The Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff run came to an end Monday night in Oakland to the defending champions Golden State Warriors, but even though Oklahoma City fell short of the title they continue to convert sports fans in Kansas and surrounding states.
Anytime I used to bring up NBA Basketball to someone their response would typically be negative. The usual response is that “they don’t play defense!” The Thunder though have changed people’s minds with their exciting brand of basketball featuring two of the top players in the league in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. People now usually tell me, “I want to go to a Thunder game.”
Oklahoma City made a case to be a full time location for a NBA franchise in 2005 and 2006 as they adopted the New Orleans Hornets for most of the season as when they were displaced because of Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets drew sell out crowds in Oklahoma City and in 2008. The Seattle Super Sonics were in search of a new home after they failed to get a new arena built in their city they turned to Oklahoma City. In the fall of 2008 the Thunder had their inaugural season in Oklahoma City.
I have attended four Thunder games so far, including game three of the Western Conference Semifinals this year against San Antonio. Three of the four games I have attended have been postseason games, including attending their first NBA finals home game in 2012, against the Miami Heat and Lebron James. The energy in the arena in the playoffs is comparable to a Royals postseason game at Kaufman Stadium. The experience may not be for everyone. I know my dad felt it was too loud. I feel the experience is like going to a rock concert and game at the same time. They play loud music throughout the game and have both male and female cheerleaders walking up and down the aisles in parts of the arena trying to get the crowd into the game.
To me the experience overall is enjoyable. The Thunder’s arena also located in an area of Oklahoma City called Bricktown which has a college feel. Bricktown has everything from restaurants, bars, a movie theatre, shops and even a Minor League ball park. Another positive if you make it to a game, is that NBA allows their fans to get closer to the action and their stars and games then any other major professional sport. If you’re looking for an activity for a family that loves sports, next season then a trip to see the Oklahoma City Thunder is highly recommended!