I just got back to Los Angeles from a whirlwind trip to the Bay Area. If you didn’t follow along on our Instagram, my boyfriend and I flew up north to go to game 2 of the NBA finals. It was a belated birthday gift. Holy f*ck, was it worth the wait.
The outcome of the game was a real bummer. I wanted to write a piece about how the rest of the finals will go, but I don’t hate myself. So I’m not going to. Instead, I’ll share my experience at an NBA finals game with you, because that’s more fun.
If you’ve read any of my pieces before, you already know that I abhor the Golden State Warriors and I do not hide it. I knew I was heading into enemy territory and I was ready. In fact, I couldn’t wait.
Wake Up, San Francisco!
I worked until after 2 AM Saturday night and had to wake up at 7 for our flight. Normally, I would have been an absolute troll that nightmares are made of, but I was too excited. I don’t have any Cavaliers gear, so I packed very neutral clothes. My boyfriend has a shirt that says “JR For President” that I was planning on wearing, but after game 1 I’m pretty sure people would think I was a Warriors fan if I wore that.
The flight to SF is a quick one (I still fell asleep, obviously) and we were there in a (very long) blink of an eye! We took BART (the BART? I don’t know) to our hotel and started getting ready. So much Warriors gear everywhere. So much cringing. Our hotel had a Warriors flag waving outside it. I asked my boyfriend if we could stay somewhere else. He said no.
I had to represent the Cavs in some way, so I, as a makeup enthusiast and artist, took the opportunity to use my face.
It was time to do the responsible thing and create a layer of carbs and fat in my stomach for all of the beers I was going to consume. We went to an adorable little diner and ate banana pancakes, a pulled pork scramble, all the potatoes, and many mimosas. Because we classy.
Behind Enemy Lines
One of my boyfriend’s friends works for the Warriors (and helped us out so much, thank you v much, Jonny) so we met up with him and his insanely cute dog. San Francisco blessed us with gorgeous weather, so we enjoyed a carafe of watermelon sangria outside, again, because we classy.
We drove to Oakland and once I saw Oracle Arena, the reality that I was about to go to an NBA finals game set in. The energy was incredible, yes, even though it was a Warriors home game. I had been to two playoff games before, both when the Brooklyn Nets were in the running (remember when?) – one of these games was against the Miami Heat when LeBron was still on the team.
As we walked into the arena, a woman selling tie-dye blue and yellow shirts asked if I wanted one. I responded, “No thank you, I don’t want them to win.” I think, at this moment, Jonny realized that he may have made a mistake in helping us get tickets and bringing me to the game. I warned him. We got some $15 beers and headed to our seats. I took in my surroundings to see which fans I would likely troll.
Then, Steph Curry hit nine 3’s and the Warriors won.
Just kidding, but y’all saw that game, right? It was amazing to see some of the greatest players in the league play. The way the crowd erupted when Steph or Klay hit a 3 was awesome. Even though I kind of hated it, it was such an awesome experience. Being able to see LeBron James play in the NBA finals in his 15th year in the league is something I won’t soon forget. While he didn’t score 51 points like he did in game 1 (kudos, Warriors defense), he still scored 29 points, had 9 rebounds and 13 assists. He should have had like, 25 assists if his teammates could hit wide open 3’s.
Three Things I Learned
Here are three things I learned after attending the game.
1. Warriors fans need to learn the rules of basketball.
My favorite chant (just kidding, it’s the worst), “Refs, you suck” was utilized at least three times. Do Warriors fans not realize that the refs were a huge reason they won the first game of the series? Do they know that Kevin Durant gets away with carrying the ball every other possession? Do they realize how many more technical fouls Draymond Green should have?
My favorite thing I heard from a fan behind me was, “LeBron basically gets away with murder and we get called for everything.” Murder! REALLY?!
2. Salt-N-Pepa are no longer great live.
If you knew me in college, you know that I love Salt-n-Pepa. A drink or two in and “Shoop” would be playing loudly and I would be reciting every lyric with gusto. “Push It” is still a staple on my workout playlist. But Salt-N-Pepa’s performance seemed disorganized and lackluster. I still f*cking loved it.
3. LeBron James is leaving Cleveland next season.
There’s just no way he’s going to stay in Cleveland after this series. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that he’s the greatest player in the league. He’s 33 years old in his 15th season, and playing one of his greatest seasons of basketball. This Cavaliers team isn’t going anywhere after this year and LeBron will be a free agent. Where will he go? Philly? Houston? Los Angeles? I don’t know, but it ain’t gonna be Ohio.