While most of the hype is on the court, venture capitalist and part-Golden State Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya received some media attention on Wednesday ahead of Game 5 against the Houston Rockets.
Palihapitiya, born in Sri Lanka and raised in Canada, was asked to be the keyknote speaker at a naturalization ceremony at the Heritage Theater in Campbell about his journey and successes just hours before the big game in Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Palihapitiya could have talked at length about electrical engineering, his early days at AOL and Facebook, or being an early founder of the pro-immigration reform group, FWD.us.
Instead, he chose to speak about hoops.
“It’s an incredible run,” he said of the Warriors. “I think it’s a testament to a fantastic organization: A great ownership group and fantastic players.”
He did acknowledge that the “last game was a little scary” and “thank God Steph is OK,” referring to when Warriors guard and MVP Stephen Curry suffered a head contusion on Monday night in the first half of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
But Curry’s doctors cleared him to play Game 5 on Wednesday night and Palihapitiya, like most Warriors fans, was feeling confident.
“But I kinda feel like we are going to close it out," he said, adding this taunt: "Bring on LeBron."
If Warriors win, they’ll take on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward LeBron James in the NBA Finals.
NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.