We already have the Golden State Warriors’ win over Harrison Barnes, Seth Curry and the Dallas Mavericks covered with this recap. So this post is one person’s take on the GSoM fan experience.
You have to leave work early to make it to Oracle for a 6pm shootaround. Even earlier if you want to make it to happy hour for a little pregame preparations with some of the finer members of the Warriors’ fan community. But, thankfully, I and two of my closest friends made it happen and, thus, found ourselves sitting at the bar ordering snacks and drinks on a cold, sunny Friday afternoon.
“Is this seat taken?”
It’s a familiar exchange at any bar. “Sorry, man, they are actually taken.”
No worries. The guy orders a beer and leans against the bar, further down by the entrance. A minute later, my phone buzzes. It’s Nate Parham on the Slack chat: Duby, is that you?
And so it began ...
From there, we walked down to the BART (poor Nate didn’t get get his tickets in time to get the shootaround so we left him behind to hold down the GSoM party).
There’s a certain rhythm to attending Warriors’ games, and for many thousands of people a portion of that beat involves BART. Plug the card in, ride the train, walk up through the vendors. You KNOW you don’t need a bacon-wrapped hot dog ... but damn. They sure smell nice! Same goes for the cheap Warriors’ hat.
We, three, exchanged wry glances. “Maybe on the way out,” we said in unison.
Those bacon wrapped hot dogs ... pretty much temptation incarnate. You really, really shouldn’t get one. But maybe on the way out?
So, across the walkway and around the A’s stadiumwe go. This is where the one and only breakdown of the night occurred. My fellow mods, Dean and Kim, plopped themselves into the wrong part of the line and didn’t get into Oracle in time for the shootaround. You see, everyone coming off BART piles up right at the most immediate entrances. If there are ever giveaways, or if you needed to go to the shootaround (for example), don’t stand at the back of a line for an over-crowded door. What you need to do is walk around the exterior of the building and go into the North or South entrance.
And that’s what we did — South entrance. Got in and walked right up to the Warriors’ representative. There was a group of people there, but it’s not like I’m walking around going, “I AM DUBY!” So we just quietly shuffled down the stairs. Although, I did manage to meet one of Sami Higgins’ friends on the way down the stairs.
Shootaround was amazing!! Three rows from the action. My phone is now full of videos and pictures of Steph Curry warming up (sorry for vertical framing — it looks better on my phone, okay?!).
During our time down there, it was mostly Steph working out — shooting a bunch of basic jumpers, but working on his shot off the dribble (apparently he knows his percentages this year). It was pretty cool seeing Steph greet his brother and sister. I used the image that Andrew Flohr took as the head image for this story because it is significantly better than what I got. Check out his Instagram — Floknows — because he’s our credentialed writer and, therefore, gets to bring a fancy camera.
Well, folks, I have to be honest. It was a hard march up to the upper deck of Oracle after being so close. Thankfully, after trudging up countless stairs and one escalator, we arrived. The Warriors printed us all up shirts for GSoM night. So our first stop was the table. Side note: We really should do name tags next year!
So, rocking our double-decker shirts now, we found our way to our seats.
The game was typical Warriors’ ball these days, meaning we absolutely demolished them in the first half and then watched as they limped across the finish line. Barnes was good, which was really nice to see. It was actually my preferred outcome. Barnes played great, and the Warriors won.
It was almost a blessing when we finally paraded down to the line-up with two minutes left in the game. Our ticket rep, Anthony, was there and gifted me with a very nice embossed Warriors’ folio. I’m supposed to archive my tickets in there but who does something like that? It’s currently propped up in my living room — empty, but appreciated.
No free-throw contest this time. Instead, everyone got one free-throw — one chance to make it or miss it. On the one hand, bummer we didn’t get the full contest. On the other hand, I really appreciate the finality of this. One shot: make it or not.
I am sad to report that I missed, yet again. My quest to hit a free-throw in Oracle continues, and my opportunities are running out real quick.
This guy? He definitely hit his.
A Warriors’ game is a rare treat for me these days. Due to that well-known combination of dad lifestyle and cost of attendance, my ability to go to Warriors’ games has taken a serious hit over the past few years. So I take careful consideration of games that I can attend.
Mrs. Dubs and I went to the Pacers’ game where Klay Thompson went for 60 points and became the first player in NBA history to score more than 50 in less than 30 minutes since implementation of the shot clock. That was a magical night. It was the tenth anniversary of when we met and we did the same thing: Zachary’s Pizza and a Warriors’ game.
And then I also went to GSoM Night.
Thank you for making both of these games equally amazing for me.
I wish I met more of you. We will definitely do name tags next year. Please share your GSoM stories below, if you are lucky enough to have them. And, if not, don’t worry — we’ll try and do this again next year. One of the last (if not THE last season at Oracle).
We hope to see you there.