I actually went to the game and – while the paid attendance was north of 11,000 – I’d wager half of that number was in the concourse stuffing their collective face with chicken strips. When the lights came down for the pre-game introductions, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green received tepid applause. And when Kevin Durant was announced, you’d thought the PA announcer had declared a Dodge Neon has its light on in the southwest parking lot.
So what’s NOT to like about the Thunder? They’re talented, they play as a team, they’re now successful, there are no prima donnas. And they have one of the top 3 players in the world right now. Repeating, one of the top 3 basketball players in the world was in Tulsa last night.
I have to believe some of this Thunder apathy dates back to the team’s decision to call the franchise the Oklahoma City Thunder rather than the Oklahoma Thunder. If that’s really the reason, I don’t know what to say. To not root for a team out of spite is more than childish. Rather than embrace an NBA Playoff team in this state, most Tulsans would rather strategize on bringing the Olympics to Green Country or rounding up a bunch of non-lesbians to see a Tulsa Shock game.
The Tulsa World barely pays attention to the Thunder mid-season. They might send John Klein to OKC to nap through a game and stink up the media bathroom and henpeck a column rife with obvious observations. But no features … unless the team is playing in Tulsa. And definitely no beat reporter. But for fuck’s safe, let me know what is happening at Fair Meadows or I’ll cancel my subscription.
The Dallas Cowboys are named for the city of Dallas. But the entire state of Texas (and most of it still) was devoted to the team for 50 years. I’d wager 75% of Oklahoma Sooner fans didn’t even take a coorespondence course with the actual university. Maybe its a generational thing. Our children’s children will cheer on the Thunder in Tulsa while they drive around in their flying cars and pork women in virtual reality booths.