Kevin Durant vs. Sam Bradford: Who’s bigger?
Big news day for The Oklahoman sports page today. We had the Kevin Durant contract. We had Sam Bradford with a Norman appearance, talking about his NFL career. We had the climax of our Super 30 recruiting list, profiling No. 1 Josh Turner, who has committed to, gulp, Texas.
Durant got the big splash, which he should have. But it raises a really good question. Who’s bigger in Oklahoma right now? Durant or Bradford?
The answer will shock some of you, but it’s Durant. And the reason is relatively new.
For 60 years — heck, more than that, counting baseball — our stars from Oklahoma high schools and universities have mostly taken their talents and gone elsewhere. Pepper Martin to Sportsman’s Park, Paul and Loyd Waner to Forbes Field, Mickey Mantle and Allie Reynolds to Yankee Stadium, Johnny Bench to Riverfront Stadium.
Alvan Adams to Phoenix, Wayman Tisdale to Sacramento and Indianapolis, Mark Price to Cleveland.
Tommy McDonald to Franklin Field,Steve Owens to Tiger Stadium, Barry Sanders to the Silverdome, Lee Roy Selmon to Tampa Stadium, Troy Aikman to Texas Stadium, Adrian Peterson to the Metrodome.
But Durant is not going. He’s coming. This is a guy who is going global while calling the Ford Center home. Durant is an NBA superstar here in the 405. He’s an import, not an export, and on the athletic side, imports trump exports.
Bradford was one of the most popular Sooners of all time. I wouldn’t argue with anyone who says Sammy B. is No. 1 on the list. A local kid. A great story. A Heisman Trophy. Good raisin’. Everything you want.
But now Bradford is headed to St. Louis, where he will be another region’s hero. Hard to care about the Rams. Easy to care about the Thunder.
Durant has come to symbolize Oklahoma City. He is rapidly becoming the face of OKC. Perhaps not Oklahoma, where football still reigns supreme, but most definitely in Oklahoma City. And that status will only grow Durant gets bigger and the Thunder gets better.
This all reminds me of The Wonder Years, the late great ABC sitcom. You remember. Kevin Arnold was a kid growing up in Somewhere, America, in the late ’60s/early ’70s, and his grown-up persona narrated the stories. Easily one of the five best television shows ever.
Anyway, the series finale of The Wonder Years dealt with the lovestruck couple, Kevin and Winnie Cooper. The final episode dealt with the summer going into their senior year, and at the end, Grown-Up Kevin told the story of what happened to everyone. To his family and his friends and himself and the girl he would always love.
Winnie Cooper went off to Paris to study design and didn’t come back for good for something like 10 years. And when she did return, Kevin was there to greet her.
With his wife and kids.
Sam Bradford is Oklahoma’s Winnie Cooper. Yesterday’s girlfriend.
But Kevin Durant is Oklahoma’s wife and kids.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 24190Oklahoma baseball: Joe Simpson 'thrilled' that Sunny Golloway left OU
- 13456Classen School of Advanced Studies valedictorian disappears while hiking with family in Ecuador
- 11113Tom Ward is out as SandRidge's CEO
- 10453UPDATE: I-40 reopened at Shields after fatal wreck
- 7895Oklahoma State football: A stunning success story at the box office
- 6976Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy lifts Wes Lunt restrictions, but too late
- 6568Prosecutors say stolen car was at heart of 2011 fatal shootings in Oklahoma City
- 6301Get App-y: Google Glass to offer heads-up computing
- 6165Team Blake's Danielle Bradbery wins "The Voice"; The Swon Brothers finish in third place
- 4992Will Oklahomans get on board with new water toy?
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients