SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors are parading through San Francisco Monday after clinching their fourth championship in eight years with a victory over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
It’s the first time the Warriors are celebrating a championship in the city, home to the Chase Center, as the previous three championship parades snaked through Oakland.
At 6:30 a.m., nearly five hours before the scheduled start time of the parade, both sides of Market Street were already filled with people in camping chairs and laying on blankets. Shouts of “Waaaaaarriors” echoed off the sides of the concrete corridor. Car horns were blasting in celebration.
Francisco Vasquez and Carlos Morales, both of San Jose, made the early-morning trip.
“We got up at 3 this morning,” Vasquez said. “My wife is still mad.”
Ivan Chavarria, 32, of Walnut Creek, wore a Klay Thompson No. 11 jersey as he stood on a BART train headed into San Francisco.
He said he grew up in Oakland, saw a lot of lean times as a youngster, and marveled at four titles in eight years.
“I never thought I’d see us be this good,” he said. “It’s mind-boggling.”
He said he wore Thompson’s jersey as inspiration in his own journey.
“I tore my own (left) ACL in my knee playing soccer,” he said. “I watched a lot of his videos about his comeback and listened to what he would say about it. It inspired me to get back.”
Like Chavarria, Patty Kwea was one of many fans clad in blue and gold hopping on a BART train in Walnut Creek after her drive in from Dixon.
“It’s not like we haven’t done this before,” said Kwea. “But this is the sweetest.”
Speaking of sweets, Mia Barton and her son Andrew of San Bruno showed off their sign on Market Street just for the occasion.
“Holy cannoli,” it read in reference to Klay Thompson’s quip during a live interview after the Warriors sealed the title Thursday night.
Danielle Martinez of Santa Cruz woke up at 3:30 this morning to get her front-row spot along Market Street. Martinez took a photograph with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr during the team’s 2018 championship parade and held a sign asking for another picture with Kerr to commemorate the latest title.
At 4th and Market, San Francisco residents Roy and Sandra Siu had front-row seats with their daughter, Penny, two hours before the scheduled start. Penny Sou made a sign that said, “Gold Blooded.”
“This is the seventh parade for us since 2010 if you count the Giants,” Sandra Siu said. “It’s become like a regular family thing.”
The family said that they are partial to every Warrior but like most, they pointed to Stephen Curry and said they are awe-stricken by the heights the Warriors have reached.
“I hear all the time about Joe Montana, but I’m 36 so not old enough to remember him real well,” Roy Siu said. “This is our Joe, and we’ve been really lucky to see him play his whole career under our watch.”
Fans from around the Bay Area and Northern California were pouring into the city on Monday morning, but some traveled even greater distances to celebrate. Britni Ronolo, 31, booked tickets from Hawaii to San Francisco during Game 6 on Thursday and flew in on Saturday.
“I will be reminiscent of today on my 6-hour flight back,” Ronolo said.
The parade began at Market and Main streets and was expected to run for about 1.4 miles to Market and Eighth streets, where it is anticipated to end around 2 p.m. (Here’s the NBA’s route map and our full parade guide.)
There will be no rally at the end of the parade, but the Warriors did have a stage set up in front of the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero where Curry and several other players addressed the assembled crowd in interviews with TV broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald.
“It wasn’t just the work we put in last week, the work we put in a month ago,” Curry told fans. “It was the work we started once we changed buildings and trying to carry that championship DNA was everything.”
Double-decker buses for the @warriors players who will be riding during the #WarriorsChampionshipParade in San Francisco. Stay tuned for our coverage @mercnews @EastBayTimes pic.twitter.com/p5cj3FpDmz
— Ray Chavez (@rayinaction) June 20, 2022
Hundreds of thousands of fans were expected to show up and BART is operating a dozen extra trains. The transit agency expects the busiest times to last from 9 a.m. until the parade starts and then from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
At around 8:30 a.m., BART trains headed north into San Francisco were packed and queuing behind one another at stations, causing brief delays.
Here’s an attempted time lapse video of the first quarter mile of the @warriors championship parade route about 2 hours out and people already going at least 10 deep. The energy is high@mercnews @EastBayTimes
In-progress story from @KO_Crowley https://t.co/NPtiguSGLL pic.twitter.com/VgePeVJdcs
— Robert Salonga (@robertsalonga) June 20, 2022
This story will be updated frequently before, during and after the parade. Check back for the latest information.
Contributed by local news sources