After spending the last eight-plus months climbing towards the NBA’s mountaintop, the Warriors got to bask in the sunshine at the summit Monday.
They’ve been reveling in their fourth championship in eight years all weekend, but Monday’s parade in San Francisco gave them a setting to specifically do so.
Green was waiting for this moment, four years after the Warriors last hosted a parade like this one.
“I told y’all,‘ Don’t let us win a (expletive) championship and clearly nobody could stop it. I warned y’all, ”he said at a pre-parade event televised by NBC. “So I’m just going to continue to destroy people on Twitter, as I have been.”
The telecast didn’t catch any of Green’s curses in time to keep them off the air. There were many throughout the televised parade, which drew an estimated crowd at more than 800,000.
At the pre-parade event, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry followed Green and Andrew Wiggins on stage.
“Real mature, Draymond,” Thompson said, delivering a light-hearted jab at his foul-mouthed teammate. “This guy has the maturity level of a third-grader.”
The barb drew big laughs from the Warriors players, Green nearly falling out of his seat. Then Thompson turned to Curry, giving him a hard time for the tears he shed at the end of Thursday night’s clinching win in Boston.
“Who cries on a basketball court?” he asked Curry, who replied, “There’s no crying in basketball.”
It wasn’t all busting chops, though.
Green took a moment to genuinely reflect, saying that so much “had to be aligned” for this specific Warriors team to win the title. And surprisingly, he said that the part of winning a title that he enjoys the most is not the chance to talk smack.
“What brings me the most joy in winning the championship, ever since I won my first one, is seeing the guys who win it the first time,” Green said. “In your journey. You always want that feeling back.That first time you do it, you want that feeling bad. And the reality is, you never get it again.
“And the only way to truly get it is to feel it through Andrew Wiggins, is to feel it through Jordan Poole, is to feel it through Otto Porter and Belli [Nemanja Bjelica] and Moses [Moody] and JK [Jonathan Kuminga] and GP [Gary Payton II] and DLee [Damion Lee] “That’s how you get that feeling again.”
After the genuineness came more chances to talk that smack, though. Green capped off his impromptu speech by saying, “I just want to say thank you all and, as always, [expletive] everybody else. ”
Leave it to Steve Kerr, a five-time champ as a player now on his fourth coaching title, to answer the more serious questions.
In an interview just off the stage, Kerr shed a bit of light on assistant coach Kenny Atkinson’s decision to stay with Golden State for next season. Atkinson was all but signed to become the head coach of Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets when he did a stunning about-face Saturday.
Kerr pointed to Atkinson’s two children, as well as the chance to live in Northern California and work for a winning organization.
“I think it’s a really difficult thing to try to take a job in the middle of the Finals without really getting a chance to unwind,” Kerr said. “And I think, over the course of the Finals, he just felt it. He felt like this is not the best time for my family and me to leave. ”
Who would want to leave these Warriors when they look to be having so much fun? Poole got his party started by blasting the crowd with a water gun as soon as he ascended the stage.
But Curry did have another team on his mind: Team USA. Olympic gold is the one major item missing from his resume now that he has his first Finals MVP trophy.
“I’m not good yet’ cause I gotta go play for Coach Kerr in 2024 in Paris, ”Curry said before clarifying that it wasn’t a binding statement to play in the next Summer Olympics.
Owner Joe Lacob sounded as if he expected his team to be defending a three-peat by then.
“We’re ready to come back next year and do it again,” he told the crowd.