Monday, May 13, 2019

Me and Oracle Arena

Elle and I went with Laurin Herr and his wife Trish to see the first playoff game this postseason.  The Warriors faced the Los Angeles Clippers. We got to see Stephen Curry go for 38 points and an even more amazing 15 rebounds. So far that's been their only really dominant playoff win. My sense is that the Clippers, though the 8th seed, are actually much tougher than their seeding. And the Rockets are always trouble, But even with KD sidelined, if the Warriors play like their game 6 win in Houston, they'll be okay. If not........If this is indeed a threepeat the road this year seems stacked with obstacles. So here's hoping......

One of the reasons I went was I have memories from Oracle before it was Oracle. I wanted to say good-bye. In the sixties it was simply the Oakland Coliseum.Next season is the move across the Bay. And the Warriors were the San Francisco Warriors then. Who played a few games in Oakland and generally drew better in the East Bay than in the City. I believe my first game there was in Spring of 1967. The Warriors had an exciting young team with Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond that was supposed to contend for years. That season they went to the finals and lost in 6 games to Wilt Chamberlain and the Philadelphia 76ers. The game I saw was against Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics. Thurmond was out with an injury so I'm sure they were heavy underdogs. But Rick dropped 50 points on the Celts. 18 of 36 from the floor. No 3 point shot at that time 14 of 14 from the foul line. All shot two hand underhanded. And when the game was pretty much decided Rick took it to Russell and dunked over him ....twice.

And pretty much Warrior karma until recently...when you have something good, you let it get away. With the ingredients to not only contend but create a dynasty(sound familiar?) ownership let Rick go to the ABA. He later came back and led the Warriors to a title in 1975. But what could have been with him and Nate young barely touching their prime......

And the following season I went with a high school friend to another Oakland game. The Warriors were still winning, but without Rick not much fun. My friend and I wanted to see Earl Monroe in his rookie season. He had averaged over 40 points a game for Winston-Salem his senior year He scored 18 points. Not bad. But he executed a spin move(his signature) and respin to get to the hoop and somehow managed to float it in between Clyde Lee and Nate Thurmond, two rim protectors and basically 7 footers. Still resonates in my memories.

I remember going to a few games with my daughter in the mid-eighties. And I remember going with a dojo group in the late eighties run TMC days and saw Mitch Richmond drop 40 on someone. Of course he was traded soon after.

The dojo bought me tickets in 2015 for a playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies. I got to see Steph awarded his first MVP. Then the recent win against the Clippers.

I've never caught a Raiders game. I have seen a couple of A's games over the years. So the arena for me is basically Warriors. Ironic that they when I first saw them were the San Francisco Warriors playing in Oakland. And next year they'll be the Golden State Warriors playing in San Francisco. Go Warriors!!!!!!!!!!