They came from everywhere. From bars where they had watched the game, from home in their pajamas and from their jobs while on a break. Tulsan’s flocked to Academy Sports and Outdoors stores last night after the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-99 to win the Western Conference and make their first trip to the NBA finals.
The Thunder were down by 15 at the half before blitzing the Spurs 59-36 in the second half to win the game going away. Those in line to buy NBA finals gear told KRMG news they were thrilled to be a part of it. “It’s very exciting for Oklahoma overall” one fan exclaimed. Another man said the team is easy to like “it’s a small market and they seem like a family, they play well together” he smiled as he said.
I found two younger men already in Thunder gear who were a bit more exuberant. “This is freaking awesome” one shouted. “Thunder up son” his friend added. One of the two did admit he was there with the help of a designated driver. “I didn’t stop drinking until it was time to come here and get the shirts” he admitted. “He drove me, that’s the only reason I got here” he finished.
Tony Foster manages the Academy near 81st and Garnett, he said this was a no brainer. “This is what makes the job very exciting” he began. Tony continued “Being able to do something like this and be able to support our team and our state, its fun.”
Tony said they would remain open “until we feel like we don’t need to be open anymore or when we run out of merchandise.”
The fans in line didn’t seem to care that a match up with either Boston or Miami waits in the NBA finals. “It would be really cool if they won definitely, but we’re already Western Conference champions, we’re still really big now.”
Game six of the Heat-Celtics series is Thursday night in Boston, if the Celtics win they will take the East. Either way, game one of the finals will be Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.