Warriors parade: On the 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.

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 F.A.B 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.”

Then Green sprinted a few blocks up, back to the bus and hopped on. Only it wasn’t his bus.

Green went up to the second deck and saw his teammates, Andre Iguodala and Jonathan Kuminga. Eventually he hopped off with a confused look on his face — ‘Where’s our bus?’ — and jogged back to his own.

Later, he’d try another live TV hit, joined by mom, with former Warrior Festus Ezeli with a clearer message:

“Winners win. No one understands that. Y’all try to quantify it. Y’all try to make it about points. But winners win. I said it all, shut up. That’s what I said. Shut up,” he said. “We don’t want to hear it no more. Shut up! Straight like that… We drinking Lobos and telling y’all to shut up.”

Somewhere between Seventh and Eighth street, Toscano-Anderson saw a hat he liked in the crowd. A black and silver sombrero. So Toscano-Anderson hopped the barricade, waded into the crowd and emerged with a gift, the sombrero on his head. A new addition to the party bus.

That wasn’t Toscano-Anderson’s first foray into the crowd. The second Mexican-American to win an NBA championship (Mark Aguirre, 1989) was savoring every bit of the celebration. As the bus rolled at about one-mile per hour down the street, dozens of Mexican flags popped up from the crowd. Toscano-Anderson, who is half Mexican and played for their national team, acknowledged each one he saw with a finger point.

Fans congregated on one corner and chanted “Mexico” when the bus passed. One time, Toscano-Anderson made sure to get a bottle of tequila for one fan holding a Mexican flag over the barricade.

All afternoon, Green and Toscano-Anderson were spraying liter bottles of Moet & Chandon champagne on the crowd to cool them off.

Green’s older kids, DJ and Olive, had a more age-appropriate cool-down. Super soakers.

With help from Green’s wife, Hazel, the two Green kids filled their super soakers with water and sprayed the crowd. Olive danced for them, too.

The party kept going once the bus sped up and turned off the parade route back to Chase Center. But no one wanted to leave.

The two teammates posed together for photos, and maybe to soak in the moment. Once they stepped off that bus, this fairytale season would be over. Onto the next.

Contributed by local news sources

Next Post

Company refused GoFundMe to make up for 69 cents a gallon mistake, fired employee says

John Szczecina said the last week has been a nightmare for him after accidentally charging 69 cents a gallon for gas at a station in California.The now-former store manager at a Chevron in Rancho Cordova said the error boiled down to a simple misplacement of the decimal point. “Premium was […]