There are multiple moving parts in organizing Sunday night's US Fleet Tracking Basketball Invitational at the Cox Convention Center.
Host Kevin Durant of the Thunder and former Oklahoma State great Desmond Mason are rounding up the players and handling their requests.
SMG will manage all aspects involved in staging the event, including court installation, seating, security and concessions.
It'll be business as usual for the staff of Gary Desjardins, who is general manager of the Cox Center and neighboring Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Preparations will be frantic because the Oklahoma City Barons play Grand Rapids on Friday and Saturday night inside the Cox Center.
"There's a lot of work to be done," Desjardins said Tuesday night. "We will do the best we can, and we have high expectations around here."
Because players are not allowed to use NBA facilities during the lockout, the game could not be held inside the refurbished and renamed arena across the street.
And because NBA personnel are not allowed to have any contact whatsoever with players during the lockout, the Thunder organization will have no involvement in Sunday's exhibition.
No one from the Thunder front office will be in the stands. No one from game operations, marketing or sales will lend a hand. There will be no Thunder Girls and no Rumble.
The massive chore of game ops now sits in the lap of Jay Lakin, who will have had 11 days to orchestrate a scaled-down, lockout version of the NBA All-Star Game.
That's not much time for anyone, particularly a 39-year-old area sales manager for the Shields Pipe Corporation.
"Pretty crazy," Lakin admitted. "We're going to try to put on the best show we can with the time we have available."
Lakin previously worked for the Oklahoma City Blazers hockey team for 10½ seasons and spent roughly half his tenure as director of game operations.
Brad Lund of Sold Out Strategies, who also is helping organize Sunday's exhibition, previously served as general manager of the Blazers and sought out Lakin.
Lakin's many responsibilities include hiring personnel for the pregame invocation, national anthem, player introductions, scoreboard operations, game officials, public address and auction announcements, music, timeout entertainment, the halftime show and a game announcer.
Lakin has lined up Grammy winner Sandi Patty to sing the national anthem.
The strength and hand-balancing act of Duo Design, a fixture in NBA arenas during the season, will perform at halftime
Super fan Cameron Hughes, who dances throughout the stands while throwing T-shirts, will perform during timeouts.
Oklahoma State's Larry Reese will handle the public address announcements.
An employee of the WNBA Tulsa Shock will cue the music.
Durant handpicked Miles Rawls as the game announcer. Rawls is commissioner of the Goodwin summer league from the Barry Farm area in southeast Washington, D.C., and will bring a passionate and comedic delivery to the event.
"This is a very, very unique event and we want to do it right," Lakin said.
Seven participants in last year's NBA All-Star Game already have committed to play: Durant and Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook, former Oklahoma great Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.
As of Tuesday at 5 p.m., roughly 10,700 tickets had been sold and 2,700 seats remained in the upper section ($29) and lower bowl ($89). A limited number of courtside seats at $199 each sold out in five minutes Monday.
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com, coxconventioncenter.com, the Cox Center Box Office, participating Homeland stores or by calling 1-800-745-3000. A portion of ticket proceeds and auctioned jersey sales will benefit non-profit groups selected by Durant and Griffin.
The exhibition is being deemed as a battle for "Mr. Basketball in Oklahoma" between Durant, the league's two-time defending scoring champ, and Griffin, the unanimous choice last season as rookie of the year.
The game will be televised live on the Cox Channel (Cox cable channels 3 and 703).
NBA EXHIBITION GAME
When: 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cox Convention Center (seats 13,400)
TV: Cox Channel (Cox cable channels 3 and 703)
Player commitments: Kevin Durant (Thunder), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), James Harden (Thunder), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), LeBron James (Miami Heat), Chris Paul (New Orleans), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Amar'e Stoudemire (New York Knicks), Jeff Green (Boston Celtics), John Wall (Washington Wizards), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies).
Tickets: Priced at $29 for upper section and $89 for lower bowl and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com, coxconventioncenter.com, the Cox Center Box Office, participating Homeland stores or by calling 1-800-745-3000.