Warriors players, Oakland residents excited for parade, rally

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The Golden State Warriors are back in the Bay Area as NBA champions for the first time in 40 years. With more than 100 team employees in yellow and blue shirts cheering them outside a private terminal, the Dubs were welcomed back to Oakland with the Larry O'Brien Trophy in hand. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Golden State Warriors are back in the Bay Area and loving it. The Dubs returned victorious after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 to claim their first NBA title in 40 years.

League MVP Steph Curry carried the NBA championship trophy off the team's plane on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland, flanked by his teammates. He spoke to reporters about the incredible plane ride.

"A party," he said. "I think it's like a mix though, cause guys are still sleepy from last night, not getting any sleep. But we're just still kind of on an adrenaline rush and excited to win a championship."

Teammate Draymond Green added, "Cleveland, their fans brought it. But we still have the best fans in the NBA. So to be back home is amazing."

Warriors employees shared the moment with the team and even got the change to take a selfie or two with Andre Iguadala's series MVP trophy.

Earlier Wednesday, Coach Steve Kerr received a call from President Barack Obama to congratulate the team on winning the championship. The president singled out Curry and Iguodala and invited the team to the White House.

Curry also said he can't wait for the big parade in Oakland. Preparations are well underway for the team's victory parade and rally. The celebration is not only for the fans and the team, but it's also about enhancing Oakland's reputation as a great city.

The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. on Friday. The route will take the team from Broadway and 11th streets through Uptown Oakland to Lake Merritt, ending with a rally at the Kaiser Convention Center. Fans can line up for the rally as early as 5 a.m. at Lakeshore and 12th Street.

PHOTOS: Warriors return to Oakland as NBA champs

"We are excited to be hosting the victory parade and rally this Friday morning," said Mayor Libby Schaaf.

Hundreds of barricades were dropped off Wednesday morning. Some will block off traffic along Lake Merritt while the rest will keep the thousands of fans at bay.

The parking restrictions begin Thursday at 8 p.m. and will go through Friday at 6 p.m.

The mayor has great hopes for the event.

"We expect all of Oakland and the whole Bay Area to come down to the shores of Lake Merritt and help celebrate this incredible team," she said.

The mayor says she is putting the finishing touches on parade plans and is ready to show off Oakland.

"We are still working on all the details but we promise it is going to be beautiful, it's going to be visual and it's going to be full of those famous Oakland fans that raised the roof of that arena," she said.

Fans are also working on their plans for Friday morning. As some waited in line Wednesday morning for championship gear, they were also plotting how to get out of work on Friday and deciding what spot they wanted to stake out along the route.

"I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do," said Oakland resident Hazlyn Fortune. "But, you know, I'd like to participate. It's a great thing for Oakland."

"I am going and I will be dressed in all my Warriors attire, worse than this, it's on. Go Warriors," said Oakland resident Deborah Britt.

The parade will begin right across from the Warriors' practice facility. From Broadway Street the parade will make a right onto Grand Avenue, where local businesses hope fans will stop in.

Josh Rosenberg, manager at Farleys East cafe on Grand Avenue, is looking forward to watching the parade go by and the customers come in.

"I very happy for it, I was very excited about it, and I was also like alright, I'm gonna gear up for it Friday morning and also get some extra people in here, it's gonna be fun," he said. We're hoping for it, anticipating it, and we'll probably have a little extra staff on hand Friday morning and it will be good."

Most of the fans will gather alongside beautiful Lake Merritt to watch the parade go by.

PHOTOS: Golden State Warriors fans 2015

"Oakland always gets a little bad press," said Fortune. "There are a lot of good things happening in Oakland and this one of them. And fans have been really loyal for a long time. They deserve to, you know, enjoy the success of the team."

She went on to say, "People are more focused on the bad news we always get. So, to see something that is beautiful and green and really, Oakland is the Brooklyn of the West Coast. It's time it gets acknowledged for that."

But Brooklyn doesn't have the Kaiser Convention Center. And soon, the Warriors will be there. A few hours after they claimed the NBA championship, crews began setting up the stage where the team will address their fans.

"The Warriors are in town, wake it up Oakland," said Britt. "Alright, go Warriors!"

A lot of people here were toddlers the last time Oakland had an NBA victory parade.

When asked about the specific features of the parade, the mayor said they're still working out the details. But she did promise that it will include some unique Oakland flare.

Of course, we would not be getting ready for a parade right now if the Warriors hadn't played their hearts out in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala each scored 25 points in the deciding Game 6. The Warriors defense stifled the Cavs at times and withstood several of Cleveland's runs in the fourth quarter, beating them 105-97.

After the game, Iguodala was named the series MVP, becoming the first player to win the award without starting every game in the finals.

"It's indescribable," said Iguodala. "You don't know how hard it is. Like, oh my God, we just had a great bunch of guys, teammates, players, coaches, front office is amazing. Our fans, our fans, they deserved it. Our fans, oh my God, it's beautiful."

Curry added, "This is what it is, man. We built that. The cool thing is we keep playing. We're going to enjoy this the whole summer, even the next year, but we want to get another one. Cause this just feels amazing."

It was a historic season. The Dubs finished with 83 wins. That's the third highest single season total in NBA history. And Steve Kerr became only the third head coach to win the NBA title in his first year.

ABC7 has been proud to be your NBA Finals station, and count on us to continue bringing you your best coverage of the parade and rally. We'll have crews stationed all along the route and will be live streaming all the fun on www.abc7news.com. Click here for the parade route details and changes to mass transit. Click here for full coverage on the Warriors.

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Related Topics:
sportsGolden State Warriorsnba finalsNBAbasketballnba playoffseventsbay area eventsparadeOPDpolicelibby schaafCleveland Cavaliersgolden state warriors 2015 paradeOaklandOakland International Airport
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