For lifelong Warriors fans Bruce and Kristin L., sports and family go hand in hand. Even the birth of their two lovely daughters only caused a doubling down of their dedication to their favorite team. As season tickets holders for over 20 years, this couple has embraced the opportunity to raise a bona fide Warriors family, and the results are growing up right before our eyes.
GSW: How long have you been a fan?
Bruce: I’ve been a Warriors fan practically my whole life, but I became a season ticket holder a little over 20 years ago. That’s when I really started to follow them closely and watch almost every game.
Kristin: I grew up in the East Bay so I’ve been a Warriors fan for over 20 years, since grade school. I definitely became more of a fan when I got together with Bruce. We were going to games together before we had the girls, even while I was pregnant. I started bringing Sophia when she was 8 weeks old. I brought her to playoff games, even championship games. We didn’t want them to miss out on the experience. It’s been fun. Karissa is 7 months now, and I’ve been bringing her to games from when she was in my belly to when she came out. So yes, we’ve been fans for a while. Always happy to be a part of Dub Nation.
GSW: What’s the most interesting part of raising a Warriors family?
K: It’s being a part of an organization and being a part of the city of Oakland. I feel like the fan base here has a different level of intensity. I love that the kids are a part of it. I remember taking Sophia to the Oakland airport, and she would see Oracle Arena and say, ‘That’s where the Warriors play.’ She recognized it so early. We never thought having kids should get in the way of having fun or participating in this type of sporting event. We want to let it be a part of their growing up. Have it be a normal thing. That was always important to us.
GSW: Do you have a favorite Warriors memory?
K: For me, it was bringing her to the championship parade last year. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to see the game in person. But for that parade, everyone in the city of Oakland and the East Bay were able to be together and celebrate such a hard-earned championship. She was little and couldn’t really walk much, but just being there and being able to share that with her. It was loud, it was fun, it was a great experience.
GSW: Do you have a favorite moment that others may not know of?
B: One of my most memorable experiences was at the All-Star game, back in 2000, when Vince Carter went up for that dunk and he put his arm in the bucket. I remember sitting there in the stands and not really completely believing what happened. I was shocked. That was a memorable moment, to be in the building for that game.
GSW: How has the response been to your girls being so into the team?
B: Generally, the response is really good, especially when we come into the arena, and all the guards know the girls. They used to call Sophia the Warrior baby. They’ve seen her grow up from when she was just 2 months old and now she’s almost 3. It’s fun for the fans and other ticket holders around us, getting to see her grow up as a Warriors fan. It’s really special, the evolution of having these two, and the fact that they’re girls. I mean, girls can be into basketball too.
K: Even if we weren’t at the games, we’d dress them up in our Dubs gear and watch the game on TV.
GSW: Is it true that when you were pregnant, you were mad that you couldn’t go to a game?
K: There were 2 times when it was getting too close to be able to go and I was upset. I went as often as I could, but I didn’t want to go into labor at the game. One of the things people said the first time I got pregnant was, ‘Oh, you won’t be able to go to games. You have a baby now, it’s going to be hard,’ but I said No, we’re going to do it. We brought her headphones, a diaper bag. We made it work.
K: We have all these pictures and memories. We have one on Easter with E40, all of us in our Dubs gear.
GSW: They are the fans of the future. They can carry it forward.
K: I know that now it’s kind of popular be a Warriors fan. But if you’re a fan, it’s something you do because it’s valuable to do it. You’re there to cheer them on whether they’re winning or losing. We made the investment to go with them to Chase, so we’re going to be locked in for the next 30 years. So, this is just the beginning. It’ll be a new chapter.