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.
And two weeks of NBA games have been canceled? Oh the humanity. No Pacers or Raptors appearing downtown? Stop the world, I want to get off.
Heck, even baseball is scratching its way into our psyche. We sit on the verge of the ultimate Oklahoma World Series. Cardinals vs. Rangers. Favorite team of most Okie baseball fans over 40 vs. favorite team of most Okie baseball fans under 40.
Hey, I'm a huge NBA fan. Love at first bite. I want the lockout over. But if the owners are determined to push the players to the brink of a canceled season, we'll adjust. We'll move on. We'll find something else to occupy our time.
NBA seasons are long. For ticket-buyers, NBA seasons are a huge financial and time commitment. For the crowd that is Thunder-crazy via television only, still a big time commitment. Eighty-two games spread over 5 1/2 months.
The games are great, the action suspenseful, the talent amazing, the entertainment supreme. The NBA has spent five years in Oklahoma City teaching us we can't live without the game.
But give us another dark season, and maybe we learn that we can.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.