If you’ve ever gone to a Thunder game early to score autographs or watch players warm up, you’ve likely seen Thunder assistant coach Mark Bryant’s pre-game ritual.
Bryant is the coach who takes three back-to-the-basket, over-the-head shots from the corner 3-point line just in front of the Thunder’s bench. Three attempts are all Bryant gives himself. If he makes it before the third attempt, he walks away. If he misses all three attempts, he tries again the next game.
“Since I’ve been playing, I’ve always done that,” Bryant said. “Before I would run in before the game, I would grab a ball and try to fling it up real quick. I’ve been doing it since forever.”
Bryant, who enjoyed a 15-year playing career, is surprisingly accurate with the trick shot. It’s not unusual to see Bryant bury a bucket with his back turned to the rim while fans near the bench ooh and ahh at what they just witnessed.
Now, Bryant can’t stop.
“It’s just that superstitious type thing going on. I just have to do it,” Bryant said.
It’s a superstition with a twist.
“I don’t like when I make it, though, because I don’t think we have a good outcome when I make it,” Bryant said. “Sometimes I don’t even like doing it because I don’t want to make it. But I’ve been doing it forever.”