We’ve talked many times before about the Thunder fans being the best in the NBA, and these pictures and videos won’t do anything to hurt that reputation.
An estimated 5,000 fans showed up at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City to greet the team as they returned home from losing the Finals in Miami. The airport set up a special area so fans could greet the team, and as you can see in the photo above, the traffic to get there was absurd.
The reception was no surprise — we saw fans doing similar things last year in the early morning when the team returned home from an overnight flight.
Teams that play the Thunder in Oklahoma City understand that no lead is ever safe. For starters, the Thunder are athletic enough to score in transition and rack up points quickly. Like the Heat, Kevin Durant and company can erase a 10-point deficit in what seems like 30 seconds. Then, there are the fans. After a game in which Oklahoma City erased a 13-point deficit and energized their notoriously rowdy arena, Chris Bosh did not seem overly impressed by the noise level in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“Everybody keeps talking about how loud it is,” Bosh said according to Eye on Basketball. “It’s regular. We’ve been in a lot of other arenas and it’s about the same. Once it gets really loud, it’s all about the same.”
Bosh then added that the Thunder “have a great homecourt” and called the fans “very vibrant,” but we all know it’s the word “regular” that is going to stick out in the minds of the Oklahoma City faithful come Game 2. The Thunder are 9-0 at home during their impressive postseason run, so it’s safe to say their fans take their jobs seriously.
That being said, Bosh is right. All arenas are loud in the playoffs — especially the NBA Finals. I’m sure the Mavericks fans didn’t exactly act like they were in church when Miami lost in the Finals last year, just as the Boston fans cranked up the noise in the Eastern Conference Finals this year. Once it reaches a certain level, noise is noise.
The NBA Finals start Tuesday night, and basketball fans couldn’t ask for a better matchup. The Thunder and Heat are arguably the two most athletic teams in the league, so if fast-paced basketball and high-scoring affairs are your thing, you’re in for a treat. As you can see from the photo above that Instagram user Bethany_Young shared with us, even the Oklahoma churches are fired up about it.
The Community Church of the Nazarene in Midwest City is using their marquee to get Thunder fans amped for the big series with a message that reads as follows: “The great men in the bible had beards too! Fear the beard.”
Everyone in Oklahoma City has Thunder fever right now, and rightfully so. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook might even get jealous. Between this church marquee and this building entrance, James Harden and the beard are getting all of the attention.
Think there isn’t any bad blood between the Thunder and Lakers? Think again. The dislike Thunder fans have toward Metta World Peace was evident prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Monday when the forward was booed in warmups, intros, and every time he touched the ball during the game.
Those Oklahoma City Thunder fans sure know how to exercise the creative regions of their minds. Earlier this week we shared with you a story of one OKC fan who turned his Suzuki X-90 into a portable mural featuring depictions of Thunder players. Now, we bring you a beer pong table that will make any frat bro in the state of Oklahoma slack-jawed. The table, custom built by a fan, comes with built-in speakers (complete with a 10-inch subwoofer), LED lights and, hang on to your pants, an automatic ball washer.
That automatic ball washer… just… it’s… I mean… Wow.
Fan Drew Hooper loves the Oklahoma City Thunder so much, he decided to turn his car into a tribute to the team.
Hooper is an artist and told The Oklahoma he had been thinking about painting his 1996 Suzuki X-90 for a while. He says it wasn’t until he had lunch with his cousin before the playoffs began that he decided to make the move.
Inspired by the talk with his cousin, Hooper set out that day to begin his project. He says he spent about $200 in paint supplies, and then sanded down the car’s purple exterior, and spray painted it white.
The next day, he used transparencies and a projector to paint the faces on the passenger side: Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Derek Fisher, Nick Collison, and Cole Aldrich. The following day he put Daequan Cook, Thabo Sefolosha, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka on the driver’s side.
So what do you think? If he was driving a purple Suzuki before, he certainly didn’t make the car any worse. A few pics of the car are below.
Nate Robinson got himself into trouble last week when he called Thunder fans the best in the world. The praise was nice, but it alienated the fans in Robinson’s hometown of Seattle, where the Thunder came from before moving to Oklahoma City. Even if Robinson exercised poor judgment with that statement, he might not be wrong.
A few hours after beating the Mavericks in Game 2, the Thunder arrived home in Oklahoma City and a strong crowd was there to support the team. The only difference is Nate Robinson flipped the script on them, filming the experience. Check out this video to see the support Oklahoma City has for its team (beware of an s-bomb around the 2-minute mark):
It had to have been around midnight in Oklahoma City when the team arrived, if not later. If that’s not dedication shown by the fans I don’t know what is. Fans generally are extremely supportive whenever they have a new team (see most expansion teams in the history of sports), and it doesn’t hurt that the Thunder is really good, but these fans look pretty legit to me. Nice show OKC, well done.
Praising the hometown fans is almost always a good P.R. strategy for athletes to employ. For instance, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is probably a god in Milwaukee after what he said about their fans this week. The fans help pay athletes’ salaries by supporting the team and attending games — you almost can never go wrong with praising the fans. Unless you’re Nate Robinson.
The Oklahoma City Thunder bench player found himself in the middle of a murky situation Thursday after he tweeted his praise of Thunder fans. Robinson wrote on twitter “OKC aka Thunder fans are the best on the planet hands down.”
When it comes to playing to the home crowd, it doesn’t get better than that. The local fans will love a guy who shares the love with them. The problem is Nate Robinson is from Seattle, went to high school in Rainier Beach, and played college ball at Washington. He’s a local icon in Seattle, has a 206 tattoo (Seattle’s area code), and a tattoo of the Seattle skyline on his neck (pictured above). For someone who represents Seattle as well as Nate does, he clearly wasn’t thinking about how his hometown would be hurt by his words.