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Five former Arizona Wildcats took part in Golden State’s NBA championship parade, including Bay area sports radio personality Tom Tolbert.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr, NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala and assistant coaches Bruce Fraser and Luke Walton played a major part in the festivities. The eventful day culminated in the Warriors celebrating their title at a rally attended by countless spectators near downtown Oakland.
For Kerr, it was his sixth NBA title celebration, his first as a head coach. It was Walton’s third after celebrating two titles as player with the Lakers.
“They’re all great but this was just off the charts good,” Kerr told Oakland’s NBC-TV affiliate. “I mean, it captured the Bay area. We’re going through Oakland and people are going crazy. The signs are hilarious. It’s such a unique city and of course the whole Bay is here from all over the place.
“I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure.”
When Kerr took the mic at the rally, he spoke in the same humorous tone as after one of his three titles with Chicago and Michael Jordan. It pertained to his game-winning shot against Utah in 1997 when Jordan passed him the ball in the final seconds.
“When we called timeout with 25 seconds to go,” Kerr said at the Bulls’ 1997 rally, “we went into the huddle and (coach) Phil (Jackson) told Michael, ‘Michael, I want you to take the last shot.’
“Michael said, ‘You know Phil I don’t feel really comfortable in those situations so maybe we ought to go in another direction. … Scottie Pippen said … ‘Why don’t we go to Steve?’ So I thought to myself, ‘Well, I guess I have to bail Michael out again.’ I’ve been carrying him all year so what’s with one more time.”
In today’s Warriors rally, Kerr quipped about when he took over the team last year: “Not much talent, very little shooting, not much versatility, the defense was suspect. More than anything their shaky character, I mean look at these guys.”
He drew laughs again. Some things never change.
Click “next” on the slideshow to find out what else went on today in Oakland.
Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
Andre Iguodala: "We about to go hella HAM. We about to get hella turnt."