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The Oracle Experience: What WarriorsGround is Like at Warriors vs Nuggets, 2013 NBA Playoffs

Only about 20,000 of us in the Bay Area are privileged enough to be at Oracle during a Warriors playoff game. Here's what it was like, and from the annals of Roaracle.

Oracle Arena celebrates a Game 3 win.
Oracle Arena celebrates a Game 3 win.

Once again I'm here to report, belatedly due to my regular job, on "The Oracle Experience". I've written before on how the energy of a regular season game at Oracle is like no other. A playoff game? Ridiculous.

Behind the scenes, the media room first of all, was reconfigured with additional rows of tables. There was even a separate wi-fi channel setup. The Golden State Warriors PR crew did a stupendous job in anticipating the extra coverage of the playoffs.


The press conference room was filled with extra chairs and there were reporters from not only Denver and the Bay Area, but also Sacramento. The rounds of questions were elongated for both Mark Jackson and, outside the visiting locker room, George Karl.

The interview with Karl was especially hard to hear with the extra-large media crowd, as he's very soft-spoken...

With the longer press conferences, that made it harder to cover the locker rooms (which is why I have zero video from the locker rooms), as well as shoot-around, where that particular night before Game 3 there was a lot of speculation surrounding the status of Stephen Curry, who had a thick ankle brace on while doing some drills with the Warriors' trainer. I saw a few tweets from the Warriors beatwriters about it, so I hustled out to get this photo of it...


That prompted this rather informative comment on Instagram:

That ankle brace is the best thing for his sprain. Allows the forward movement and the TPU on medial n lateral sides protect any rolling of ankle that Steph has been prone to get. Mobility takes a hit but it keeps him protected and on the court.

Gotta love social media!

Once inside the arena, it was clear the night would be special. As everybody probably already knows, the Warriors had every seat wrapped with a free "We Are Warriors" t-shirt (one of four with DEFEND, UNITE, PROTECT, or BATTLE on the back), so almost every fan was decked in yellow and random chants of "Let's Go Warriors" would break out.

Here's the national anthem (just the last part) as sung by 8-year-old Nayah Damasen. Is she a future Mariah Carey or what?!...

I'm sure she'll tell you she was feeding off the energy of the crowd, too. What confidence! Btw, Nayah will be back for Game 6 tomorrow night.

And then here are the player introductions (with the occasional "Let's Go Warriors" chant breaking out!)...

This is my friend Nate's up-close courtside experience during intros (you can feel the crowd when Steph's introduced, and then Nate gives us a panoramic shot!)...

And here's the great thing about Warriors fans. They don't just have one chant ("Let's Go Warriors, clap-clap, clap-clap-clap"), they also have "Waaaaaaaarrrrrioooooorrrrrsssss"...

It was hard to anticipate when a random "Warriors" chant would start, so that was the best I could do.

After the game ended (Andre Iguodala barely missed that halfcourt shot), the confetti fell and they played, "Celebration" by local band Kool & The Gang, reminiscent of the 1981 playoff run by the "Billy-Ball" era of the Oakland Athletics.

The post-game press conference was a little bit different. Instead of just Coach Jackson and then to the locker rooms, certain people took turns to go into the conference room. After Jackson was Karl. Then for the Warriors, Jarrett Jack followed, with Curry -- both looking dapper -- after him. No Nuggets were there. Here's the entire Q&A with Steph. You can see how much more crowded it is (WAIT FOR THE SECOND QUESTION!)...

So anyways, nice little inside joke Curry had there with Warriors PR on when the question about the ankle would be brought up.

We are really lucky to have the loudest arena and best fans in the NBA. I mean, that's really what it's all about, right? So if you haven't gotten a chance to go to Oracle, I hope that gives a smidgen of an idea of what the energy and atmosphere's like.

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