OAKLAND (AP) — Hall of Famer Al Attles returned to Oracle Arena at long last.
The former Warriors general manager, coach and player hadn’t been around much at all this season because of health issues. Attles, 82, arrived Friday for Game 4 of the NBA Finals with son Al Attles III to a warm welcome from security and arena staff. He offered hugs and handshakes while making his way down the hallway and up to his regular perch along press row, high above the visiting bench.
“With my son I can get an opportunity to see things I haven’t seen for a while,” said Attles, who also was to be joined by wife, Wilhelmina, as the Warriors took on the Toronto Raptors. “There will be three of us. We’ll have a great time.”
It had been approximately eight months since Attles attended his last game.
“I got my dancing partner back,” said former Warriors center Adonal Foyle, who sits next to Attles at games.
Attles received a standing ovation as he was shown on the scoreboard waving during a second-quarter timeout.
Attles will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2019 this September.
“They made a mistake,” Attles joked with a big grin, still showing that quick wit. “They haven’t caught up to me yet.”
Attles is in his 59th year with the organization, having played for the then-Philadelphia Warriors in Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game on March 2, 1962, scoring 17 points on 8-for-8 shooting. He coached the Warriors to the 1975 title, then watched as Stephen Curry and Co. won 40 years later in 2015.
“We love Al. He’s the face of the franchise. He’s been so for 60 years, I think,” coach Steve Kerr said. “So he’s an incredible presence, and we’re thrilled to have him back in the building. It’s been a while since he’s been at Oracle. So we’re excited to have him here.”