Published On: Sat, Jun 9th, 2018

Sights and sounds from inside the Warriors' champagne celebration

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CLEVELAND – By the time media was allowed entry into the visiting locker room at Quicken Loans Arena shortly after midnight Friday, the smell of champagne had already stained the air, and the carpets were so drenched that every step sprung tiny droplets of Moet, but there was still plenty of fun to be had.

Here are some of the sights and sounds from the Golden State Warriors‘ championship-winning celebration.

Nick Young stole the show

Swaggy P was on fire basking in the glow of his first championship, dousing some media members waiting in the hallway with champagne, before reminding them in the locker room how far he’s come over the last couple years.

“I’ve come a long way – from getting snitched on to putting a ring on,” Young quipped, before saying he was going to walk from Cleveland to Disneyland. “Don’t we go to Disneyland?”

“Today, Swaggy P became a national treasure, Swag Champ,” Young said. “I wanna say, mama we made it. I love you, mama. I love you papa. Shoutout to L.A., to The Bay Area.

“They hated on Swag – Oh man, I got hated on so bad. I got snitched on, now I’m about to put this ring on. And now I’m a champ … They can’t say nothing about Swaggy no more!”

JaVale finds validation

No one was happier for Young than teammate JaVale McGee, who spent four years with Young in Washington before reuniting with the veteran swingman this season.

“It’s amazing just to be able to see your friend succeed,” McGee told theScore. “To be able to do it with him, and to be able to contribute, is a beautiful thing. We’re both just extremely happy.”

McGee, who’s now a two-time champion with the Warriors, also spoke about the satisfaction he derives from being in this position after he and Young were written off as NBA punchlines for years.

“There’s definitely some validation, just because you know people have counted you out, saying you can’t do certain things, but hard work exceeds those things. And I worked hard for this, man. It wasn’t an easy road for me, so it definitely makes the party a little sweeter.”

McGee played sparingly during the second and third rounds of the playoffs -appearing in only 5 of 12 contests before logging just six minutes in Game 1 of The Finals – but he started the final three games of the Warriors’ championship run, averaging 9.3 points on 82 percent shooting during that stretch.

Quinn ‘Money’ Cook

While Young attracted the cameras and attention, perhaps the most fascinating moment of the Warriors’ locker room celebrations took place at Quinn Cook‘s locker, with almost no one around to even realize what was happening.

At one point during the festivities, Cook pulled out his phone to FaceTime someone he kept referring to as “champ.” Most assumed it was a family member or friend – perhaps an agent or business manager.

Turns out the champ Cook was talking to was actually Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.

“That’s my big brother,” Cook told theScore. “I don’t even know when we met, probably like three or four years ago. He’s always giving me advice, getting me in the game, just motivating me, showing me what it is to work. I appreciate it.”

So what was said during that locker room video chat?

“He was happy for me,” Cook recounted, his voice shaking with emotion. “He knows how hard I worked. He knows the path that I went through, so he was happy for me.”

3.5 got a ring

Jordan Bell, who was selected by the Warriors with a draft pick the Chicago Bulls sold for $3.5 million last year, repeatedly shouted “3.5 got a ring” while holding a bottle of champagne in each hand.

Klay being Klay

While champagne is the party beverage of choice for sporting champions, there was also plenty of beer to be found during the Warriors’ festivities, and one of the most down-to-earth moments of the night saw Klay Thompson briefly escape to a backroom to enjoy a brew with some of the Quicken Loans Arena staff that tend to the visitors’ locker room.

“I was secretly hoping (the Warriors) would win tonight, so I could be part of this,” one of the young men admitted, his Cavaliers t-shirt soaked by a Warriors team who once again made quick work of his employer.

Moments later, a shivering, drenched Thompson struggled to find his way past the plastic barrier between him and his locker that staff had set up in advance of the party. “I’m so cold!” Thompson shouted. “How do you open this thing?”

Everyone was cold

Thompson wasn’t the only one yelling about the cold. Something you never consider watching locker room celebrations on television is how uncomfortable it probably is to bathe in champagne after working up a sweat on the court, especially once the adrenaline starts to wear off.

Steph needed a shower

On that note, one of the funnier moments of the night occurred as Steph Curry and his family exited the photoshoot area. While it seemed Curry and co. were ready to head out, Steph decided he needed a shower and headed back towards the locker room area, which left Ayesha Curry teasing him with mock frustration.

“You’re taking a shower?” Ayesha exclaimed, as if to say “now?

One happy (celebrity?) fan

A fan sprinted down the hallway at one point yelling “I shook Kevin Durant‘s hand! It’s over!”

The mysterious man bolted too quickly for a laughing crowd of media to pinpoint who it was, but some were speculating it might’ve been Chris Tucker, who was present at Game 4.

Whether it was Tucker or another V.I.P. overselling his excitement for entertainment purposes, or merely an average fan truly blown away by the encounter, Durant clearly left someone overjoyed.

A moment of peace

As celebratory chaos unfolded around him, Shaun Livingston took a moment for himself, sitting alone with a towel draped over his head and the Larry O’Brien Trophy at his feet – a scene fit for a future Finals commercial.

The toughest one

On his way from the court to the locker room, Draymond Green told the throng of media waiting for the Warriors that the team’s third championship in four years was “the toughest one we’ve had yet.”

A relieved Steve Kerr

A relaxed Steve Kerr, in sweats and loafers, let out quite the sigh in the hallway, as if a year’s worth of weight had just been lifted off his shoulders.

“It’s just a long journey, and when you’re a team like we are, and you’re expected to win, it’s more a feeling of relief than anything, because you know all the things that can go wrong,” Kerr told theScore.

“I’m proud of our guys for hanging in and making it happen.”

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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