Jack Baer | Yahoo Sports
The Golden State Warriors will say goodbye to Oracle Arena and the city of Oakland after this season, with a plan to open the new Chase Center in San Francisco next year.
That move is a very mixed bag for many fans, and an outright negative for the ones in Oakland, but the Warriors had plenty in store to honor their soon-to-be-old arena during their final home game of the regular season.
Warriors reveal Oakland banner
The team’s biggest gesture toward its time in Oakland was a banner reading “Oakland, California: 47 seasons” that will hang in the new Chase Center, commemorating the Warriors’ home for nearly the last five decades.
“Obviously this is the ceremonial final game at Oracle. We’ve got a few more to come,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said to the crowd. “Behind me, we’ve got a banner signifying 47 years here at Oracle Arena, and this banner will hang in the new Chase Center as well. So thank you to everybody, we love you and we’ll see you in the playoffs.”
Additionally, past Warriors favorites like Sleepy Floyd, Rick Barry, Adonal Foyle and Mo Speights were on hand and honored at halftime.
It’s a bittersweet moment for a team that was selling tickets even during the dark times between 1995 and 2012 in which the team the made the playoffs just once.
Once the team began winning titles in 2014-15, Oracle Arena morphed into a house of horrors for opponents, with the team losing a grand total of nine home games over the course of three years.
One of the most memorable teams during the Warriors’ 47 years in Oracle was the 2006-07 “We Believe” team, which pulled of one of the NBA’s greatest upsets against the 67-win Dallas Mavericks that featured league MVP Dirk Nowitzki.
The Warriors took a special step to remember that team…
Warriors surprise fans by wearing ‘We Believe’ throwback uniforms and they loved it
Andy Nesbitt | USA TODAY SPORTS
The Golden State Warriors were playing in their final regular season home game at classic Oracle Arena in Oakland and they broke out some classic uniforms to celebrate the night.
Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Co. wore the “We Believe” uniforms that the franchise last wore in the 2009-10 season.
And it must have worked because the Warriors blew out the Clippers to lock up the No. 1 seed in the West.
The phrase was adopted by the 2006-07 Warriors team as they went on a run in the final months of the season and made the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. They then stunned Dirk Nowitzki and the top-seed Mavericks in six games and had Oracle Arena rocking in the process.
Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis, and the rest of the guys on that team must have loved seeing these jerseys Sunday night.
Because they looked pretty great. Making things even better, the team waited until the last second to surprise fans with them.
Steph Curry explains decision to honor Monta Ellis before Oracle finale
Josh Schrock | NBC SPORTS
Steph Curry made a lot of Warriors fans smile Sunday before he had even stepped on the court at Oracle Arena.
Curry has been honoring past Warriors greats by wearing their jerseys to games, and he honored a player who is near and dear to Warriors fans’ hearts Sunday: former teammate Monta Ellis.
Curry and Ellis played together for two and a half seasons before Ellis was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the 2011-12 season. The two guards had some history, with Ellis saying he “can’t play with” Curry when the Warriors drafted the sharpshooting guard with the No. 7 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
After the Warriors thumped the Los Angeles Clippers in the regular-season finale at Oracle Arena, Curry explained why he chose this game to honor his former backcourt mate.
“Obviously, a lot of history that Monta was able to be a part of with the ‘We Believe’ Warriors era, and when I got here my rookie year, he was that guy,” Curry told reporters after the game. “And I think for me, in terms of representing him on the last game, it meant a lot because we were in that backcourt together.
“When he was traded it was a tough time in terms of the transition of the organization and things like that. I wanted to pay, obviously, honor to him in terms of his story, coming out of high school and doing what he was able to do. He was an Oakland fan, Warrior fan. Beloved guy. So it was only right to have him as the last night of the regular season.”
Well said, Steph.
Ellis, for his part, showed Curry love on Instagram for choosing to honor him Sunday.
Monta Ellis sends love to Steph Curry for rocking jersey to Oracle finale
Josh Schrock | NBC SPORTS
Steph Curry has been honoring Warriors legends by wearing their jerseys to the final games at Oracle Arena, and on Sunday he gave a nod to a player who holds a special place in hearts of Warriors fans — Monta Ellis.
Curry and Ellis played together for two and half seasons, with Ellis famously saying that he and Curry “can’t play together” after the Warriors drafted Curry with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Regardless of their history, Curry arrived at Oracle Arena rocking an Ellis throwback jersey prior to the final regular-season game in Oakland.
Warriors fans weren’t the only ones who appreciated the gesture, as Ellis sent Curry some love on Instagram after the arrival.
Ellis played six and a half seasons for the Warriors before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the 2011-12 season. During his Warriors tenure, Ellis averaged 19.6 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field.