Innocence lost in OKC? Maybe just a little bit
Yeah, this is late today, blame time zones. But with a 6 a.m. flight to Dallas tomorrow, we’ll be better.
I’m sitting on a familiar stool (that’s what you get after being here for a bit of the Western Conference final and the NBA Final last June) and my friend Tess is still pouring.
After a re-introduction (“you’re the writer from Toronto, right?”) it’s pretty easy to understand the mood here after the James Harden trade.
“It’s like one of our kids left,” she says.
And that’s what makes this little city kind of special.
Because it’s so small, and because the team is so good, there’s a sense of common ownership with the fans, who really don’t have a lot of other sporting options around here. They take to the players like they’re family, and the players seem to have taken to the fans as well, as least during the season.
You’re not going to get it in a bigger city – I can’t imagine you’d get in it Toronto, that’s for sure – because it seems everyone is a fan, everyone wants to know a player, everyone takes pride in what the Thunder represents.
It’s very cool, actually. Kind of refreshing to come here once or twice a year and listen to how much these people – all of them – love their team.
But now it’s a bit broken up, for the first time since the Thunder got here, one of the good guys on a championship team left because the nasty business of the NBA reared its ugly head.
I’m not going to say there’s a total loss of innocence among the fans but it’s close, they’ve had a guy they loved on a team they love sent away for financial reasons. It happens often around the league, the Harden departure is the first time it’s happened here; I don’t imagine it’ll cost the team any fans but it might be the first step in them becoming just a wee bit jaded.
So, Tess, how will they react when Harden comes back?
“We’ll cheer. It’s what we do.”
Speaking of Oklahoma City, My Man Perk found this gem of a local TV ad and it’s hilarious.
Wish there were some personalities or deals to be made with the Raptors because these things can be funny.
What’d we get?
Andrea and pasta.
Sam and cars in an ad that took away his personality.
Turk and pizza.
The best one was back in the day with the Leaves and the Raptors but that was so long ago few of you would remember it.
Yes, we’ll be here about 8 eastern time for the IGBT, we’re trying to work out the font issue with the questions and the Tall Foreheads know about the iPhone or iPad issues, too.
Not sure how many US Irregulars we have but if there are any out there, go vote today.
Vote early, vote often as my Chicago friends tell me because it’s the price you pay for the life you live.
I’m not going to tell you who to vote for (I like the guy who’s got the job, though) but exercising your franchise is not only a right, it’s a duty. Besides, as a wise man once told me, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.
Look, I am of the believe to a large extent that the biggest goal of every politician is gaining power so they can retain it no matter what it takes but voting is one thing everyone should do.
And, who knows, it might make you feel good.
I can remember four years ago, well, four years ago minus one day, and walking into the Air Canada Centre for a morning shootaround before some nondescript regular season game.
And I will never forget the smiles on the face of Sam Mitchell and Alex English, I will never forget their feelings of satisfaction, that they had been involved with and witnessed history.
It was a great day for them, a significant day in the history of their country and it might be one of the most enduring images I’ll have of either man.
Yes, this is entirely the cliché song and I know there may be better ones out there but we’re in Oklahoma, Woody Guthrie’s from here and let’s go with the iconic, shall we?
Hey, how come no one told me Mandy Patinkin is in Homeland!
Just got to see a few episodes while flying yesterday thanks to the early Christmas gift of the mini-iPad from Super Family and there he was.
Have only seen a couple episodes but it looks like a keeper (Clare Danes is outstanding in her on-the-edge persona) and Patinkin’s better than he was at the end of his Criminal Mind days.
Nothing yesterday at all, in the middle of four games in five nights they took the day off before travelling here. They once again won’t have Linas Kleiza, he’s still dealing with a family matter but that’s the only thing close to news.
Maybe more after shootaround in a couple of hours, but I’d be surprised.
You know that I don’t thin too many sports translate well onto radio – baseball being the only exception because of the pace and the lazy summer nights listening to a game – but if there was someone in basketball who could paint a picture like few others, it was Jim Durham of ESPN.
He was pretty much the best there’s been and his passing at just 65 years old on the weekend – after working a game last week in Miami – was as sad as it was shocking.
RIP. A giant.