The end of the NBA playoffs are nigh and the Golden State Warriors just need one more win to head to the finals. But so far, the streets of the Mission have been relatively free of the pandemonium seen when other Bay Area teams are hot. But according to local bartenders, who have a front row to the neighborhood’s fan fervor, the heat is rising.
“The Giants was like a 10, the Warriors is at a 9 or an 8,” said Lee Gammel, a bartender at Liberties Bar on Guerrero, rating the level of fan energy in the Mission. “I’m a huge Warriors fan. Everyone loves winners, and they’re winning for the first time in awhile. It’s not as crazy as the Giants, but very close.”
Heather Petersen, the bar manager at Iron & Gold on Mission and Valencia, says their bar has been busy with fans coming in to watch the playoffs. The current moment reminds her a bit of the then-burgeoning Giants fever half a decade ago.
“I’m a San Francisco native, I liked the Giants before it was cool… For me growing up, when I told people I was a Giants fan I’d get laughed at,” said Petersen, citing the baseball team’s shoddy record before its 2010 World Series win. “If the Warriors win now, the enthusiasm will definitely grow. Nobody cared about the Giants years ago, now they do.”
Not dissimilar from the Giants’ history, if the Warriors win tonight, it would be the first time in 40 years the team gets to the final round of the NBA playoffs.
Bars across the Mission will be showing Game 5 tonight, but in creating our map of places to watch in the neighborhood, it’s fewer than those showing the World Series, or even the World Cup.
“The energy is not quite as much, but it’s up there,” said Tuula Ala, a bartender at Benders on South Van Ness. “We’ve been really busy during the game, but it’s not like when the Giants play where it’s total crazy.”
Check out our map below of where to watch: