Sam Esfandiari, co-host of the Warriors World show on 95.7 The Game and the Light Years podcast, remembers going to his first Golden State Warriors game at Oracle Arena when he was 9 or 10.
He grew up in the Bay Area, and has been a Warriors fan for decades now. So the fact that his favorite basketball team is on the eve of their final game at Oracle Arena has brought on a rush of emotions for Esfandiari.
“It’s one of those things that’s hitting me, because there’s literally not going to be any games after this at Oracle. There just isn’t,” he said.
“And … I don’t want to say it’s the end of a chapter, but that’s kinda what it feels like, because every time I go to Oracle, it brings back those nostalgic memories from when I was a kid, as a teen. Whether the team was good or not, that was always a spot where I had all these great memories.”
He remembered specifically that the “We Believe” season felt like a championship even though the Warriors got eliminated in the second round of the playoffs that season.
Esfandiari regularly shares his thoughts about the current Warriors team on his radio show and podcast, which he co-hosts with Andy Liu, but he was called to shares his memory of his first Warriors game on Twitter on Tuesday evening.
“It was [Chris] Webber’s rookie (only year). Remember Mr. Keith Jennings getting buckets off the bench on the (to-be champion) [Houston] Rockets,” he wrote on Twitter.
Esfandiari’s decision to share his first experience at a Warriors’ game at Oracle inspired other Warriors fans to do the same.
“I don’t remember if this was the first Warriors game I ever went to, but it was the earliest one I remember. Tom Chambers absolutely smoked GSW and the game was over by the first quarter,” one fan wrote, referring to the Suns beating the Dubs 141-103 in November 1988.
Another fan said they went to their first game when the Warriors faced a young Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. But he was there for another star of the time.
“It was the only time I saw Jordan live. The Warriors actually held him in check, he scored 16 pts. but the Bulls won 98-97. I think the Warriors missed the last shot that would have won it. I didn’t care, I was there for Sleepy [Floyd]!” he wrote.
“My first game at Oracle was Tom Gugliotta’s first home game with the Warriors. Depressing as sh–,” wrote another, referring to the Dubs’ 26-56 season in what ended up being Gugliotta’s only season with the team after he was traded to Golden State from what was then the Washington Bullets.
And finally, another fan, who said his first game was in 1999, said he also saw Jeremy Lin’s first game with the Warriors in 2010. “Oracle went f– nuts when Lin checked in btw haha!!!” he wrote.
Although it wasn’t Esfandiari’s intent to inspire others to share their memories, he said that seeing others do so made him feel a sense of community. “I was getting people sharing memories from way before me … and I was seeing people share stories that are more recent than mine,” he said.
“So it doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 50, people have been going to the arena for 40 years, so there’s multiple generations of people who felt something similar to me. … And it was fun to read people share their first experience at Oracle.”
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/warriors-raptors-NBA-Finals-game-6-Oracle-fans-13970240.php.