Quite a night for Oklahoma City. A playoff series victory over Denver in the most dramatic of fashion. Kevin Durant’s heroics. Serge Ibaka’s blocks. Kendrick Perkins even dunked.
I sat on press row, right behind the scorer’s table, so I had a great seat, but that doesn’t mean I had the best view to experience all the atmosphere, during the game and after.
I went to a really good source for that. A better source than the crazy fans who dress up and live and die with the Thunder. A better source than Rumble. A better source than Clay Bennett.
My wife. Trish the Dish bought two $47 tickets and sat on Row J in Section 311. She took our niece, another big Thunder fan. I went to visit in pre-game but couldn’t stay long. The upper deck gives me the willies; I don’t have a fear of heights, I have a fear of falling.
Anyway, I got home at 2 a.m., so it wasn’t until this morning that I was able to conduct a serious interview on what the night was like. Here is her report.
First, she reported no disgruntledness from the crowd. Down below, you could sense a feeling of unrest. But no booing. Few groans. A little frustration when no one but Durant could make a shot. Apparently, it was the same upstairs. “I didn’t hear any complaining or yelling at the team,” Trish the Dish said. “It was positive. More of a cheering you on type of thing.”
After the game, the fans stayed for several minutes cheering. “I kept thinking, ‘is somebody going to come out and do something?’ because everyone was staying in their seats,” she said.
Walking down the concourse of the arena sounded cool, too. The Thunder drummers were set up, pounding away, and the fans chanted “OKC! OKC!” just like they did after those Laker games last year.
Fans had their cell phones in the air, videoing the scene. Once outside, the mass of people didn’t dissipate. The crowd gathered around the TV stage, where Kelly Crull and the crew were about to stage a post-game show.
Trish the Dish had parked just off Reno, east of the railroad tracks. At the stoplight by the Courtyard, the fans still were chanting. Car horns began honking, some to the rhythm of that “clap, clap-clap, clap your hands” chant.
Going under the railroad bridge on Reno, fans started walking in the street instead of the sidewalk, going between the cars, and no one seemed to mind. People were hanging out of their cars yelling and screaming.
All after the first of what could be four playoff series.