The last time the Golden State Warriors were in the finals Love Will Keep us Together by Captain and Tenille was on the radio and everyone was doing the Hustle.
There are many Bay Area residents who don't even recall or know that the Golden State Warriors were NBA World Champions but Alvin Attles, Jr. does. He had just had his 9th birthday when his father guided the Warriors to their only Bay Area championship and now the Warriors have won their first championship in 40-years.
"This is the most Warriors talk I have heard in all of my life," said Attles who vividly remembers the parade given in his fathers honor in his hometown state of New Jersey. "I've never seen the Warriors flags on cars until now, and when I was headed to Southern California the week the Warriors clinched when a woman in the airport offered to pay me $100 cash for the shirt on my back."
This NBA Finals showed Oakland in a different light on the national and worldwide stage breaking away from the place often viewed as the 'scary' place on the other side of the bridge.
With its favorable weather compared Oakland is a place where you can not only find a parking space but take a wonderful hike in addition to a great dessert at Bakesale Betty's or shopping at an exclusive boutique.
The historial Tribune tower, once home of the Oakland Tribune stands tall in downtown Oakland baring a Warriors flag.
With nearly a half of a million residents Oakland has the busiest port cin Northern California. It developed a reputation filled with violence in the mid 1980's but now there is a new wave of tech working Oaklanders living in the area with San Franciscians making the trek across the bridge to buy up property.
The Warriors fan is the salt of the earth just like an Oaklander and for those living in Oakland, the Golden State Warriors have always been supported from the lean days of Donyelle Marshall to Antwan Jamison and 3-time slam dunk winner Jason Richardson Warriors fans still filled the then Oakland Coliseum.
Oakland has always been diverse and has a history of political affliations and parties such as the Black Panthers. NBA royalty came from Oakland such as Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Gary Payton. Music transcends from MC Hammer to Tone, Tony, Toni and Sheila E and Academy Award Winner Tom Hanks.
Attend a Warriors game and you will get a melting pot of all races, creeds, ages and genders representing the diversity that is the Bay Area.
In the Bay Area there is a definite fan allegiance, either you're a Raiders or 49ers fan, a Giants or A's fan but the Golden State Warriors is the team of the people in the Bay Area uniting those of all genders, ages and races from as far as Sacramento to San Jose. (below)
A reporter from Argentina said that they loved Oakland and that the BART system allowed them to save their money on a rental car and they could travel to and from their motel to the Warriors games. As many are learning, a viisit to Oakland is filled with beautiful fun people like this duo attending Game 5 of the NBA Finals. (below)
Unfortunately for Oakland in the past when games have been broadcasted the town has gotten It watered fown with constant shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and Fishermans Wharf, however accoring tohe imagery they have gotten the commitment from broadcasting companies that businesses and images of Oakland will be prominently featured and they have.
"With the Raiders with young team and QB, sports teams filling staidum. The future is bright if we can retain the teams there's no stopping where we can go," said Visit Oaklands CEO and President Alison Best who states that the imagery often gets lost in the message of 'The Golden State.'
Oakland has two teams with rich history like the Oakland Raiders, A's and Warriors. Kerri Hallin brings her newest addition to the Oakland A's game. Photo courtest of Kerri Hallin
"The people that live in Oakland are so proud to host people from all over the world. They love the weather. We still have work to do, that's where tourism can help that's where the imagery comes in. We just need to tell the story better."
The NBA Finals in Oakland has been an amazing platform for the city showing the nation various beauty shots such as Jack London Square and Lake Merritt but there are many other staples in the community such as the Mormon Temple, Chabot Space Center and Knowland Park/Zoo that people can visit and take tours.
The month of June is a great one for the cities revenue which will also be hosting a fight this Saturday between Oakland native Andre Ward versus England's Paul Smith. Hotels were nearly sold out for the NBA Finals and are nearly sold out for the fight as well.
"Sold out is a great problem to have," said Best who said events like The NBA Finals and the fight draws people from all over the country and it's great since big events are usually in San Francisco but the issue is Oakland still needs more hotels.
"We'll give them (S.F.) a few overflow hotel rooms," Best says with a laugh.
Congrats Oakland. You're no longer the red-headed stepchild to San Francisco Oakland is becoming the 'other' beautiful city by the bay.
For more information on Oakland go to: www.visitoakland.org.