SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Golden State Warriors face off against the Dallas Mavericks, Warriors fans have found their own nemesis for the Western Conference Finals: TNT basketball analyst and former NBA player Charles Barkley.
Fans were feeling confident ahead of Game 2 Friday night. But part of their energy is focused on Barkley and his comments about San Francisco and their team.
"I love Chuck. I don't agree with him, but I love the energy. I love the back and forth between the fans," said Joe Nuni. He lives in the East Bay, but happened to be in San Francisco on Friday afternoon, so he decided to visit Thrive City outside the Chase Center.
"I think we've proven him wrong that a jump shoot team can win the Finals, we've done it three times before and hopefully we can do it a fourth time," Nuni said.
Barkley was not pleased that he and the rest of the "NBA on TNT" crew would be arriving to the Bay Area to cover the series between the Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks.
"We're going to hell, I mean San Francisco," Barkley said on air after the Warriors advanced in the NBA playoffs.
He explained to his colleagues that he has never had fun when visiting the city. During the network's coverage of Game 1, the fans at Thrive City started to yell "Chuck you suck!" while he was speaking on the air, he finally stopped mid-sentence and addressed the crowd.
"Hey! You're right! And y'all suck too!" he said to the fans.
Members of the team also chimed in on the back and forth after learning about what Barkley said about their prospects to move forward in the series.
"I guess I would feel the same way if y'all just keep adding rings up here and I gotta just sit here," Draymond Green said about Barkley. "What do you want to say? You gonna tell us how to win? Not taking that advice from Chuck."
Rick Gomez is in town from New Jersey to visit family and cheer on the Warriors. He was pleased to see how well his team did in Game 1 and believes they are the better team in this series. He says Barkley will realize that too.
"Oh my goodness, it's unbelievable. I didn't expect that, but they did great," he told KPIX 5 on Friday. "I'm disappointed in Charles Barkley. He's going to eat his words."
Nuni agrees that the NBA Hall of Famer will be disappointed by underestimating the Warriors during this playoff run.
"Just watch and see. We're going to prove you wrong again," he said.
for more features.