Golden State of Mind

The Golden State Warriors basketball championship in June 2015 made one alumnus $1,000 richer.

By Joan Weiner

Michael Leslie

Michael Leslie

Along with other employees, Michael Leslie, the team’s videographer, received the bonus from coach Steve Kerr after the team won its first title in 40 years.

“Steve’s an awesome guy,” Leslie said. “He’s the real deal.”

Leslie (TAT ’08) was hired as a production assistant in 2010, following several unpaid internships with the team. “I busted my butt and the right people in the organization saw it,” he said. “When a position opened up, I got the call.”

He helped to compile sound bites from players and worked on video production, skills he learned in the Teledramatic Arts and Technology program. His videos were mostly for the team’s website, but sometimes they were played in Oracle Arena. “It’s pretty cool to see 19,000 people view your work,” he said.

Leslie and Kerr

Leslie has fun on Halloween dressed as Steve Kerr when the coach played for the Chicago Bulls.

Last season, he was promoted to videographer/editor. “I film games as a documentary filmmaker for the team” he said, telling the stories of players and their family members.

He was lucky enough to travel with the team throughout the National Basketball Association playoffs – to New Orleans, Memphis, Houston and Cleveland – documenting the entire post season experience. “I shared meals with the team and grew relationships with the players and their families.

“The players nicknamed me ‘Mini Steve Kerr,’ ” he said.

He may have brought that on himself, the result of showing up to work last Halloween dressed in replicas of Kerr’s Chicago Bulls jersey and shorts that he had purchased on eBay. The resemblance was uncanny, except for the Adidas shoes – Kerr wore Nikes during his playing days. The outfit easily won him the $100 prize for the best costume.

The championship run “was the best experience I have ever been part of,” Leslie said. “To call it ‘work’ amazes me.” He added that expectations are higher now, and there are more requests from the league and the media.

Will the Warriors win another championship?

“We’ll see. It’s really hard to win back-to-back titles inthe NBA,” he said, “but we’re going to give it our best shot.”