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Photos: Fans celebrate as Warriors return to SF for victory parade

Damian Lee and Steph Curry left the bus to cheer with fans during the Warriors parade on Monday, June 20, 2022, in San Francisco, Calif. Paul Kuroda for The Standard.

It was a lively scene Monday in San Francisco as the Golden State Warriors celebrated their NBA Finals with a parade down Market Street. It was the team’s first championship since moving from the Oakland Arena to the Chase Center in 2019—and their fourth in the last seven years. The Warriors clinched the title after defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Thursday

Alex Shelton was one of thousands of fans who packed the sidewalks to catch a glimpse of the champs as they rode by on double decker buses. “I think [Stephen] Curry nailed it when he said this one hits different,” said Shelton, a lifelong Dubs fan. “It was just an incredible run with the first three out of five finals in a row followed by a couple awful seasons. It’s great to see them rally back and especially with this young core of guys learning from our fantastic veterans.” 

Another fan named Steven Anean agreed “This championship kind of feels like validation,” Anean said. “It’s like a victory lap. We did it before and we’re still here.”

For Carlos Herrera, who came from Oakland to watch the parade, the win resonated with him on a deeply personal level. “Juan Toscano Anderson is the first Mexican American player to win a championship and I think that’s really cool as a Mexican American,” Herrera said. “It’s a great image for the city and the team.” 

Confetti cannons lined the streets, firing as each bus rolled by. Several players, including Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson, exited their respective buses for closer interactions with jubilant fans. While roaming the crowd, Thompson—sporting shades and a prop boat captain’s hat—appeared to briefly lose one of his championship rings on the ground, before bending over, picking it up and kissing it. The fans nearby cheered in delight.

But it was Stephen Curry—named Finals MVP after his team was presented their championship trophy Thursday night—who drew the loudest roars from the crowd as he hoisted the Bill Russell Trophy in the air. 

Monday’s parade was the first marking a local pro sports championship win since the Giants’ World Series victory in 2014—a fact not lost on Carlos Rodriguez: “It means a lot to the city,” Rodriguez said. “This is our first championship in San Francisco and the whole city can celebrate.”