Thursday, September 4, 2008

The case for Oklahoma City

Confirming what people already knew for months, Oklahoma City's NBA team revealed Wednesday that it would be called the Thunder.

Here's a thought from Thunder star Kevin Durant's mom, Wanda Pratt:
“Coming from a large city like Washington D.C., sometimes people aren't as friendly because of the hustle and bustle,” Pratt said. “The thing I really like about Oklahoma City is how welcoming the people are here. I've really been impressed with that.”
I've got to agree. OKC is really an underrated gem. I lived there for eight glorious months, both professionally and personally. To this day, I'm a tad regretful that I didn't stick around longer - which always seems to surprise people.

The city is affordable and clean, easy to navigate (it rarely takes more than 15 minutes to get anywbere), the people are friendly, all the usual cultural offerings are there and the weather is mild. My only real complaints were that I couldn't find a movie theater that showed independent films and it was hard to find good produce there. (Now that I've had a chance to move around a little more, I might also add that OKC isn't pedestrian-friendly and tailored almost exclusively for motorists).

OKC is not a big-league city in the sense of New York, Chicago or Denver but I think the team has a chance to do well there, especially considering the NBA's relative success in cities like Sacramento, Portland and Salt Lake City. And though I hate to see Seattle without a team, I'd like to see the Thunder stick around for awhile.

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