In an interview, Durant said the Thunder could use the star power Lil Wayne would bring to the arena — kind of like what Jack Nicholson provides for the Los Angeles Lakers.
“We need people like that around here,” Durant told USA Today.
Still, rumors about why Lil Wayne was turned away persisted.
Blogs simmered with gossip of purported sore feelings due to Harden's involvement with the rapper Trina — who also has dated Lil Wayne.
“I would have no idea about that,” spokesman Mahoney said.
Despite the team's denials and the players' ticket offers, Lil Wayne wasn't in a forgiving mood. He gave more interviews in which he hinted of racism and feeling unwanted in Oklahoma City.
“It's the players stepping up but of course the players aren't white. I don't want to be sitting there on behalf of you and I'm sitting next to a (person) that's like `I don't want this (guy) sitting next to me.' (Forget) you … I'm in Forbes,” Lil Wayne told the AP, laughing.
On Tuesday, all seemed forgiven when Lil Wayne bought his own ticket and took a courtside seat opposite the Heat bench for Game 1 of the Finals. He posed for some photos while security blocked others with cameras from getting too close.
But the megastar wasted no time heating up the hatred after the game.
“Again I was treated like s--- by the Thunder staff” the rapper complained on his Twitter account early Wednesday morning. He offered no other details but vowed to root for Miami.
Lil Wayne did not respond to a tweet or a call to his management from The Oklahoman seeking comment.
Mahoney, the team spokesman declined to comment on the rapper's latest salvos.
But some Thunder fans gathered outside the arena Thursday afternoon weren't so reticent.
“I think he's expecting treatment he's not entitled to,'' said Myra Cheadle of Midwest City. “It's not about Lil Wayne. It's about the Thunder. He should just come and enjoy the game and his celebrity status, as such as it is.”
Her son, Eddie Cheadle, 16, who doesn't have a ticket to any playoff game, agreed.
“Stop complaining,'' he advised.
Bryant Andrews, 26, of south Oklahoma City, suggested Lil Wayne must think Oklahoma City is Miami.
“Here, everybody gets treated equally.”
Asked if he thought race played a factor in Lil Wayne's treatment, Andrews, who is black, said, “Not even close.”
“If Lil Wayne would have offered to buy a ticket, he would have got them,” Andrews said. “He's just trying to get attention.”
It's unclear how the Heat may feel about Lil Wayne's newfound allegiance.
In a January 2011 Rolling Stone article, the rapper spoke about feeling slighted at a New Orleans Hornet game. Why? Miami players LeBron James and Dwyane Wade didn't acknowledge him. Apparently, he's over it.