Stern: Welcome to NBA

by Jenni Carlson Modified: October 30, 2008 at 7:52 am •  Published: October 29, 2008
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David Stern had barely begun his speech when the microphone went out.

Moments later, the sound returned.

"It’s the first day,” the NBA commissioner quipped. "It’s allowed.”


On the night Oklahoma City made its NBA debut, the pregame festivities were fitting for such an occasion. They were spirited. They were raucous.

Nothing, though, topped the appearance by Stern.

"Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, welcome to the National Basketball Association,” he said to wild applause. "Thank you for welcoming the NBA to Oklahoma City. You were here for us when the Hornets needed help and the NBA needed help.

"We are so happy that you’ve been rewarded with a team.”

Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett introduced Stern, who was in Boston on Tuesday night as the Celtics celebrated their NBA title.

Cornett also recognized Thunder chairman Clay Bennett.

Prolonged applause eventually lured Bennett to the edge of the court where he waved to the Ford Center crowd, then patted his heart twice before returning to his court-side seat.

"It’s time to get rowdy,” Cornett said as the applause subsided. "It’s time to cheer for our team.”

He pointed to the rafters where a blue banner unfurled.

"The Oklahoma City Thunder.”


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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