Revisiting Thursday night – The night Oracle became more than just an arena
By: Scott Horlbeck
I think that’s the best way to put it.
“Waaaaaaaaaaarriors. Waaaaaaaaaaaarriors. Waaaaaaaaaaaaariors. Waaaaaaaaaaaaariors.”
As the haunting chants echoed through every foot of the Arena, the players sauntered out onto the court for one last goodbye.
Like gracious students at the retirement of their favorite teacher, the players began to clap, radiating emotion with each and every smack.
The circle began to grow, as coaches, trainers and cameras join the mass.
Just before Mark Jackson hands Steph Curry the microphone, David Lee spots Festus Ezeli wandering with uncertainty. Like a youngster at lunch with nowhere to sit, Lee points at Ezeli at invites him to the table.
“We just want to thank you guys for your continuing support all season.”
Curry’s voice quivers as the chants continue to ring out.
“You guys made Oracle Arena a great place to play, the energy, the passion you have for us, it’s unmatched across the league.”
Cameras move closer as they sense the rarity of such a moment.
“Obviously this didn’t end like we wanted it to, but all the hard work, and the foundation that we built this year, we’re going to keep growing, and get back to this level next year.”
The players raise their hands and applaud the sea of yellow still inside the arena.
Then, as if Chuck Lorre had scripted it himself, Curry invites Oracle into their huddle, for one last goodbye.
“When I say three, you say “just us,” as we break it down for the season.”
“One. Two. Three.”
Players embrace as the fans cheer once again, thanking with applause for such an intimate invitation.
The court begins to clear as the enormity of the moment starts to sink in.
Oracle was not just an arena, it was home to a loud and passionate family who gathered twice a week to sit and drink and enjoy each other’s company.
But rather than feel sad that it has all come to and end, we’re cheerful. For the opportunity we had to spend so much time together.
This was not just another night.
It was special.