On the party bus with Draymond Green

SAN FRANCISCO – Somewhere between Second and Third street, a small crisis arose on Draymond Green and Juan Toscano-Anderson’s championship parade bus.

The speaker broke.

You’d hardly know it was broken – the roar of the crowd and ambient music down Market street created its own soundtrack to the Warriors’ celebratory parade. But Green’s close friends made sure to get a new speaker up to the front of the double-decker bus as soon as possible without interrupting the party.

I was on that bus, on the roof, squished between the 2022 NBA champions’ family and friends. So, naturally, I was on the assembly line to pass a bunch of wires up front to get “Big Rings” by Drake and Future playing again.

The bumping bass was just the beginning of a sensory overload atop that bus. Champagne sprayed into the crowd came back onto us, the sun was beating down, and all eyes and phones from the throngs of Warriors fans packed onto the street were pointed our way.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 20: Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) does his Superman pose while riding a bus with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy during the Championship Parade on Market Street in San Francisco, Calif., On Monday , June 20, 2022. The Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics to win their fourth NBA Championship in eight years. (Jose Carlos Fajardo / Bay Area News Group)

Not only were we inundated with sights and smells, but we had to keep our head on a swivel. Fans would throw their shoes and hats up to the bus – one hat hit me square in the face – perhaps in hopes that a player would sign it and toss it back. The fans weren’t holding back, and neither were the players.

It was the Warriors’ fourth championship in eight years, but judging from the party you might have thought it was the first.

“Nothing compares to the first one,” Mary Babers, Green’s mother, said on the bus. “But this one is sweet.”

Green and Toscano-Anderson had the Larry O’Brien trophy first on their bus. Confetti flying, they came together at the front of the bus to show it off.

Somewhere between Third and Fourth street, Green went missing.

After fleeing the bus to dance with the Jabbawokeez, slap hands with the fans and hold up a “Most Valuable Podcaster” sign with his podcast art on it, Green disappeared into the streets. Turns out, he was a little hungry. He and his mom went back up the block to the Ghirardelli chocolate shop for some strawberry and mint ice cream.

Green, drenched in champagne, stormed back onto Market Street to a crowd of people. The barricades blocking the road weren’t doing much good. Fans had hopped the fence and started swarming him and Toscano-Anderson as they danced among the people.

Then Green hopped up on a riser for a live TV hit with rapper Mistah FAB and comedian Blake Anderson, when Green made his appearance brief and typically controversial.

“This is live TV, right?” he asked. Assured that it was, he let loose with two words. The first one should not have gone over the airwaves, by law. The second one was “them.”

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