Whether the Golden State Warriors win or lose, tonight’s Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals marks their final game at Oracle Arena. Opening on November 9, 1966, Oracle Arena has been home to the Warriors and a staple of the Bay Area for decades. At the conclusion of this season, the Warriors will move from Oakland to San Francisco and play the 2019-2020 season and beyond in the brand new Chase Center across the Bay.
With this in mind, let’s take a look back at the top 10 moments in the history of Oracle Arena.
10. Marvin Gaye Returns to Live Performing
On January 4, 1974, legendary Motown singer Marvin Gaye returned to live performance after taking a four-year break following the death of his singing partner, Tammi Terrell. The tour received high critical acclaim, and ultimately led to the release of his live album, Marvin Gaye Live! This album went on to sell millions of copies and peaked at #1 on the R&B album chart for two weeks in 1974.
9. Baron Davis Posterizer
After upsetting the Western Conference No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA Playoffs, the Golden State Warriors faced the Utah Jazz in the semifinals. Down 0-2 in the series, Baron Davis’ ferocious posterizing dunk over the 6’9″Andre Kirilenko solidified a Game 3 win for the Warriors.
It was the highlight of the series and one of the greatest poster dunks in NBA history. Following their Game 3 victory, the Warriors were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in five games, putting an end to their magical season.
8. Oakland Oaks win the ABA Championship
The Oaks were a member of the ABA (American Basketball Association) before merging with the NBA in 1976. The Oaks were led by Hall of Famer Rick Barry, who led the then San Francisco Warriors of the NBA to the finals in 1966-1967. After a contract dispute with the Warriors, Barry sat out the next season and joined the Oaks of the ABA for the 1968-1969 season. The Oaks faced the Indiana Pacers in the 1969 ABA Finals, winning the series 4-1 and knocking the Pacers off in overtime of Game 5, 135-131. Warren Jabali was awarded playoff MVP, averaging 21.5 points and 9.7 rebounds. The Oaks celebrated their victory at home, in what was then known as the Oakland Coliseum.
7. 2000 Slam Dunk Contest
It was the year 2000. The venue was Oracle. Vinsanity was born.
The 2000 Slam Dunk Contest is widely regarded as one of the greatest in league history. It featured an amazing showdown between superstars Vince Carter and Tracey McGrady. Just two years removed from scrapping the NBA Dunk Contest due to lack of interest, the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest brought the event back to life. Carter’s spectacular between-the-legs and 360 dunks (no to mention the eternal elbow hang dunk) awarded him the hardware and created endless highlights that are still watched to this day.
6. Warriors Upset Mavericks (2007)
In one of the greatest upsets in NBA history, the 2007 Golden State Warriors entered the NBA Playoffs as the No. 8 seed and knocked off the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round. It was a signature moment for the “We Believe” Warriors, who picked up that slogan from their miraculous second-half run to make the NBA playoffs.
This victory came just one year after the Dallas Maverick made the NBA Finals, ultimately losing to the Miami Heat. Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki was so upset following the loss that he made a hole in the wall of Oracle Arena. The hole has never been fixed and years later, Nowitzki decided to autograph his souvenir.
5. Klay Thompson’s Historical 3rd Quarter
In the third quarter of a 2015 regular season game against the Sacramento Kings, Klay Thompson went unconscious. Thompson set an NBA record for most points in a quarter with 37. In the process, he also set the record for most three-pointers in a quarter (nine) and tied the record for field goals made in a quarter, going a perfect 13-13 from the field.
Thompson’s third quarter performance will go down in the history books as one of the best hot shooting streaks in league history. He turned into a cheat code, and the fans at Oracle Arena could not get enough of it.
4. Warriors Set NBA Regular Season Win Record
The 2016-2017 season was a magical year for the Warriors. Coming off their first championship since 1975, the Warriors were just starting to become what we know now as one of the great dynasties in NBA history. In 2017, they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in the regular-season finale, 125-104, to secure an NBA-record 73-9 record, which was previously held by the 1995-1996 Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10. It was only fitting that the best regular season record in NBA history was capped off in a legendary arena like Oracle.
3. Kyrie Irving Game-Winning Three
This is one of the biggest shots in NBA history, and it’s only number three on the list. That should go to show you how famous the arena is.
In Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals with the game tied at 89 apiece, Kyrie Irving hit a step-back three with Steph Curry in his face to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 92-89 lead with just under a minute in the game. Irving’s shot would end up being the game-winner as the Cavaliers completed their comeback from a 3-1 series deficit and defeated the Warriors, 93-89. It’s a shot that a player can only dream of having, and Irving made that dream a reality.
2. The Block
Without the block, there would have been no Irving shot.
With just under two minutes left in the game, an Irving missed floater rebounded by Andre Iguodala led to a fastbreak for the Warriors. It was a two-on-one when Iguodala passed to Curry, who bounced pass back to Iguodala, for what looked like a wide open layup– until King James came out of nowhere. Covering practically the entire length of the court, LeBron James’ chase-down block on Iguodala swung the game completely. What would’ve been a go-ahead layup for the Warriors was now a possession for the Cavaliers.
Two possessions after James’ game-changing block, Irving hit the game-winning three-pointer to give the Cavaliers their first NBA title in franchise history.
1. Warriors Win the 2017 NBA Championship
A year removed from blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers and losing the NBA Finals on their home floor, the Warriors got their revenge. For the first and only time in the Steve Kerr era, the Warriors won an NBA Championship at home. They won the series 4-1, winning Game 5, 129-120. Kevin Durant won his first Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and was named Finals MVP during this signature Warriors moment.
Let the confetti rain.