Goodbyes are never easy. And the Golden State Warriors losing their final game to the Toronto Raptors Thursday night at Oracle Arena — along with their NBA title — is no exception.
Dub Nation Gives Final Roar at Oracle Despite Game 6 Loss
Fans filled the arena on Oakland’s turf one last time to celebrate the occasion, and for those who couldn’t justify the record-breaking ticket prices, Bay Area watch parties spilled into the streets for Game 6.
“I’ve been coming to this stadium right here since the early '80s, and just to be able to experience the history of being here, it’s big, it’s epic,” said J-Diggs, a Bay Area rapper. “I’ll be able to tell my grandkids the Warriors once played in Oakland.”
Golden State has called Oracle Arena home on and off since its opening in 1966, making it the oldest arena in the NBA.
“The Warriors haven't given up," said Beverly Green, while watching the game at The Athletic Club Oakland. "I haven't given up on them and they haven't given up on themselves."
Green and her friend, Cheryl Wade, said the last game at Oracle is heartbreaking and the team's move to San Francisco’s Chase Center won’t draw the same crowd. Wade said she moved to Oakland in 1984 when tickets were cheap enough for her to attend games every season — a far cry from what fans fork out today.
"It really is heartbreaking because Oakland is so representative of who they are," Green said. "It's like we're diverse, we're powerful and we're unified."
But the arena’s five-year streak of hosting the finals has come to an end.
During that time, the team took home the championship title in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Warriors fans left the arena disappointed that this year won’t be included on the list of victories, as they narrowly lost 114-110 to the Raptors.
Some blame the series loss on Kevin Durant rupturing his Achilles tendon in Game 5 after returning from a May 8 calf injury. Others say it was Klay Thompson exiting the court in the third quarter with what turned out to be a torn ACL in his left knee. And some call out Steph Curry’s missed 3-pointer with seconds remaining in the game. Nonetheless, many fans remain hopeful that this won’t be the end of the team’s historic run atop the NBA's Western Conference.
"They’re saying it’s too hard to maintain because they get tired, they have burnout. But they have smart ownership and they’re gonna keep going,” said David Seaborgy, who rushed to Oracle Arena during the third quarter to celebrate an anticipated win. “I don’t think this dynasty is over."
It may be the end of "Roaracle" Arena, but it's not the end for Dub Nation, as the team will move to the Chase Center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay next season.
“Just the sound of 'WARRIORS' and the unbelievable volume level that this crowd has," said Bobby Colomby, who flew in from Los Angeles. "I’ve never experienced -- I mean I’ve gone to a lot of basketball games -- and I’ve never heard anything like this.”
Even as fans filed out of Oracle Arena in defeat, they echoed the halls chanting “WAAARRIORS" one last time.
Monica Samayoa contributed to this report.