Oklahoma fans are proud that the Thunder will roar into the NBA Finals

The feeling of going to the NBA Finals in a city without a history of pro sports as told by the fans. Photo: Sue Ogrocki/AP

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 12, 2012—“Throughout the history of Oklahoma there have been unique events exclusive to our state. The Trail of Tears, The Land Runs, The Dust Bowl, The Extensive Native American History. Oklahoma has enjoyed tremendous success on the collegiate gridiron, diamond, wrestling mat, hardwood, and golf course. As proud as we are of our schools athletic accomplishments on a national scale, nothing can match the worldwide attention and state unity brought by the opportunity to play for a NBA title.”

Thomas Keller, Oklahoma City, Okla.

“As a child in the 60’s I dreamed that I would live to see a pro sports franchise in Oklahoma. When the Hornets came to OKC I knew that I had to support them. Once they were here I never wanted them to leave. The year after they left it seemed like my dream for an Oklahoma team was over.”

Joe Land, Tulsa, Okla.

“As a kid growing up in the 70’s in EL Reno, OK we got maybe two or three NBA games a week on TV. It’s was pretty much just Lakers and Celtics. If you would have told me one day OKC would have an NBA franchise and that team would play for a world championship, I would have written you off as certifiably nuts!”

Thomas Keller, Oklahoma City, Okla.

“There was no sense of unity for the people of Oklahoma in sports, except for our loyalty to our University of choice - OU or OSU. I look at the packed Chesapeake Arena and truly believe the Thunder have made our city and our state one.”

Natalee Dobbs, Yukon, Okla.

“Honestly, I had no expectations, or much interest, when they first came to OKC. And I even thought they might not last. My husband was completely floored when I said I didn’t want to go to the lake because there was NO WAY I was missing the Thunder game! I am so proud of my home state.”

Katie Williams, Fayetteville, Ark.

“When the Thunder arrived I was in line again for season tickets. Even the heartbreaking loss in Game 6 to the Lakers was one of the greatest sports moments I had ever experienced.”

Joe Land, Tulsa, Okla.

“I’ve got to be honest, when the Thunder first arrived I was excited for Oklahoma, but wasn’t sure how emotionally involved I was going to get.  Once they made their first playoff run though, I was hooked. The LA contingent of Okies was out in full force rooting for the Thunder against the Lakers at the risk of being shot, stabbed, or both at the same time.”

Ryan Craig, Los Angeles, Calif.

“I think it is great that the fans are so into the game and the team. Most people here complain that the team was stolen from the city (and I partially agree). But we let the team be stolen! The fans bailed on the team and they paid for it. Of course the new owners wanted to move the team. The city fell out of love with the team. I just wish we had them here to cheer for….”

Tony Toppenberg, Seattle, Wash.

“Living in OKC the past decade has been a head-spinning exercise in rising expectations. Ten years ago, I never would have dreamed of an NBA team here. Three years ago, I hoped that within a few years, the Thunder might make the playoffs. Two years ago, I hoped that within several years, they might make the conference finals. Last year, I hoped that they would make the NBA Finals at least once before Kevin Durant retired. This morning, I assume they’re going to win at least four championships before Durant turns 30. It’s pretty heady and surreal stuff for any lifelong resident of Oklahoma City.”

Sen. David Holt, Oklahoma City, Okla. Author of Big League City

“It’s great for the city and the state. Since when do you get Sooners and O-Staters high five together. Wish they were here during my playing days, might have gotten a better look. LOL!”

Choo Kennedy, Oklahoma City, Okla., University of Oklahoma basketball legend

“I don’t want us to come across as being some tortured sports city, because we aren’t. We’ve only had the team four years. We aren’t allowed to complain. We love our universities and all of their success. This is about the perception of a city or even our state. We grew up thinking pro sports was for other places, not Oklahoma. I do feel bad for Seattle, this has to be awful. We aren’t Cleveland where LeBron left, contributing to more bad history. We are OKC a pro sports city. I can’t believe it.”

Paul Kelly, Oklahoma City, Okla.

“I lead a chant of OKC-OKC-OKC in a Boston themed bar on the Westside of LA. The bar was packed with disappointed Kings fans, but most went along with it except for one guy. I don’t know, I guess he was the one guy actually from LA. I know how the entire state has rallied behind them. That hometown spirit makes me proud to be from Oklahoma.”

Ryan Craig, Los Angeles, Calif.

“I still remember the feeling I had when I got the first year season tickets in the mail. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be able to watch guys like LeBron in OKC. Four years later, we are in the NBA finals and I still don’t know if it has fully hit me how huge this is for this city.”

Marty Jones, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Game One of the NBA Finals is Tuesday, June 12 in Oklahoma City.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Jason Black

Jason Black is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he recieved a B.A. in Journalism.  While at OU he served as Sports Director for the University television station.  He has recieved multiple awards for public speaking and comedy.

He appears weekly on 18 radio stations across the country and also writes for the magazine distinctly Oklahoma.

Growing and living in Oklahoma for almost his entire life, Jason has a passion for all sports mixed with a little pop culture.

Contact Jason Black


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