Political leaders from Oakland and California got into the spirit of the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers being in the NBA finals by making friendly wagers with their Ohio counterparts.
The Warriors, with the best record in the league and MVP Stephen Curry and All-Star Klay Thompson in the starting lineup, take on LaBron James and the Cavaliers beginning Thursday (June 4) at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.
It’s the Warriors’ first appearance in the finals in 40 years.
Mixing it up from her earlier bets with fellow mayors in the playoff series, in lieu of a friendly wager with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has joined the Oakland-based Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to promote a friendly fundraising competition supporting families in need.
Each food bank has set a goal of $5,000 for the challenge, although there is no limit. The fan base that raises the most funds for its food bank by the end of the series will be declared the winner. The executive director of the food bank that has raised less money has promised to don the opposing team’s apparel and post a congratulatory video on Facebook.
“I’m excited to join the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank in a spirited competition designed to bring awareness to the struggle faced by low-income residents in our respective cities,” Schaaf said in a statement.
Officials noted that Oakland and Cleveland both share proud blue-collar roots and passionate sports fans to match.
To donate to Alameda County Community Food Bank (Warriors), visit www.accfb.org/foodbankfinals.
To donate to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank (Cavaliers), visit www.greaterclevelandfoodbank.org/foodbankfinals.
Every dollar raised will remain local. For every $1 donated, the Alameda food bank can provide $6 worth of food. In Cleveland, the same donation to its food bank provides four meals.
Other political leaders are taking the more traditional approach.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) has a friendly wager with Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Cleveland). If the Warriors win, Fudge will offer Lee chocolates, peanuts, and pastries made in the heart of Cleveland. If the Cavaliers win, Lee will offer Fudge local favorites: Clif bars, Ghirardelli chocolates, Peet’s coffee, and an autographed photo of Curry in an Oaklandish tote bag.
On the Senate side, both of California’s senators have placed friendly wagers with their Ohio colleagues.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) has a bet with Senator Rob Portman (R) – fine California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon against Ohio’s Great Lakes beers ride on the outcome of the seven-game series.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D) has a bet with Sherrod Brown (D). Boxer is wagering Peet’s “Warriors Grounds” coffee and a case of Linden Street Brewery’s “New Oakland Glow” pilsner against beer that Brown will provide from Hoppin’ Frog Brewery.
A news release added that the loser will deliver the bounty to the winner’s office while wearing a jersey from the victor’s team.