Jenni Carlson: Oklahoma City and the Thunder have come a long way

by Jenni Carlson Modified: April 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm •  Published: April 20, 2011

Sure, the Nuggets cut that lead, but they never got within serious striking distance.

This puts the Thunder on the verge of something truly unbelievable. A playoff series win. A second-round appearance.

A decade ago, who'd have guessed this would be how we'd be spending this spring?

Oklahoma City was changing before the bombing with the first MAPS tax passing more than a year before. Plans were in place for the ballpark, the canal, the library and more.

Civic pride was growing.

The bombing kicked it into overdrive. The city came together like never before, bonding in the wake of terror.

When problems threatened to derail the building of the arena, Oklahoma City refused to take a step back. It figured out how to keep the vision alive. It found out a way to build the arena that now has a Northwest Division championship banner hanging from its rafters and a serious playoff contender playing on its court.

Who knows where this postseason run will end? Who knows how much bigger the wins will get or how much grander the stage will become?

But for now, Oklahoma City should celebrate how far it has come — and how far it could still go.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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