Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin to play in charity event at Cox Center

By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: October 12, 2011

I
don't think I can get up and down the court for 40 minutes right now,” Mason said half-jokingly. “I'm in pretty good shape, but I'm not in game shape.”

Lund said the event came together quickly, with some details still not complete until Wednesday morning. Lund's company, the same group that brought the Oklahoma Energy Tennis Classic to the Cox Center on Sept. 25, organized the game in less than two weeks.

“To make a game happen like this overnight just doesn't happen in every city,” Lund said. “And we want to do this right.”

Part of doing it right means affordable tickets.

“We felt it was important to have several thousand seats available under $50, and when we did the math on this our goal was to have the average ticket price land right at $50. I think we ended up at $50.06,” Lund said.

There is early talk of trying to get the game televised, but nothing has come of it yet.

Lund said Chesapeake Energy Arena never was an option out of respect to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA, however, prohibits players from using team facilities during the lockout. The NBA is believed to have an arrangement that extends “team facilities” to its arenas, even though Chesapeake Energy Arena is a city-owned building.

“That's their arena,” Lund said. “That's where NBA games (and NCAA Regionals) only should be played. We looked at some smaller gyms in the metro area, and when the level of names of possible players went from here to here to here … (the Cox Center) became our only option.”

The Cox Center seats just less than 14,000 for basketball, and there is a good chance the game will sell out. One arena official told The Oklahoman Wednesday night that fans had already flooded the Cox Center with calls looking to secure tickets. The official said numerous fans were concerned that tickets would be gobbled up fast.

Mason said those who come will get treated to a show.

“When you look at Oklahoma and you look at the Thunder, there's a culture that's been developed here,” Mason said. “Hard-nosed basketball. Guys going out and playing serious basketball and maintaining the quality of an NBA game. That's what Kevin wants to accomplish. Kevin wants to do everything top level along with Blake.

“And what we're all going to do is get together and create an atmosphere that's like an NBA basketball game. It's not a pickup game. It's not a streetball game. It's going to be like an NBA basketball game from the beginning to the end.”



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