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NBA Finals: Thunder Bandwagon

Sports Illustrated made sure its bases were covered with its June 18 NBA Finals preview edition.
Compiled by Jason Kersey, RJ Young and Scott Munn Modified: June 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm •  Published: June 21, 2012
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Sports Illustrated made sure its bases were covered with its June 18 NBA Finals preview edition.

Either that or the magazine ensured that someone would be cursed.

The SI cover is often a source of superstition; there are countless examples of those featured on it crumbling.

But this year, SI had two covers — one featuring Kevin Durant and one with LeBron James, with the headline, “THE NEW ERA.”

The Thunder lost, 121-106 in Thursday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals, giving James and the Miami Heat the world championship with a 4-1 series win.

Oklahoma City led the series 1-0 before the Durant and James covers hit newsstands, but lost four straight after that.

Among the many instances of the perceived kiss of death is the Sooners' Clendon Thomas appeared on the Nov. 18, 1957, cover with the headline, “Why Oklahoma is Unbeatable.” OU lost its next game, to Notre Dame, to snap a 47-game winning streak.

In 2012 alone, the “jinx” has shown itself several times.

* Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared on the magazine's cover before the NFL playoffs began; Green Bay lost its playoff opener, ending its season despite a 15-1 regular-season record.

* The New England Patriots appeared on both Sports Illustrated covers in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl; New England lost the game to the New York Giants.

* New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin was on two straight SI covers before his phenomenal run came to a crashing halt after suffering a season-ending injury.

* Albert Pujols was declared “the game's greatest slugger” on the cover of March 26's issue, which previewed the Major League Baseball season. Pujols, who was signed in the offseason by the Los Angeles Angels, failed to hit a home run until the 28th game of the season.

RAP IT PROUD, RAP IT LOUD

Some Oklahoma City Thunder fans love to display their affinity for the team. Some have waited well past the witching hour to greet the team as it deplanes. Others have decked themselves out in sky blue, bright orange and old gold. So how did Kabir Iyengar show his love? He created a rap video called, “OKC Thunder Clap.”

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