Damian Lillard says “real Warriors fans” can’t afford to get into Oracle Arena to watch their team before it moves to San Francisco next season.
Lillard, an Oakland native, had little trouble attending games as a kid (when the Dubs were dreadful, and tickets a lot more affordable.)
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 27, 2018
Dame hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 6.3 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Portland Trail Blazers a dramatic 110-109 win Thursday night in their final scheduled trip to Oakland.
“That’s a hell of a way to go out,” Lillard said, per the AP. “We needed this win. It was a big game for us, especially having to play them two times in a row, having to play such a solid game.”
Per The Mercury News:
“I don’t really think about it. The building really is more significant to my childhood than me playing there,” Lillard said. “When I come here, I’m playing in my hometown. When they start to come to San Francisco, my family is still going to come there either way. But the memories of it and what it used to be is going to be different.”
Lillard’s words did not just reflect his upbringing in East Oakland. Lillard also has unique perspective about the Warriors’ pending move to Chase Center amid frequent conversations with his hometown friends and family members. He has heard from those at his alma mater when he returns to Oakland High School, which both hosts his retired jersey and refurbished gym that he funded. Lillard also has listened to Oakland residents when he has hosted his annual summer barbecue at Brookfield Park that features free food and live music.
“They’re upset about it. It’s one of those things where success comes and you’re going to up and move,” Lillard said. “A lot of the real Warriors fans, a lot of times they can’t go to the games. They can’t afford it. At that time, we were able to go to the games. Nowadays, a really good ticket is way more expensive to do everything. The people who are real Warriors fans aren’t able to get into the games.”