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Buy commemorative Warriors posters and sports pages at The Press Democrat store here

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Watch a live feed of the parade at NBA.com here


OAKLAND —Proving again how challenging he is to contain, superstar Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry darted from a double-decker bus during Thursday’s massive parade in Oakland with the team’s NBA trophy in his hands.

With a media scrum in pursuit, Curry bolted toward a mass of screaming fans packed shoulder-to-shoulder on sidewalks lining Broadway.

Then he hoisted the golden trophy above his head, beat his chest and soaked in the adoration of thousands of spectators, many of whom had waited hours to cheer on their hardwood hero.

“For fans of Bay Area basketball, this is what it’s all about,” Curry said later along the parade route, after he had made another dash from the bus.

For the second time in three years, hundreds of thousands of Warriors fans flooded downtown Oakland for a raucous street party and rally celebrating an NBA title, the fifth in the franchise’s history and fourth-most in the league.

While the celebration in 2015 centered on the team winning its first championship in four decades, the theme for this year was “Revenge” after the Warriors closed out a historic post-season run Monday with a clinching victory over Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that had bested them in 2016 in a bruising seven-game battle for hoops supremacy.

That rivalry shows no signs of simmering down. On Thursday, outspoken Warriors forward Draymond Green trolled James by wearing a T-shirt with the word “Quickie” and the logo for Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers play.

At a rally after the parade at the old Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center on the southwest side of Lake Merritt, Green piled on by mocking James’ claim he never played on a super team.

“You started the super team, bro!” Green said, referring to the Miami Heat squad James helped assemble for two NBA titles, prior to James returning to the Cavaliers.

The comments amounted to more off-court defense, after the Warriors were targeted by critics this season for their blockbuster summer signing of Kevin Durant, whose stellar play in the finals earned him most valuable player honors.

But Warriors fans view the team in starkly different terms, as an unselfish group whose pass-happy style places team before individual.

“I love the style of basketball they play,” said Lowell Bryan of Santa Rosa, whose long history of rooting for the Warriors includes attending the 1975 finals leading up to the team’s championship that year.

Bryan, a project manager for Safari West who helped ferry VIPs along the parade route Thursday in a truck normally used for wildlife viewing, was among many Sonoma County residents who ventured to Oakland to celebrate the Warriors’ title.

Dino and Marlene Spadoni left their Windsor home well before dawn Thursday to catch BART in Richmond for the ride to Oakland, where they staked out a prime spot along the parade route.

The couple said they considered the event a once-in-a-lifetime thing they needed to check off their “bucket list.”

“I know this team is probably going to win a couple more championships, but I thought we should come,” Marlene Spadoni said.

They were particularly excited to see Durant, who rode high atop his own double-decker bus. James may be The King, but Durant was the one holding court in Oakland Thursday morning.

The celebration had many memorable moments, including Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr, whose debilitating back maladies prevented him from being on the sidelines for most of the playoffs, hopping off a cable car and running from one side of the street to the other high-fiving fans.

Assistant coach Mike Brown, who held down the head coaching duties while Kerr was out, also engaged with fans. Brown’s mother, Jean, joined him.

“This is unbelievable,” the assistant coach said, his voiced filled with emotion.

And, of course, there was Curry, whose escapades after leaving the safe confines of his bus on several occasions sparked the closest thing to a riot during the parade.

Police officers on bicycles did their best to clear a path for two-time league MVP as he darted around. In a bit of impromptu street theater, Curry hiked the championship trophy to teammate Ian Clark as if the pair were playing a game of football. They then ordered everyone in the street to stand back so that Clark could perform a running backward somersault in mid-air.

Curry took swigs of champagne straight from the bottle and drags of a cigar. Ayesha Curry, who joined her husband on the bus, also appeared in a celebratory mood.

Asked whether such celebrations could ever get old, coach Kerr replied, “I’ll tell you if it does. It hasn’t yet.”

Several fans acknowledged feeling a twinge of sadness, however, knowing the team is departing for San Francisco, where future celebrations presumably would run along Market Street.

Aminah Coleman, who grew up in east Oakland and now works in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa, said the Warriors’ recent winning streak has been good for a city that has had its share of problems.

“This is all positive,” Coleman said as she and her mother, Elizabeth Coleman, walked to their BART station at the conclusion of the parade. “You’ve got everyone coming together, all races, cops, just a genre of different people from all different walks of life.”

Waiting for the rally to start, Brenda Hives, a clerk for the Alameda County Superior Court and a lifelong Oakland resident, expressed worries that the team’s departure will hurt the city from an economic standpoint, including the loss of jobs.

“I think it takes away from Oakland,” Coleman said of the team’s move. “They’re an Oakland team.”

Still, fans Thursday said they will continue supporting the Warriors no matter where the games are played, and no matter where the blue and yellow confetti falls.

“I’ll be there as often as I can,” said Coleman, before she boarded the BART train and headed home.

Press Democrat blogger Grant Cohn contributed to this story. You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 707-521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.