clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Warriors vs. Clippers: Saying goodbye to Oracle Arena

The Warriors will play their final game ever in Oracle Arena tonight against the Clippers.

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors-Watch Party Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The first memory of Oracle Arena the Oakland Coliseum Arena that I clearly remember was a overtime win against the Seattle SuperSonics over 30 years ago.

I’ve already written about before — and the fact that I have little, if any, recollection of it — so I won’t bore you again, but the relevant point today is that this arena is full of three decades’ worth of memories.

After that first game I remember, dad took my brother and I to numerous other games when the Warriors were still just on the edge of mediocrity and not yet fully immersed in it. But as a young boy whose father was often in and out of town for business trips, many of those moments I have nothing to do with my father — they’re all father-son memories.

There was the time Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls were in town and dad could only get two tickets ... so he bought a scalped ticket in the upper section and gave my brother and I the seats in the lower bowl to experience Jordan as close as possible. The time when my dad got season tickets that he split with co-workers and had my brother and I pick which games we’d go to with him — after he passed, my mom discovered that he had saved those ticket stubs and reminisced about how excited he was to have the opportunity to take us to those games.

My dad was the stereotypical military man — I rarely saw that man excited. Just the thought of him being excited is enough to reduce me to a boyhood mess of emotions. And I was almost as emotional when I was able to describe to him what it was like to actually be in Oracle Arena for the first NBA Finals victory in 2015 while he was in hospice during the last few months of his life — there’s no way he comprehended any of that, but one of the strangest things about a disease like Alzheimer’s is how aggressively you cling to the idea that he might still be present somewhere in there. And I just couldn’t wait to share that with him, even if he only caught a few words.

Anyway, tonight marks the 1936th game that the Warriors will play at this arena and, as Daniel mentioned earlier, a few of us from Golden State of Mind will be present and bringing all of our memories or emotions with it.

Plenty of other people will be writing about Oracle Arena and doing so far more eloquently — the incomparable Adam Lauridsen already has. But what amazes me is how much emotion can be attached to a building that merely housed a team to play basketball. As torturous as being a Warriors fan has been at times, I’m glad my dad created those memories with me.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind