The highly popular and successful Golden State Warriors play in the San Francisco Bay Area , which overall is almost 25% Asian. San Francisco, where the Warriors play in Chase Center, is itself 35% Asian, so it’s no surprise that Lunar New Year is a big deal in the Bay Area, as well as to the Golden State Warriors.
This past Saturday (January 29, 2022), the Golden State Warriors had their Lunar New Year Celebration Night for their game against the Brooklyn Nets, with lots of live and taped video entertainment during the game and I was fortunate to be able to attend on behalf of 8Asians. It’s really great that the Warriors support the AAPI community with such evenings as well as other activities in a big way.
All attendees were givent Golden State Warriors Lunar New Year red envelopes as gifts. No money inside though!
Before the game began, actress, singer, San Franciscan native and former Miss Chinatown Desiree Choy performed the national anthem.
In the first quarter, on the big screen in the auditorium, Stephen Curry talked about some of his favorite Chinese dishes, including dumplings and his favorite, hot pot. My friend and I thought that he did a pretty good job of pronouncing the dishes in Mandarin Chinese.
There was also a chopstick picking contest between Kevon Looney and Juan Toscano-Anderson, with two rounds – with Looney and Toscano-Anderson winning a round each.
Later, actor, director, producer Daniel Wu lead the crowd to wish everyone a happy new year in Cantonese (“Gong Hei Fat Choy”) and in Mandarin(“Xin Nian Kuai Le”)
Prior to half time, there was a quick Lion Dance performance by LionDanceMe.
And at half-time, there was a pretty energetic martial arts and Tai Chi performance by the Taiji Science Federation. I was pretty impressed by the athleticism of a lot of the performers!
At the end of half-time, Eddy Zheng, president and founder of the New Breath Foundation, was honored by the Impact Warrior Program for organizing resources for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The Warriors are also selling a limited-edition Golden State Warriors Year of the Tiger Lunar New Year t-shirt at the Chase Center or online here.
In addition, the Warriors have partnered with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to install a life-size tiger statue at Thrive City, the plaza surrounding Chase Center as well as five other statues on display throughout San Francisco to celebrate ‘The Year of the Tiger.’
The game was pretty exciting with a close finish, with the Warriors defeating the Nets 110 to 106. If you want to get a better look at what the Lunar New Year Celebration at the Chase Center was like, take a look at the YouTube video above.
Happy Lunar New Year!