SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors march across San Francisco on Monday, claiming their fourth league title in eight years by defeating the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
This is the first time the Warriors have celebrated the championship in the city where the Chase Center is located, as the previous three championship parades passed through Oakland.
At 6:30 a.m., almost five hours before the scheduled start time for the parade, both sides of Market Street were already filled with people in camping chairs and lying on blankets. Shouts of “Waaaaaarriors” echoed along the walls of the concrete corridor. Car horns blared in celebration.
Francisco Vazquez and Carlos Morales, both from San José, set out early in the morning.
“We got up at 3 a.m.,” Vasquez said. “My wife is still angry.”
Ivan Chavarria, 32, of Walnut Creek, wore a Klay Thompson No. 11 jersey as he stood on a BART train bound for San Francisco.
He said he grew up in Oakland, went through a lot of hard times as a kid and was hit with four titles in eight years.
“I never thought I’d see us be so good,” he said. “It’s stunning.”
He said he wore the Thompson jersey as inspiration on his journey.
“I tore my (left) anterior cruciate ligament in my knee while playing football,” he said. “I watched a lot of his videos about his comeback and listened to what he had to say about it. It inspired me to come back.”
Like Chavarria, Patty Quea was one of the many blue-and-gold-clad fans who hopped the BART train to Walnut Creek after she arrived from Dixon.
“It’s not that we haven’t done this before,” Queah said. But this is the sweetest.
Speaking of sweets, Mia Barton and her son Andrew from San Bruno displayed their sign on Market Street for the occasion.
“Holy cannoli,” it read, referring to a joke by Clay Thompson during a live interview after the Warriors sealed the title on Thursday night.
Danielle Martinez of Santa Cruz woke up at 3:30 this morning to take her front row seat on Market Street. Martinez posed for a photo with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr during the team’s 2018 championship parade and held a sign asking for another photo with Kerr to commemorate the latter title.
At 4th Street and Market, San Francisco residents Roy and Sandra Sioux took front row seats with their daughter Penny two hours before the scheduled start. Penny So made a sign that said “Golden Blood”.
“This is the seventh parade for us since 2010, if we count the giants,” said Sandra Siu. “It’s become a family affair.”
The family said they were partial to all Warriors, but like most, they pointed to Stephen Curry and said they were amazed at the heights the Warriors have reached.
“I hear about Joe Montana all the time, but I’m 36 so I’m not old enough to remember him well,” Roy Siu said. “This is our Joe, and we are very lucky that he spent his entire career under our supervision.”
Fans from across the Bay Area and Northern California poured into the city on Monday morning, but some traveled even further distances to celebrate. Britney Ronolo, 31, booked tickets from Hawaii to San Francisco during Game 6 on Thursday and flew in on Saturday.
“I will remember today on my 6-hour flight back,” said Ronolo.
The parade began at Market and Main Streets and was expected to run about 1.4 miles to Market and Eighth Streets, where it should end around 2:00 pm. NBA route map as well as our complete guide to the parade.)
There would be no rally at the end of the parade, but the Warriors set up a stage in front of the Ferry building along the Embarcadero, where Curry and several other players addressed the assembled crowd in an interview with broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald.
“It wasn’t just the work we did last week, the work we did a month ago,” Curry told fans. “It was a job we started as soon as we changed buildings and trying to keep the DNA of the championship was everything.”
— Ray Chavez (@rayinaction) June 20, 2022
Hundreds of thousands of fans were expected to come, and BART is running a dozen additional trains. The transport agency expects the busiest times to be from 9:00 a.m. to the start of the parade, and then from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Around 8:30 a.m., BART trains heading north to San Francisco were crowded and queuing up one after another at stations, causing short delays.
Here’s an attempt at slow motion of the first quarter mile @warriors The championship parade route is about 2 hours and people are already walking at least 10 times in depth. Energy is high@mercnews @EastBayTimes
unfinished story from @KO_Crowley https://t.co/NPtiguSGLL pic.twitter.com/VgePeVJdcs
— Robert Salonga (@robertsalonga) June 20, 2022
This story will be updated frequently before, during and after the parade. Follow the latest information.