...and so it begins! ✨ Game 2 and some @Raptors 🦖 have been waiting to get into tonight’s watch party 🎉 since 12:30 this morning! #wethenorth #DubNation #NBAFinals @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/Ozi4AG3966— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) June 2, 2019
George Barron, a super fan clad in a Raptor's blazer and donning a wooden dinosaur necklace rallies the crowd around him and exclaims, "Its all across the country and across the united states of America! People are excited except for two states want our raptors to win! how do you like that!?"
Many Raptors supporters in hopes of securing a spot inside Jurassic Park to watch the game outside.
One fan arrived at the stadium just after midnight. "I don't have tickets, but I have a lot of love and support from all the people so that's my ticket right there!," beams the man, decked out in a red jersey and holding a home team sign.
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Others proclaimed their love for "the north" in creative ways. A pair of young men painted their torsos completely red and joked they did not plan on washing it off. Even though they had to attend school the next day. At a nearby shopping center, someone dressed in a red raptor inflatable costume pretend-terrorized patrons and roared.
Despite the enthusiasm, the few Warriors fans who dotted the landscape around the arena agree: those rooting for the Raptors are still respectful of their on-the-court US rivals.
Cam Keefe has been a Warriors season ticket holder since 1999 and has been to all the away games when the Dubs made the finals.
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"I've been heckled but it's been the nicest heckling I've ever experienced. They'll say "boo," but also say enjoy and have fun. It's something different and I really appreciate it." He smiles, showing off his head-to-toe Warriors throwback gear.
Jodran Rudman echoes the sentiment. "You can tell this is new for them, and that they have that first year vibe we had when we first went to the championship."
No matter where the Warriors fans come from, including the little Australian boys who flew 20 hours with their fathers to show their support, there is still plenty of hope the blue and yellow will pull off their 4th Championship win.
"It's game one, the energy is just crazy in Toronto, things'll settle down today and we're going to pull this one off I'm sure!," says Carlos Meula who too has been to all the Warriors championship away games the past several years.