“These people support us day in and day out, and we want to be partners with everybody here.”
Fans arrived two hours before the Thunder touched down at the airport around 2 p.m. They were greeted by a tractor trailer filled with 24-ounce bottles of cold water, which was paid for by the Thunder organization.
But some fans were unable to endure the 90-degree temperature. Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman Lara O'Leary said five people were treated for heat exhaustion but none was transported to the hospital.
Kevin Durant's mother, Wanda Pratt, attended the homecoming and was taken aback by the city's show of love and support.
"This is really, really nice of them,” she said. “I'm so grateful, as I know the team is. It was an unfortunate loss for us, but we're here. So, we're all here together, going through it together.”
Oklahoma City resident Barbara Yeary, 39, believes the Thunder has changed the culture of the city and, in doing so, unified it.
“Before when you heard about Oklahoma City on the news, it was a tornado, it was a bombing — it was something bad, made us look bad,” she said. “The team has brought pride back.”