The 1975 Championship Golden State Warriors Were Bumped By Big Bird’s Ice Show During the NBA Finals
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Long before Warrior fans were chanting MVP for Steph Curry, We Believe in 2007, Rookie of the year for Chris Webber and even Run TMC for the awesome trio of Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, Golden State had the 1975 Champion Warriors. A championship team that was so respected and believed in that the Oakland Coliseum booked Big Bird and the “Ice Follies” show during the NBA Finals which meant the Warriors had to play in…..The Cow Palace! I’m not making this up.
Here’s a Facebook post by Frank Somerville of KTVU talking about the story that was once believed to be an urban legend and if you need more proof then you can read this article by Peter Hartlaub of the SFGATE.
I found this hard to believe.
But it’s true.
In 1975 when the Warriors won the NBA title, the Finals were actually played at the Cow Palace instead of on the Warriors home court at the Oakland Arena.
And the reason is because of the Ice Follies.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Back then no one, and I mean no one, ever thought the Warriors would make it to the finals.
So the Oakland Arena booked the Ice Follies for those dates.
And then when the Warriors did make it to the finals guess what?
Executives at the arena didn’t want to cancel the Ice Follies.
They picked the Ice Follies over the Warriors and the NBA Finals!
So now the Warriors had no choice but to look at the Cow Palace.
But there was a Karate tournament that was booked there, so they had to do even more shuffling of the schedule.
Warriors star Rick Barry said:
“It just shows you how nobody ever thought we were going to be (in the Finals).
The (Cow Palace) was horrible and the locker room was horrible, but you don’t play in the locker room.”
In the end, the Warriors swept the Bullets four games to none.
“I still believe it’s the greatest upset in NBA Finals history.”
That 4th picture is the Warriors arriving back at the airport after winning the title.
3000 people jammed the gate to greet the team.
(That’s Phil Smith in the picture)
Barry says it would have been nice to clinch the title in the Bay Area.
But at the same time there was something special about winning on the road.
“It was a very special thing because we had a chance to experience it as a team.
We were such a close-knit group, such a family, and it was just us.
We didn’t have family members back there, so we were able to have that whole trip back home to experience that as a team.”
Now the Warriors have another chance to win the title.
And this time they’ll play on their home court in Oakland.
No Ice Follies.
No Karate tournament.
Just the Warriors and the Cavaliers going head to head.
Steph against LeBron.
It’s an epic matchup.