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Could Oklahoma City learn to live without the NBA again?

BERRY TRAMEL COMMENTARY — Oklahoma City, unlike other NBA cities, has been through this before. In between the Hornets and the Sonics/Hornets, Oklahoma City had a dark NBA season and we didn't like it. But we lived through it, and we could do it again.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 13, 2011

The NBA lockout is coming to a city near you. And out here on the Plains, where we've seen only a sliver of the pro basketball witnessed by big-brother cities, we're actually ahead of the curve.

A dark season, we know.

Oklahoma City went without the NBA four seasons ago. The Hornets went back to New Orleans and the SuperSonics eventually moved from Seattle, but not before the NBA played a season without us.

Wasn't all that great, if I remember right. Oklahomans craved the NBA's return.

But will the same withdrawals hit us this time? If this lockout stretches into January or February or even into next spring, will we be shaking the gates, demanding to see the gang reassembled? Demanding that Clay Bennett make nice with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook? Demanding that Rumble again falls from the sky?

Probably. But not necessarily.

Begrudgingly, we learned to live without the NBA once. Why couldn't we do it again?

Go back to 2005, when the Hornets arrived on the doorstep, and Chris Paul and OKC were baptized into the NBA all at once.

Not a great sporting landscape. Rhett Bomar was learning to quarterback and Mike Gundy was learning to coach. OU's 2005 football team was mediocre and OSU's was worse. The Sooners lost to TCU and UCLA that September, the Cowboys opened the season with a 15-10 win over Montana State and the whole danged state was ready for some diversion.

The Hornets were the ultimate diversion.

Fast forward to now. Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden are whipping passes out of no-huddle offenses, Texas has been horse-whipped by the Sooners and are about to get the same treatment from the Cowboys, and Bedlam 2011 looks like the Game of the Century north of Birmingham.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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