Welcome to the latest installment of Secondhand Sports, where I give you an in-depth look at a sporting event that you were too busy being somewhere other than Oklahoma to attend. I spent more than a month preparing for this post, as it required me to get a new job, move and take a work trip to Oklahoma City in order to report it. But those are the lengths I’m willing to go to for y’all. This time, I spotlight Game 3 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals, which featured the San Antonio Spurs at the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As someone who only lived in Seattle for three months but tries to act like a totally legit Seattleite, I have very mixed feelings about the Oklahoma City Thunder. I love their stars: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. I love the fact that they’re the new kids on the block of the NBA’s elite. I also love that the city sheltered the Hornets in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and that they’ve developed a passionate hoops following in Oklahoma.
But I’m not allowed to like them, because they killed Seattle basketball. Nevermind that the city couldn’t suck it up and build a new arena, or that the Sonics’ demise makes my favorite soccer team, Seattle Sounders FC, that much more popular. The owners of the Thunder stole the Sonics, and they can just go to hell.
So it was with mixed emotions that I entered Chesapeake Energy Arena for the game. I was excited to see my first NBA playoff game, but I felt dead inside and totally resistant to any kind of celebration with the home crowd. So I guess it felt like any normal day of work as a sports reporter, except I didn’t get free food or WiFi.
Let’s get it on.
(Note: In a McCallin’ It Like I See It first, all times listed are Central. This is a big switch, so please visit this time zone converter and run the numbers to stay with the story. Make sure you stop and do that before every single line. Don’t pull some cowboy shit and try to do the math in your head or skip it altogether. That’s how people get hurt.)
7:58: I step out of my car in the parking lot, and the attendant is already striding toward me. He looks like he just can’t wait to tell me something, and I’m already positive it’s going to be weird. It is.
“I got some good news today,” he says. I’m determined to will this into being a normal exchange, so I cheerfully say, “Oh, yea, what’s that?”
“They caught my friend’s murderer.” Read More →