Jermaine O'Neal lauds Oracle Arena crowds

Highlights: Warriors score early and often, cruise past Detroit

Jermaine O'Neal lauds Oracle Arena crowds
November 13, 2013, 4:30 pm
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This city has had a lot of hard times as far as trying to find a good team, for many, many years. And they consistently came out and supported their teams. You don't find that a lot.
Jermaine O'Neal

At 35, with 17 seasons behind him, Warriors backup center Jermaine O'Neal has played in dozens of NBA facilities, none of which he appreciates more than his current home court at Oracle Arena.

O'Neal said this on Wednesday, fully aware that ownership would like to swap Oracle in 2017 for a new showplace on the San Francisco side of the bay.

"It's one of the best arenas to play in," O'Neal said. "It's one of the oldest gyms, but one of best gyms that you can play in as a basketball player.

"A lot of guys say stuff about cities when they're there. But this is genuine, because this city has had a lot of hard times as far as trying to find a good team, for many, many years. And they consistently came out and supported their teams. You don't find that a lot. You go to a lot of arenas, and if the team hasn't been doing well it's pretty empty."

Reminded that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are committed to moving across the bay, O'Neal clarified his position but did not back off of his glowing assessment of Warriors fans in Oakland.

[POOLE: Through three years Lacob, Guber holding true to their word]

"I don't look past this year. I know (ownership is) trying to build a new arena, but this year it's been good for us. We're fortunate to have the older arena. It's the most efficient arena for us as a home team because it brings more noise and more atmosphere (relative to) the corporate feel.

"I'm talking about this year. I can't think about 2017. But for what we're trying to do this year . . . we're concentrating on this year. We have Oracle.


"We definitely appreciate our owners. The things they do for us are unbelievable; that's something I try to tell these guys to appreciate, because you don't get that in every team."

With the Warriors playing their first marquee home game on Thursday, a nationally televised matchup against Oklahoma City, O'Neal and his teammate would like nothing more than have the Oracle crowd deliver a rude greeting to the Thunder.

After all, Oracle ranked No. 2 in a recent poll of NBA homecourt advantages. No. 1 was none other than Oklahoma City.

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