A sellout crowd is expected Friday night for the Thunder's exhibition game against the Miami Heat in Kansas City, Mo.
There's no telling how big the media crowd will be at the Sprint Center, but the Heat no doubt will lead the NBA in overall media attendance this season.
The instant LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to join Dwyane Wade in Miami, national media coverage has tilted toward South Beach.
"This team wasn't built to go under the radar," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has said. ''That's a good thing. The expectations are there. We won't run away from it.''
The Heat could have as many as 30 media members requesting full-time travel credentials.
By comparison, the Thunder will have nine credentialed people full-time on the road, which includes four people sitting in the television production truck.
An astounding 350 media types were at the Heat's media day compared to 60 a year ago. Roughly 150 traveled to a military base in the Florida panhandle for the Heat's training camp and had to pass a military criminal background check to be allowed on base.
By comparison, roughly 75 people were at the Thunder's media day and a half-dozen have been at training camp every day.
ESPN has been doing live television remotes with a team of reporters at the Heat's camp. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City's three biggest local TV affiliates have yet to make an appearance at Thunder camp.
In addition to Miami's three ringleaders being on hand Friday night, there will be a local flavor inside the Sprint Center. Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, who hit a game-tying 3-pointer to send the 2008 national championship game into overtime, played collegiately at Kansas.
A much-talked-about Thunder team also will garner its share of attention in Kansas City with NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, plus former KU standouts in rookie center Cole Aldrich and veteran power forward Nick Collison (who won't play because of a bruised left knee).
The Heat coming to town will be a bigger media event than the New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys paying a visit. National NBA beat writers could end up with new jobs to join Heat coverage.
The Miami media circus comes to Oklahoma City for a nationally televised game at noon on Jan. 30, which is a Sunday.
Though the Thunder gained tremendous popularity this offseason, to date there has been no media crunch whatsoever. Such is life as the NBA's third-smallest market.
Thunder media demands figure to increase once the season commences and progresses, but will never reach the point of the Heat, Lakers or Celtics.
"You can't hide from it," Spoelstra said of nationwide attention. "You have to embrace it. It's not a distraction, as long as it doesn't get in the way of our daily activities and practice and focus and preparing. That's part of this team. This team is different from what we had last year."
John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.
NBA players and fans are all atwitter about Twitter, with more than 23 million followers among 165 player feeds. The NBA announced its own Twitter account surpassed two million fans.
Shaquille O'Neal is the unquestioned Twitter Daddy, not only of the NBA but all pro athletes.
The Thunder's Kevin Durant (337,469) is inching toward the league's Top 10, but curiously trails free agent Fabricio Oberto (373,015) and Miami's Mario Chalmers (359,656).
The Thunder and Boston Celtics lead the NBA with 12 active player accounts each.
And as you will see by the list of followers below, Twitter is big among foreign fans.
NBA TOP 10
1. Shaquille O'Neal, Boston (3,242,015)
2. Dwight Howard, Orlando (1,708,920)
3. Paul Pierce, Boston (1,628,425)
4. Lamar Odom, LA Lakers (990,268)
5. LeBron James, Miami (843,625)
6. Dwyane Wade, Miami (653,872)
7. Derek Fisher, LA Lakers (583,230)
8. Jason Terry, Dallas (394,960)
9. Carmelo Anthony, Denver (394,280)
10. Quentin Richardson, Orlando (387,107)
1. Fabricio Oberto, free agent (373,015)
2. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio (340,825)
3. Francisco Garcia, Sacramento (335,332)
4. Johan Petro, New Jersey (329,567)
5. Steve Nash, Phoenix (253,347)
Kevin Durant (337,469)
Russell Westbrook (58,692)
James Harden (34,969)
Jeff Green (24,345; inactive)
Eric Maynor (18,834)
Nick Collison (15,784)
Morris Peterson (12,311)
Cole Aldrich (8,742)
Thabo Sefolosha (7,113)
Serge Ibaka (6,034)
Royal Ivey (5,391)
Daequan Cook (4,032)
TOP OWNER: Mark Cuban (233,559)
TOP ROOKIES: John Wall (95,955) and Blake Griffin (67,484)
TOP TV ANALYST: Rick Fox (40,443)
TOP COACH: Alvin Gentry (11,755)
TOP RETIREE: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,209,293)