The Golden State Warriors partied until wee hours of the morning at a Cleveland steakhouse immediately after winning their first title in 40 years. Nearly 1,000,000 deliriously happy fans greeted the newly-minted champions near Oakland’s Lake Merritt two days later, continuing a wild celebration that seemed like it would never end.
Training camp for the 2015-16 season is just around the corner. Golden State is not only bringing back every consistent contributor from a historically dominant team this season, but stands to be even better than last year given internal improvement and minor offseason additions, too. But winning consecutive championships is immensely difficult; it’s always harder to be the hunted than the hunter.
That’s why the Warriors can’t rest on their laurels and expect to duplicate that incredible success of 2014-15. The Western Conference is better than ever, and the Cleveland Cavaliers figure to be more fortunate from a health perspective if everyone’s dream Finals rematch comes to fruition in June. Golden State needs to be ready and hungry this season, or risk making its trip to the top of the mountain a one-time adventure.
Don’t be surprised, however, if the ‘Dubs come out sluggish out of the gate. Championship hangovers are notorious in the NBA, and this team – if you’re to believe center Andrew Bogut, at least – could still be feeling the ill-effects gleaned from “the craziest party you’ll ever see.”
In an interview with GQ’s Adam Baidawi, the Aussie big man shed further light on his team’s celebratory post-title antics – which were apparently even wilder than they seemed on the surface.
AB: …after the parade back in Oakland, we took a 3 o’clock charter flight to Vegas. Players only.
GQ: Neat. Who footed the bill?
AB: David Lee. He was nice to do that. We could bring plus two or three – I had a couple of Aussie mates tag along. It was the craziest party you’ll ever see.
Oh, so that is why the organization gave David Lee such a classy tribute after it amicably parted ways with the former All-Star. He sparked what, considering details of Golden State’s festivities to which we were already privy, has to be the best championship party ever.
Steve Kerr, for instance, goaded Harrison Barnes into his first ever shot of alcohol at a Cleveland Morton’s Steakhouse just after the game. “Champions start with Tequila,” the first-year coach said. The Warriors threw caution to the wind several hours – and perhaps many more drinks – later, performing their banished victory celebration on the team flight back to Oakland.
After a two-day partying hiatus, Golden State was back at it during the aforementioned parade in downtown Oakland. And while Draymond Green’s slurred speech was supposedly gleaned from hydration as the result of blinding East Bay sun, this bottle-popping fun suggests otherwise.
After that, though, is when the fun apparently really, really began. Just imagine the absolute chaos that took place on that team plane and during the ensuing trip to Las Vegas. Crazy.
If the Warriors start the season slow, basically, we’ll have a good idea why that’s the case. Given Bogut’s appraisal of their personal championship parade, however, it seems like the price of a middling start might be worth all that summer fun.