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Local Laker fans like the Thunder — until now

Oklahoma natives started following the Lakers long before the Thunder arrived. But changing colors after all of these years is hard to do for Andre Mink, Terrell Howard and Dwayne Gipson.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: May 14, 2012 at 10:34 am •  Published: May 13, 2012

The gal climbed out of her car, walked up to Andre Mink's car and started snapping pictures with her iPhone.

She couldn't help but smile.

Neither could Mink.

“That's an eye-catcher there, isn't it?” he said as the woman pointed to the purple words stenciled on the back of gold car.

“It is,” she exclaimed. “Shame on you.”

The words?

It Don't Thunder in LA.

“We're just trying to stir it up a little bit,” Mink said.

Beware, Thunder fans — there are Laker fans among you. They call Oklahoma City their home and Los Angeles their team. They live in the 405 but love the Lake Show.

The Thunder Bandwagon has painted Oklahoma City blue, but with a much-anticipated second-round playoff series against the Lakers set to tip off Monday night, anyone with a passion for the purple and gold is sure to stand out.

“There are a lot of Laker lovers in every town,” Mink said.

None in Oklahoma City may be any bigger fan than the man with the Laker car.

Mink drives a 2005 Dodge Magnum that was cranberry colored until about two months ago. Now, the body of the car is Laker gold with the word “Lakers” on both sides and the No. 24 on the hood.

And, of course, there's the playful poke at the Thunder on the back.

“Why are you here?” some people will ask when they see his ride. “Why don't you go back?”

He'll laugh.

“I'm from here,” he'll tell them.

Mink was born and bred in Oklahoma City. Graduated from Douglass High School. Served in the Army. Earned degrees from Rose State and Central Oklahoma.

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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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