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.”
“Mostly I enjoy making my own videos and putting those up,” Iyengar said.
His friend Charlie Bunn helped with the musical production while Iyengar supplied the lyrics. “We had always talked about doing a song, and we both love hip-hop and we both love the Thunder,” Iynegar said. “We thought maybe we could come up with a Thunder rap.”
The video was shot and edited in one day, but Iyengar doesn't plan to shoot more music videos. “I'm not really a rapper,” he said.
In fact, he works in finance.
Iyengar, 25, graduated from Tulsa Washington High School in 2004 and earned an economics degree from the University of Chicago four years later — the same year the Thunder franchise moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle.
He thinks anyone can like the Thunder if they give it an opportunity.
“We haven't even had the team that long,” he said. “But I think some of the players are so energetic that it's so easy to like them.”
Go to the Thunder Rumblings blog on NewsOK.com to see Iyengar's rap.
Analyst Charles Barkley offered a few comments on NBA TV before Game 5 on Thursday night:
On Thunder guard Russell Westbrook: “He's never going to be a traditional point guard.”
On Thunder forward Kevin Durant: “He's got to get stronger (in the offseason).”
On Miami Heat forward LeBron James: “LeBron James, since the day he came into the NBA, has lived up to the hype. LeBron James is probably a better all-around player (compared to Michael Jordan). This guy is beautiful to watch. I think people forget how great he was in Cleveland.”
On what he would like to see in Game 5 ‘as a fan': “I would love for Oklahoma City to win (Thursday) because I would like to see the Heat, in that environment (Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena), try and close out. That's me as a fan.”
BY WAY OF SEATTLE
Someone in the Northwest was happy with the Game 5 result Thursday night. During the fourth quarter, with Miami ahead by 20 points, someone posted on www.seattlepi.com: “People in Seattle Are Smiling. Heat Are Going to Win. This For You Seattle. After The Sonics Were Stolen Four Years Ago.”