OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — By almost any standard, Oracle Arena is now a bit of an antique. It opened in 1966, enjoyed a tremendous run with Rick Barry, Al Attles and Jamaal Wilkes, but after the 70’s, things got a little tougher for Warriors fans.
“When they weren’t that great, and they were practically giving away tickets,” said Jose Meza, a Warriors fan who remembers the days when the team struggled to win games, but still drew impassioned fans.
The arena’s basketball legacy is something Warriors head coach Steve Kerr experienced, both as a coach and a player.
“Even when the Warriors weren’t any good, to come in here and feel the energy in this building,” Kerr said during an afternoon press conference.” You could tell that the fans loved the game, that this was a basketball hotbed.”
FULL NBA FINALS COVERAGE: Golden State Warriors on CBS SF
“We’d go you go to the game, just for the enjoyment of seeing the team try,” said Bill, a Warriors fan walking at Lake Merritt.
This is very much the arena where Warriors fans paid their dues, many seasons over, until suddenly, those teams started to compete again.
Among the building’s greatest memories, there was the Baron Davis dunk on Andrei Kirilenko. “I was there,” recalled Warriors fan Vernon Hall. “When he did that, the arena just erupted. I jumped out of my seat, we all couldn’t believe it, it was a beautiful moment at Oracle Arena.”
For Bill, it was the spirit that came out of that run that launched the teams greater successes. “That ‘We Believe’ slogan, right? That was big for this community. They’ve been good ever since.”
Not just good; the team’s run at Oracle would effectively conclude with an NBA dynasty of undetermined duration. Warriors fans can truly say they saw it all in this arena–and it was loud.
“It was outstanding,” said arena security guard and fan Maceo Williams. “It was so loud, you’d have to get earplugs.”