Tens of thousands of fans poured onto the streets of San Francisco on Monday to salute the victorious Golden State Warriors as the team celebrated its fourth NBA championship in eight seasons with an open-top bus parade.
A blizzard of blue and gold confetti billowed along downtown San Francisco's Market Street as buses carrying the Warriors players and team staff made their way along the 1.4 mile-long parade route.
The Warriors clinched their seventh NBA crown on Thursday after defeating the Boston Celtics on the road in game six of the finals to close out a 4-2 series victory.
The victory completed a triumphant return to the pinnacle of the sport just two years after the Warriors finished the 2019-2020 season with the worst record in basketball.
Warriors talisman Stephen Curry -- wearing a gold chain carrying his collection of NBA championship rings -- led the festivities as Golden State players sprayed hordes of fans with champagne in brilliant sunshine.
"I had to bring the jewelry back out," Curry said of his ring-laden necklace.
"I don't look at it during the year. Every so often though you gotta remind yourself -– we got four!"
Curry said the Warriors had been motivated to get back in the winner's circle after a painful defeat in the 2019 NBA Finals.
"I'd be lying if I said I knew we'd be champions because it’s a lot of work –- but sometimes you've got to manifest it," Curry said.
"We had some reverses, hit some road bumps, but peaked at the right time and everybody, 1 through 16, our coaching staff, everyone, played a significant part in this."
'An amazing year'
The Warriors' defensive star Draymond Green paid tribute to the Warriors players and team personnel that made the win possible.
"This has been an amazing year," Green said. "I told you no one could stop us from winning a championship. I warned you all.
"I really love this group, and when I say this group, I mean this entire group.
"There were times in the past when we won a championship and everything didn't have to be aligned, like we were just that good.
"But for this to work, every single person up here had to be aligned. It's just so special.
"You talk about which championship means more, but the reality is every single one of them has their own journey.
"What you appreciate about the journey is the people you go through it with. And what brings me the most joy is seeing the guys who are winning it for the first time."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr meanwhile revealed he had been inundated with messages of congratulations ranging from fellow NBA coaches such as Gregg Popovich to former president Barack Obama.
"I got a text from President Obama, which was pretty cool. That was pretty special," Kerr said.
"This is incredible. When we started camp I thought we would be pretty good but I didn't know we could win the whole thing.
"To be sitting here enjoying the parade and feeling the love of the whole Bay Area is pretty incredible."
Kerr once again reserved special praise for Warriors star Curry, the NBA Finals MVP.
"We've got a bunch of great guys who want to play together," said Kerr.
"And it starts with Steph. Everybody wants to play with and for Steph, and we just had a great group of guys and that's the key."