Oklahoma City Thunder's practice facility will be THE place for players

by Michael Baldwin Published: August 24, 2009
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photo - An artist’s rendering of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility that will be built near the intersection of Britton Road and Broadway Extension. The facility will cost millions less than was originally projected. PHOTO PROVIDED
An artist’s rendering of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility that will be built near the intersection of Britton Road and Broadway Extension. The facility will cost millions less than was originally projected. PHOTO PROVIDED
The Thunder will break ground on a new practice facility Thursday morning.

A year from now, Oklahoma City’s NBA team will feature what team chairman Clay Bennett has promised — a training facility that will rival any in the league.

When fans hear terms such as "finest facilities,” some probably envision Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban providing his players with personal laptops, flat screen TVs and a plush locker room.

The Thunder’s new facility will provide perks for players, but a training facility’s primary role is to provide practice courts and weight training equipment to assist players during a grueling 82-game season.

"We hope to establish a platform that in Oklahoma City, as a franchise, we are known for providing cutting edge best care, best rehab and best approach to medical services that there is in the league,” Bennett said earlier this year.

The new facility, to be constructed on Britton Road, near Broadway Extension in northeast Oklahoma City, will feature two full length practice courts, luxurious locker rooms, team meeting rooms and nutrition, rehab and medical services.

When the franchise moved from Seattle, some skeptics claimed a small-market team would have difficulties retaining star players or attract free agents.

Oklahoma City’s night life can’t compete with Los Angeles, New York and other major markets, but Kevin Durant and other players have defused some of those concerns, stating they would love to play for the organization for years to come.

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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