In a rare moment of glory, Oakland shined in the national spotlight in a city that usually makes news for crime, corruption, protests and violence.
But Friday, thousands of blue-and-gold-clad fans flooded downtown to see Warriors players, MC Hammer, six floats and, of course, the championship trophy, won after the team bested LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers.
People started lining up as early as 3 a.m., and city officials estimated at least 500,000 fans packed the streets when the parade started about 10 a.m.
Warriors fans and city leaders alike have stood behind their team through the season, and now they are basking in the glory of the team's first NBA title in four decades.
"The success of the Golden State Warriors, who are headquartered and play in Oakland, have provided a golden spotlight on this city. The resilience and tremendous potential of Oakland are emblematic of the Warriors' victory," said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who represents east Oakland and other East Bay cities and has been a Warriors fan since 1976.
The team won 105-97 in the Game 6 clincher Tuesday night.
"We're so proud of the job that the entire city of Oakland did as these great ambassadors for these finals," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Thursday. "Like the Warriors themselves, we put together a great team of businesses, fans and city workers that hosted the finals in world-class style."
The procession of floats will wind through the city, leading to some public transit delays and road closures.
The rally comes in a city that has been plagued by a number of problems. Violent protests over police shootings thrust Oakland into the national spotlight late last year. It been ranked as one of the nation's most dangerous cities for many years, and the police department has been under a 13-year court-mandated police reform drive.
Meanwhile, Oakland officials are fighting to keep the NBA champions from relocating across the San Francisco Bay. The Warriors have purchased land in San Francisco where they plan to build a privately financed arena.Suggest a correction