In 1963, a skinny kid from Akron, Ohio, comes to San Francisco for his first job. He's never been West. He knows no one and nothing except the cable car, because he's seen it on the Rice-A-Roni commercial. It's his first day here, and he is sitting on his bed at the Jack Tar Hotel on Van Ness when an earthquake hits. The bed shakes. The mirror sways.
"It welcomed me to the city," recalls the kid, who rode it out and made his way to his new job, as backup center for the San Francisco Warriors professional basketball team. Fifty years later, Nate Thurmond - an NBA Hall of Famer who has been voted one of the top 50 NBA players of all time - is still living in San Francisco and still working for the Warriors. Even after his team broadened its appellation to Golden State and decamped for the Oakland Coliseum Arena, he stayed put in the city, commuting alone over the bridge.
Now if you go to a game, it's common to see two T-shirts in the stands: One reads "San Francisco Warriors," to pitch the team's planned return in 2017; the other replicates a 1960s jersey with a logo that reads, simply, "The City."
Big Nate Thurmond a center of attention
San Francisco Chronicle | Mar 3