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Berry Tramel: It's OK to boo Blake Griffin

The former OCS and OU star is an Oklahoman through and through, but Wednesday night he was the enemy of the Thunder.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 7, 2011

If Johnny Damon could go from beloved Red Sock to the most reviled man in New England...

If the Sooner throng that once cheered Darrell Royal could declare the Bud Wilkinson hero a mortal enemy...

If Kentucky hoop fans could rain derision on Rick Pitino, the man who restored glory to Big Blue...

Then what do you say we refrain from calling a sportsmanship summit over Oklahoma City booing Blake Griffin?

The Terminator was jeered in his hometown. Which is just as it should be.

Nothing personal against Blake, already a player for the ages as an NBA rookie. He gave us thrills while at Oklahoma Christian School, while at OU and while even an LA Clipper.

We love Blake. We're proud to claim him. Proud to cheer him. Except when he's playing against the Thunder. Then he's Beelzebub.

Welcome to the big leagues. Welcome to the present. Blake's run to the 2009 Elite Eight was fun. But that was then. Wednesday night, Blake Griffin stood in the Thunder's way.

And just in case Blake didn't realize it, the fans let him know.

Booing is a communication form. I don't condone profanity. Don't condone throwing things. Don't condone even name-calling. But booing is a way to deliver a message.

Thunder fans sent a message of sorts on Feb. 22, when Griffin made his OKC debut as a pro and was passionately cheered in pregame, then was met with mostly silence once the ball tipped off.

And Blake went wild: 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 11 rebounds, eight assists.

Then when Blake dunked about 15 seconds into the game Wednesday night, fans seemed to say, OK, we tried to be nice. Here's what we think of your dunks.

Is Griffin now the enemy? Mike Sherman: Fans who booed should be embarrassed

Continue reading this story on the...

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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