ALAMEDA – Derek Carr is from Bakersfield. That’s Lakers country. It certainly was with Kobe Bryant in his prime.
The Raiders quarterback will always stick with that team, but he got caught up in the Warriors NBA championship run. He lives in the East Bay now, and was pulling for his current home team to win a title. That happened Monday night, when the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA finals.
“I’ve been a Lakers fan and will be forever. Kobe’s my favorite athlete ever, but I root for the hometown team,” Carr said after Tuesday’s minicamp practice. “So to see them do that and see what it does for our city, it’s great that our city can experience something like that. All the Warriors fans, most of them anyway, are Raiders fans if they don’t travel back across the Bay and root for that other team. Whenever you have something going on the Bay Area, there’s no better place to win. It’s really cool.”
It also makes Carr think about bringing another title to the Bay Area.
“It makes you hungry every time you see another team celebrate a championship,” Carr said. “It makes you dream those dreams you had as a kid, of standing on the stage, holding trophies up. It was fun to watch and I’m happy for those guys. Hopefully they win a whole lot more.”
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is from Hayward. He’s a longtime Warriors fan who has been visible at several key games this season, including the clincher at Oracle Arena.
“It was awesome to be over at the game last night and see the Warriors win a world championship and do it with that crowd,” Del Rio said. “It was a spectacular crowd full of happy people. It was great to be a part of that.”
The Raiders haven’t played a home playoff game next door at Oalkand Coliseum since 2002, though ending that streak is a realistic prospect in the 2017 season. Del Rio would like to help the Raiders go on a playoff run this season that includes a few home dates.
“Playing at home is something you have to earn,” Del Rio said. “Our fans here are the best, That atmosphere last night was great to be a part of. Regular season games are fun, but it always ramps up in the playoffs. We’d love to earn those opportunities in the future.”
Said running back DeAndre Washington: "You see that and understand that Bay Area fans are the real deal. When the Raiders win, it’s a different type of excitement. Congrats to the Warriors, and it definitely inspired us to bring one to the city."