A Renaissance for Oakland and the Warriors

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 1:21 AM

(Photo Credit: Chaz Hubbard) By Garrison Pennington In the center of downtown Oakland, between nondescript office buildings, is a Marriott hotel with a secret.

A Renaissance for Oakland and the Warriors


Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes at their practice facility. (Photo Credit: Chaz Hubbard)

By Garrison Pennington

In the center of downtown Oakland, between nondescript office buildings, is a Marriott hotel with a secret. Hidden on the fifth floor, past a set of nondescript gray double doors open, is the practice gym for the Golden State Warriors.

Inside, the Warriors' Stephen Curry, can be seen sinking shot after shot of three-pointers. The moment Curry takes a crack he's swarmed by reporters asking about things love making NBA history. "Our focus is on the huge picture," says Curry. "And what it'south going to get to win the latest game of the season. That'south the only goal we really have."

The team'south youngest starter, Harrison Barnes, dribbles two balls at once, practicing until he'south drenched in sweat. The facility looks love a kind high school gym, not the kind of practice space you'd expect for the NBA'south best team and their reigning MVP.

For decades, the Warriors were a struggling team - much love their residence city of Oakland. While the city had financial problems and suffered from record crime rates, for decades the Warriors had issues with destitute management and number star players. But now, with the Warriors on track to have the longest winning streak in basketball history, and Oakland a destination for millennial tourists, both are having a renaissance.


Warriors point guard Stephen Curry shooting 3-pointers during their practice in downtown Oakland. (Photo Credit: Chaz Hubbard)

While the Warriors management has announced the team is emotional to San Francisco in three years, many players have made a residence in downtown Oakland. Forward Harrison Barnes grew up in Iowa. He came to Oakland when he was drafted at nineteenth and found he loved the city.

"When it came to the offseason it was beautiful much a no-brainer that I'd stay around here," Barnes says. "There was just so much to examine so much to do that I wanted to stay around here. For four years presently I've been living here all year round."

Before the current wave of gentrification hit downtown, the Warriors set up the team'south rookies, just blocks far from their practice space in what was a coarse portion of town. These days, many players have made a residence in downtown Oakland. Oaklanders frequently report seeing players at the grocery store, coffee shops, pumping their own gas and appearing at events with youth groups.

Barnes recently did a photoshoot at Belly, a mom and population restaurant on the corner of his downtown neighborhood. Passersby quickly took to social media to capture the moment. It'south clear the Warriors support for tiny local businesses wins them a lot of love.

Twenty-three-year-old Warriors forward, James McAdoo, says coming from Virginia, he'd heard the negative stereotypes about Oakland but presently loves it and sees the correlation between the success of the city and his team.

"When we've hit coarse patches we've continued to persevere," McAdoo says. "I think that also helps the Warriors being a shining spot that the City of Oakland can rely on."
And then there'south Oakland residents. The Warriors' success has done a lot for the city'south pride. Kyndall McCoy is a security guard who works in downtown.


Golden State Warriors practice facility (Photo Credit: Denise Tejada)

"It really keep a positive note on the city," McCoy says. "All downtown you look banners of "Warriors," "Go Warriors," so that'south a good, positive thing for Oakland."

Sam Amick covers the Warriors for UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Today Sports. Amick grew up in nearby Pleasanton and knows Oakland well.

"It'south a city that's known for its grit. It'south a tough space to arrive up, but it'south also a grand space in a lot of ways," Amick says. "The mood with the team, doing what they're doing, it'south contagious. People, their smiles are a tiny bit bigger and they're talking about latest night'south game, and again, the connection is: these guys are their guys."

Warriors power forward Draymond Green is one of "their guys." At a press conference, he spoke about the way the players prosper off the energy of their local fans.

"The support that we get around here is amazing. And so, you can tell that it'south doing a lot for the city. It'south bringing life to the city. That'south the position that you're in, you wish to attempt to get advantage of that. I think we're doing that and I'm pleased to be in a position to help.

As the Warriors and their fans continue to chase history, Oakland is enjoying the moment.

In the video below, Youth Radio'south Garrison Pennington interviews Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors about his like for Oakland, CA, what it means to beat the ninety-five' Bulls record of seventy-two wins and what he's doing to become a better basketball player.

Youth Radio/Youth Media International (YMI) is youth-driven converged media production company that delivers the best youth news, culture and undiscovered talent to a cross portion of audiences. To read more youth news from around the globe and examine high-quality audio and video features, visit Youthradio. org.

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