OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Nearly a million fans jammed the streets of Oakland Thursday, celebrating the Golden State Warriors second NBA title in the last three years and embracing a team that has captured the heart and soul of the Bay Area.
Many fans braved the pre-dawn darkness to stake a claim to a seat along the parade route or next to Lake Merritt where the team held a victory rally.
Music from Mac Dre and E-40 blared in the streets as fans started lining up hours before the parade started. Vendors hawked Warriors T-shirts, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, tamales and beer.
Once the parade began, the cheers were deafening. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf rode by on her fire-breathing snail car — her preferred mode of transport for special occasions — dancing alongside Oakland icon MC Hammer.
As the double deck buses made their way through the streets, the team’s stars jumped and traded high fives and selfies with the crowd.
Klay Thompson tossed Warriors shirts into the crowd while Draymond Green exchanged hugs and fist pumps as he made his way along the sea of fans lining the streets.
But the largest cheers rocked through the high-rise buildings for NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant and two-time league MVP Steph Curry.
Carrying the NBA Championship trophy, Curry jumped up on a TV truck’s bumper, held the trophy aloft and dabbed to the crowd’s delight.
Tyrone Lee Jones didn’t take any chances, he set up his encampment on the grass at Lake Merritt 18 hours before the start of the celebration.
Oakland officials said they expect 1.5 million people to attend the parade and celebration – that’s 500,000 more than in 2015.
Jones was well aware of the expected surge of people.
“There’s gonna be a lot of people out here, so we wanted to get a good spot,” Jones said.
Sean Scallon also came to cheer on his team.
“I’m a long time Warrior fan,” he said. “This is a moment that will be remembered for life for me and my daughter.”