In honor of their 2017-18 NBA championship, players, coaches and owners Joe Jacob and Peter Guber received their rings from NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The players’ rings came down on specialized wires from the top of Oracle Arena as a sellout crowd roared its approval.
“Last year was an unbelievable journey,” Warriors superstar Stephen Curry said during a brief address to the crowd. “Let’s celebrate this to the fullest.”
Curry then made it a point to introduce longtime equipment manager Eric Housen to the crowd as Housen jogged over to be with the players as the 2017-18 banner was revealed in the arena’s rafters.
The top of each ring is reversible. Seventy-four sapphires on the “blue” side represent the number of wins (regular season and playoff) by the Warriors last season. On the “white” side, 74 diamonds represent the win total.
The Warriors’ mantra, “Strength in Numbers,” is revealed when the ring’s top is twisted off.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 17, 2018
Warriors personnel wore big smiles as they picked up their latest jewelry as back-to-back Finals MVP Kevin Durant was introduced last to the crowd. Lacob put all three of his championship rings on at once as the players wore warmup jackets emblazoned in gold print with “The Champions” and “Back to Back” sewn in underneath.
“It’s funny I find myself now thinking about the famous Joe Lacob night when he said we’re going to hang another one,” Kerr said before the game, referring to Lacob’s opening statement to fans after purchasing the team in 2010. “And everybody laughed. I laughed. I was at home [thinking] “Come on, the Warriors?” So Joe set the goal that night.”
As Kerr reminisced, he thought back to all the talent and good fortune that has come the Warriors way in recent years. The group has won three of the last four NBA championships and is seeking to become the first team to earn five straight NBA Finals appearance since the mid 1960s Boston Celtics.
“I think there was a young guy named Steph Curry in the building,” Kerr said. “Who this whole thing has sort of revolved around in many ways as its all crystalized. I always look at the teams I’ve played for and why they worked. Chicago was all about Michael Jordan, but then you think of all the great players around Michael. Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc. You realize you have to that — that first domino has to fall. Michael was the first domino [for the Bulls]. David Robinson was the first domino to fall in San Antonio. And then it requires some luck.”
The Warriors have had plenty of that as well as plenty of skilled planning to put themselves in this position. The group knows it is on the verge of doing something very special this season by winning back-to-back-to-back titles for the first time since the 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers.
“Maybe you get Tim Duncan in the lottery too,” Kerr continued. “Maybe you get Draymond Green with the 35th pick. And as Bob [Myers] always said, if we were that smart we wouldn’t have taken him 35th. We would have taken him a lot earlier. So there’s a lot of luck involved — but I think that there’s a structure that has to be in place that Joe immediately went to work on when he bought this team with Peter [Guber]. And tonight is a night to sort of reflect on that and then all of a sudden you warm up and you got to play the Oklahoma City Thunder.”
Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green and the rest of his teammates knew Tuesday would be an emotional night.
“Every [ring] night is different,” Green said. “There was different journeys leading up into these nights. You can think you can prepare for it, think you got all the answers, but at the end of the day that night is going to be different because that journey is different and you don’t know what emotions come with that.”