On the surface, the first game of the NBA Finals should have been a disappointment for Warriors fans.
After keeping the Celtics at bay for most of three quarters, the Dubs blew a double-digit lead in the final minutes of the game, to lose to Boston 120-108 — a turnaround so swift it left fans of both teams in disbelief.
But something else happened at the Chase Center on Thursday night: according to die hard fans who’ve been season ticket holders for decades, the roar of Oracle is back. It’s a sound so deafening that the Warriors’ old venue across the Bay in Oakland was known throughout the basketball world as “Roaracle.”
“It’s just as loud as Oracle right now,” said a fan named Patrick from Pleasanton in the moments before tip-off. “It’s beautiful!”
“It’s so loud that I’m already losing my voice,” said Sandy Uejo, a Warriors fan for decades, just before halftime.
The Warriors’ first trip to the Finals since their move to San Francisco was also marked with excitement for the return of Klay Thompson, who was sidelined by injuries for two full seasons.
“In 2019, we were there the day Klay got hurt,” said a man in a Steph Curry jersey who arrived early to grab food and drinks. “That and everything leading up to today makes it so much more exciting.”
With him, a woman wearing Golden Gate Bridge earrings and a hat from the Warriors’ last championship confessed that the team’s return to the brink of NBA glory is an emotional roller coaster.
“Exciting to be back, but yes, very nervous,” she said. “Literally having our full team on day one of the finals — who could ask for better than that?”
The Warriors and Celtics will face each other again at the Chase Center on Sunday, June 5, before the series heads to Boston for Games 3 and 4.