Quarterback Derek Carr
As the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers – coached by Steve Kerr and Tyronn Lue respectively – battled it out during Game 5 of the NBA Championship, there was another head coach in attendance at Oracle Arena.
In a suite, high above the floor, Jack Del Rio watched the Warriors beat LeBron James and the Cavaliers 129-120, securing their second world championship in the span of three years, adding a final, golden exclamation point to the series known as "The Trilogy" in the process.
Del Rio watched the confetti fly down from the rafters, the jubilant fans cheering throughout the building, and Kerr and his team standing on the court, atop both a raised platform, and the basketball world alike.
"It was awesome to be over there last night and at the game and, first of all, see the Warriors come through in a big way and win a world championship," said Del Rio following the first day of Mandatory Mini-Camp. "To do it with that crowd, that crowd was spectacular last night. Full of energy and a lot of happy people going home last night. It was great to be a part of that."
Since the Silver and Black were approved for relocation to Las Vegas in late March, Del Rio and his staff – along with the players on the roster – have continually expressed their desire to bring a championship back to Oakland, and seeing their geographical neighbors win another Larry O'Brien Trophy added another layer of motivation to that goal.
"I watched the game from my house and man, just to watch that it makes you hungry every time you see another team or somebody celebrate a championship, it just makes you dream those dreams you had as a kid, standing on the stage, holding the trophy up, all those things," quarterback Derek Carr said. "I definitely watched it. Fun to watch. Happy for those guys. Whole bunch of really good guys on that team and hopefully they win a whole bunch more."
Carr is an outspoken Los Angeles Lakers fan, and maybe more accurately, a Kobe Bryant fan, but he now certainly pulls for the Warriors, not only for what they do on the court, but for what they mean to the city of Oakland.
"Just to see them do that and see just what it does for our city, I feel like God placed those guys here," Carr continued. "He placed us here on this team to impact this city. So whenever our city can enjoy good times like that, that's what it's all about. We love our fans. All the Warrior fans, most of them, are Raider fans, if they don't travel back across the Bay and root for that other team. Whenever you have something going on in the Bay Area, there's really no better place to win. It's really cool."
As the Silver and Black wrap up the 2017 Offseason Workout Program, and look to training camp in the not-so-distant future, they're a team with expectations attached to them, but lucky for the Silver and Black, they have a championship blueprint to follow, one that also resides in the East Bay.