SAN FRANCISCO – Despite the Warriors’ crushing loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 at Tennessee, there were many happy fans who were just glad to be able to come together and root for their team at a special watch party Wednesday night.
Thousands of Golden State Warriors fans turned out for the watch party outside San Francisco’s Chase Center to cheer on the team as they played the Memphis Grizzlies in Tennessee.
The Warriors’ loss was painful as the team ran up deficits of more than 40 points at times. It wasn’t exactly what fans wanted to see, but many people said they were just excited to be able to gather together.
True-blue fans lined up before the 6:30 pm tip-off, some waiting hours to be first in line for the free watch party.
“I’ve come to all the watch parties, so I always come three hours before, so I can be first in line,” said Cynthia Johnson, a San Francisco fan.
The capacity crowd watched the NBA Playoffs drama play out on the 74-foot-wide screen, as entertainers and the Warriors’ hype-man Franco Finn worked the crowd.
These were no fair weather fans. They spread out blankets and opened up lawn chairs with coats, hats and scarves ready, cheering even as temperatures and the Warriors’ scoring took a dive by half-time.
The free black and gold spirit towels that were handed out at the entrance summed it up well. These fans were not cold-, but gold-blooded.
“I used to come to the games with my dad and my brother back when tickets were probably $ 10. Been a fan all my life,” said Renee Hutchins of San Francisco.
“All I want for my birthday is a Warriors’ win,” said Paula Daniels, a Daly City who had a birthday candle tiara and was celebrating at the event.
Franco Finn, the Warrior’s official hype man joined several performs in costumes or on stilts to get the crowd going.
Children began breaking out moves with a little dancing and some serious free throw shooting.
“We’re pushing to get to the finals, to get the trophy and bring it back so, it’s a beautiful thing to see all these people gather,” said the Warrior’s official DJ, DJ D Sharp.
What made this event so special for many people, was the family friendly feel … even for the youngest fans.
“Go Warriors!” Shouted a little girl in sunglasses. She was with her parents in the kids’ area.
The Warriors offered many activities for children.
There was a balloon artist, fancy face painting in blue and gold colors, and a hair decoration table.
“I’m really excited because I haven’t been to a Warriors game in a while,” said Yasani White, 10, who was getting a unicorn painted on her face.
Other kids dreaming of becoming the next Steph Curry, were able to test their skills with a little free throw practice.
The free event gives many families who might not be able to afford game tickets a chance to still feel the thrill of being part of Dubnation.
“It’s nice to get the community together,” “We’ve been cooped up two years now so it’s nice to see everyone come out for the Warriors,” said one mom who was there with her husband and daughter.
The Warriors will return to the Bay Area for Game 6 on Friday.