December 7, 2023

My brother’s golden gift to Oakland

This archived article was written by: Tai Justice

It was Christmas morning and I was awakened by my 12-year-old brother screaming my name: “Tai! Tai! Tai!” As I was about to start yelling at him he said, “mom and dad got us tickets to the Jazz-Warriors game!” I said, “that’s great buddy.” Then he screamed more at me, “No! To the one in Oakland! Tomorrow!” I immediately got almost as excited as him. I have to say almost because he was about as excited as I’ve ever seen a human being become. After all, we were going to Oakland.
We took off for the two-and-a-half-hour drive to the airport two days later, early on the morning of Dec. 27th. I have traveled before, but never without either my grandparents or parents to help direct me. So when we arrived, I was trying my hardest to look like I belonged and knew somewhat what I was doing. We made it to the security line and, for one in every five people, they did a random search. Of course, my little 12-year-old brother is the one that gets chosen for the random search. They swab his hands to run some sort of test and the test comes back positive for a chemical that is found in bombs. They then spend the next 20 or so minutes questioning my little brother to death. They finally let us go and we luckily made it onto plane in time. The trip was not off to a great start.
Now, being the older brother, I felt obligated to make at least 50 jokes about how my little brother was going to end up in jail because of this. Of course, I thought the jokes were funnier than he did. We land in Oakland and somehow make our way to the hotel. I try to convince my brother to travel into San Francisco and actually see things, you know, do what you do when you are in an amazing city. He really didn’t want any part of that. He wanted to go to the game six hours before tip-off.
I wasn’t having it, so we made our way into San Francisco. As we are walking around, I’m saying all sorts of things trying to get him interested. Like, “hey, look at the bridge!” or “look at the hills!” He replied, “we’re going to miss the game if you keep this up.” I could relate well to him at that moment because I remember saying something similar to my grandma when went to a Packers game a few years back. He got his wish and we headed back to Oakland.
Back at the hotel, we got ready for the game. He put on his Stephen Curry jersey and I put on a Dante Exum shirt. I told him, “now remember, the Jazz are my team. Just like the Warriors are your team. I’m going to be cheering for the Jazz.” He rolled his eyes and said, “Tai, I’m not worried about the Jazz.” I laughed because I knew he was right. The Warriors were going to win barring a minor miracle. We got on the subway and headed to Oracle Arena.
The famous “WAAARRRRIIIOOORRRSSS!!” Chants started as we were walking to Oracle. We had to walk through another security scanner so, of course, I made one last joke about him getting arrested. He again didn’t laugh. We made it into the arena and it was amazing how in awe he was of everything; hey have turned Oracle into a spectacle. We went to the concession stands before finding our seats. We got nachos, popcorn and two waters and It somehow cost $33! I guess you can charge whatever you want when you have the best team in sports.
Curry was out of the game with an ankle injury, but we still got to see him warm up and I’m pretty sure my brother liked that more than the actual game. The game went about as well as expected; Kevin Durant dominated, Darymond Green did Draymond Green things, Klay Thompson made threes and the Warriors dominated, my brother enjoyed every second of it. I would suggest to everyone to go Oracle before they move. It’s an amazing arena.