about this was an accident. And it will not be an accident when we do it again!”
And who in the Bay Area can possibly disagree with him now?
COLOR OF MONEY: Lacob referred to Green as “Money” and Green said “We’re gonna keep winning championships, and that’s no lie,” which sure sounded like a hand-shake deal to Balls.
DREAM WEAVER: Raiders owner Mark Davis told Balls that he would like nothing better than for his team, the Athletics and the Warriors to dominate their sports and do it in Oakland.
“That would be a dream come true for a lot of people,” Davis said. “I can’t speak for the other teams, but the Raiders would definitely love to stay in Oakland.”
Davis sounded sincere, anyway.
“Joe and Peter have done a phenomenal job to put that franchise together, and it has been fun to watch,” Davis went on to say. “The Warriors and the Giants have set the standard, and now we have to finish the triple crown with a football championship.”
KERR COMES CLEAN: Coach Steve Kerr bragged that he taught Green how to talk trash and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson how to shoot the ball and pretty much took credit for everything that happened in the historic season.
“In nine months, I did all that,” Kerr said. “So, thanks.”
Oh, so now the truth about Mr. Humble comes out.
U CAN’T TOUCH THIS: Curry smooched the NBA championship trophy, hugged it, sprinted with it to the locker room, held it while teammates sprayed champagne in his face, slept with it on the plane, had it in his hands at the rally, danced with it on stage then announced that he would be known as Stephen Larry O’Brien Curry next season.
LIVES OF RILEY: Little Riley Curry got more face time on stage, but there was no sign of Larry Riley, the general manager who drafted her father the first round, traded Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut then handed Curry the keys to the franchise.
GO FIGURE: Andre Iguodala received seven NBA Finals MVP votes, somebody named LeBron James had four and Curry didn’t get a single one.
So who voted —the City of Chicago or the State of Florida?
HAIR APPARENTS: Bogut showed up without his playoff beard, and Green and Festus Ezeli could shave his minutes next.
LATE TO THE PARTY: Finally, Rick Barry and Al Attles got to be part of a victory parade that their 1975 championship team missed out on decades ago.
“Forget a trip to the White House,” Barry told Balls. “We weren’t even on the cover of Sports Illustrated after we won the championship. What we accomplished was totally overlooked nationally.”
After the Warriors swept the Washington Bullets in the Finals, Barry recalled, their flight was diverted to Oakland because of the large crowd at San Francisco International Airport. From there they headed to the airport across the bay, where they celebrated with a few thousand fans, some of whom mobbed their cabs.
THE LIST: Best moves in the Lacob-Peter Guber era:
Signed Curry to four-year, $44-million contract
Traded Monta Ellis for Bogut
Drafted Klay Thompson
Planned return to San Francisco
Promoted general manager Bob Myers
Hired Jerry West