Fans, arena workers suffer through NBA lockout

by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 23, 2011
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Resentment doesn't reside on Reno Ave.

Not in Oklahoma City. Not in the heart of Thunder territory.

No, this NBA lockout hasn't broken hearts around here.

The love affair with the National Basketball Association is alive and well.

Sad and selfish were more the operative words for fans attending Kevin Durant's All-Star showcase Sunday night. Those were the words many used to describe their feelings and view of the NBA lockout.

“I think they're both kind of selfish,” said Sam Wallace, 46, of Ardmore. “They're leaving the fan out in the cold.”

In many cities, fans with opinions like Wallace's would and perhaps already have boycotted NBA ball. That's not the case in OKC, where after three seasons fans were just getting attached to NBA action before the labor dispute set in.

Wallace is a prime example. He bought six tickets the day they went on sale last week. Five remained in his pocket as he snapped pre-game photos of the All-Stars from the first row of the lower bowl. His family couldn't attend because his boys had football practice.

Clearly, the passion for pro ball remains. A crowd of 13,000, many decked in Thunder blue T-shirts and jerseys, packed the Cox Convention Center to get a glimpse of members of the team that made a surprising trek to the Western Conference Finals last season.

The presence of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul was just icing on the cake.

“I don't know what I'm going to do if it drags on,” said Glenda Love, 68, of Oklahoma City. “I am so hungry and so ready for NBA basketball, I've been watching the NBA channel and watching 1993 playoff games.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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