Less than 24 hours after the biggest game of his life, Festus Ezeli is getting mobbed.

Few Warriors players can roam around downtown Oakland without setting off a frenzy thanks to the team’s rabid fan base, and the day after Ezeli was the catalyst behind Golden State’s Game 2 come-from-behind victory over the Blazers, everyone wants a piece of him.

It starts with one child who shyly recognizes the 6’11’’ center standing outside the Oakland YMCA. He asks for a selfie and Ezeli obliges. Before he knows it, he’s created a commotion. People on the street stop and do double takes while others pour out of the gym to snap a shot of the Warriors center. Kids clamor to pose for a pic. Teens snap their next ‘gram. Grown men dap him.

To an outsider, it looks like the strangers are overwhelming him. To Ezeli, it’s his Oakland family embracing him.

“You walk down the streets, you know everybody wants to hug you, everybody wants to touch you, everybody wants to be a part of what it is that you’re doing just because they see you as their guy,” says Ezeli. “It doesn’t feel like fandom, it feels more like family to me.” 

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