Sam Presti has shuffled players in and out of town since the Thunder arrived in 2008 and, as a result, a handful of current Thunder players have stayed at the Skirvin hotel in downtown Oklahoma City before finding permanent homes.
Thabo Sefolosha and Nenad Krstic had the longest stays when they were acquired in mid-season last year. Kevin Ollie and Russell Westbrook had a brief stay, and rookies James Harden and Byron Mullens were guests in the days after the Thunder drafted them last June.
Krstic stayed at the Skirvin for about 10 days before moving into his residence. The Thunder’s center stayed on the third floor and said he didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary.
Sefolosha, who was at the Skirvin for about 2 1/2 weeks, was on the fourth floor and said he didn’t witness anything creepy either. When asked about the report in the New York Daily News quoting Knicks players saying they didn’t get much sleep before Monday’s game because they were scared, Sefolosha said, “That’s an excuse.”
The Thunder won 106-88.
Sefolosha called the tale of a 1930s woman jumping to her death from the 10th floor with her baby in her arms a “pretty scary story.”
“I don’t know if it’s true or not,” Sefolosha said. “I like it for a horror movie. It’d be pretty good.”
Thunder players, according to Sefolosha, briefly talked about the Daily News report before Tuesday’s practice. Sefolosha said the report, “put a smile on some faces.”
What no one, including Thunder coach Scott Brooks, found funny was the team’s hotel in Milwaukee. The Pfister in downtown Milwaukee, according to several members of the Thunder organization, is haunted.
“In Milwaukee it’s not really a comfortable stay when you’ve heard those stories,” Krstic said. “But for me, it’s hard to believe that something like that exists. I don’t really believe in it, but when you hear stories like that and you’re by yourself in you room and you need to go to sleep it’s not very comfortable.”
It’s worth noting that the Thunder lost a 103-97 decision at Milwaukee on Jan. 2 — a defeat that ended the Thunder’s season-long five-game winning streak.
When asked about the Skirvin during a press conference Tuesday, Presti joked that the hotel many visiting teams use could become the Thunder’s secret weapon.
“Some locker rooms are really small and really hot,” Presti said. “I guess that’ll be our thing. ”