Oakland Happens: Golden State Warriors Win 15 Straight, Coach Loses Mercedes to Thief

Luke Walton AP
Jeff Chiu/AP

What doth it profit a man to gaineth fifteen straight wins but loseth his Mercedes-Benz GL450?

Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton asks himself such philosophical questions, as Waltons are wont to do, this week. An Oakland car thief made off with his tie-dyed Volkswagen bus Mercedes last week.

There is no there there, Gertrude Stein observed about her hometown. Luke Walton discovered there is no car there, either. It was in East Oakland. A 20-year-old named Lamonte Campbell allegedly crashed it there after acquiring it at the former NBA player’s home.

Walton leads the Warriors tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers as the defending NBA champions aim to set an NBA record by winning their first sixteen games of the season. Red Auerbach led the defunct Washington Capitols to 15 wins to start the 1948-49 season and Rudy Tomjanovich did the same for the Houston Rockets during the 1993-1994 campaign. Both the Capitols and Rockets found themselves in the finals at season’s end (with the Rockets winning), and Auerbach and Tomjanovich followed up the streaks by coaching teams to multiple championships. Neither Washington nor Houston repaid its team’s basketball coach for giving them wins by taking his wheels.

The theft of the 35-year-old’s one-year-old automobile came in the midst of an Oakland Hills crime spree that left a 74-year-old woman violently assaulted, another Mercedes-Benz owner without a ride, and residents returning to burglarized homes.

“I’m angry people feel they can come into the hills and take what’s not theirs,” Carolyn Winter, who lost her car to thieves, told NBC Bay Area. “We’ve had three this week in a period of a few days and so clearly they are surveying the neighborhood, which is also disturbing.”

It’s enough to make a 43-year Oaktown resident abandon the Bright Side of the Bay for Baghdad by the Bay. That’s just what the Golden State Warriors plan to do. They open a new arena in San Francisco in 2018.

Even a Warrior knows when it’s time to retreat.