My favorite photo I took last night.As a Warriors fan since the first time I picked up a basketball as a little kid, I have always loved basketball. It was my first passion in sports and the Warriors were my team. Attending Game 1 of the NBA Finals — a dream I thought might never happen — happened. I knew that this was a game I had to attend. Because I live in LA now, making it out to one game was a task in itself and the timing just worked out perfectly. For me, attending this first game was what I wanted. And it lived up to it.
This was reportedly the most expensive Game 1 ticket in NBA history. It was. I paid a lot of money to get my ticket. But I was willing to sacrifice about a week’s worth of a paycheck to be at the game. My friends and I hopped on BART at around 3:30pm to get to Oracle. It was a nice ride to the arena without the worry of parking or anything.
The buzz was exciting just outside the arena. People were taking pictures with the NBA Finals backdrop and there was just this excitement. They opened the doors up at 4pm and I decided to go in with my friends. Because I got in real early, it wasn’t really that packed early. The atmosphere, the electricity was ready to burst. I was so excited to just be in the environment and celebrate the Warriors and their magical journey.
The player introductions were exciting. It finally hit me then that this was real. I was finally attending the NBA Finals. The crowd was loud just as we would expect from this home crowd. The fans would rise up at every possible occasion.
I was nervous watching the game. LeBron James was so in the zone and it was hard for the Dubs to get on a roll early on. The early deficit got me feel uneasy. But knowing this Warriors team, no lead it too big to overcome and this team was way more talented, way deeper than the Cavs.
E-40 eased my thoughts with his halftime performance. I went dummy with it.
The fourth quarter, however, was super nervous time. The game went back and forth and I lost my mind when Stephen Curry’s layup was blocked. I wanted the Warriors to win it so bad and the instant they lost that chance to take the lead, I was fearful that James would take over and win it. But he didn’t. Andre Iguodala forced him to take a fadeaway jumper and Iman Shumpert’s putback was off. Overtime! I was relieved. I knew that once overtime came, the Warriors had all the momentum. Every time the Warriors got a steal and made their free throws, I yelled so loud. This was louder than any time I cheered at the We Believe games. I nearly lost my voice. I was so hyped to see the Warriors defense shut down the Cavs. Amazing!
They did just that with a stellar defensive performance. And the celebration was deafening. Check it out.
I was on Cloud 9. I was overjoyed. This game was everything for me. All I paid to attend this game was worth every penny. In fact, it was priceless. To see this team grind it out like this despite not having their A-game was exactly what embodied my love for this team.
Attending this was an event. It was an event that people will be talking about. I know sometime down the line I will be telling my kids that I attended this game. I was there to witness this.
And it was only appropriate that I was able to do it with the first team I fell in love with. The fans were great. The atmosphere was phenomenal. It was perfect. The dream came true for me.
And the party outside was sweet!