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Nick Friedell of ESPN.com noted the Warriors will move to San Francisco’s Chase Center after 47 years in Oakland’s Oracle Arena following the 2018-19 campaign, and Thompson said playing in front of the fans in Oakland is a significant motivating factor as Golden State chases a three-peat:
“We want to do it for the fans of Oakland. Been so loyal to us for 40-plus years, whatever it’s been since they’ve been in Oracle. So that definitely helps with this season. It’s leaving a big legacy behind in Oakland because people might not get to see us as much in San Francisco. And just enjoying this every night.
“We have such a special group. We play in front of such amazing fans. And every game is so much fun because it’s such an amazing atmosphere. It’s not like we’re playing in front of six or seven thousand people a night. It’s sold out. It doesn’t matter who we play, preseason, Finals. It’s easy to come to work when you’ve got a fan base like we have.”
History also figures to be a motivating factor since the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant was the only team to accomplish the feat since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls did so twice in the 1990s.
This Warriors squad is primed to win another title in front of the fans in Oakland after adding DeMarcus Cousins to a group already consisting of Thompson, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Cousins is still recovering from an Achilles injury, but the All-Star big man is a luxury for a team coming off four straight trips to the NBA Finals.
The fans who consistently pack Oracle Arena in Oakland may be losing their team to the other side of the Bay Area, but they at least got to see one of the best teams in NBA history on the way out.