Almost every bit of white space on the banner was covered with words written in blue or orange Sharpie.
All were get well messages for Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder point guard had season-ending knee surgery Saturday, and before the Thunder's first home game since then, the banner just outside The Peake became popular stop for Thunder fans. They lined up several people deep for a chance to scrawl a message on the white vinyl.
Sherrie Stevenson's note: “Let's do this!”
“My grandbaby loves Russell,” the Oklahoma City woman said.
Her 13-year-old granddaughter Sherrice Braxton nodded.
“I love Russell Westbrook,” Braxton said. “I'm his No. 1 fan.”
Her reaction when she found out he was hurt?
“I just wanted to cry,” she said. “I just wish he was playing.”
Stephen House wished the same, but the Oklahoma City man, who wrote “Praying for you, bro” on the banner, said it was important for him to support not only Westbrook but also the team.
“Things happen,” House said. “But the worst thing that fans can do is give up on the team.”
THE SIGN MAN
Scott Downs brings homemade signs to every Thunder playoff game.
But he never takes them home.
“People always come by and say, ‘Are you going to take that? I'm going to hang that in my office,'” the Yukon resident said.
No doubt he had a taker for the sign he brought to Game 5.
“Welcome back to OUR HOUSE, Patrick Boooooo-verley,” it read.
“I call him the ‘Sign Man,'” Downs' friend Tom Husley said. “Whatever's going on, he'll come up with a sign for it. The playoffs, he'll really get going.”
People in and around their seats in Section 120 love the signs so much that they've been known to take pictures with them.
Last year, Downs targeted Metta World Peace, who he will only call Ron Artest, after the Lakers forward elbowed then-Thunder reserve James Harden. He found a mug shot from when Artest was once arrested.
“That was fun,” Downs said, laughing. “I guess I'm just inspired when the playoffs are here.”
MURPHY'S CAR AN ATTENTION-GRABBER
Tyrek Murphy flies his Thunder flags on his car every game day, like a lot of OKC fans. But Murphy drives his Thunder car every day.
Murphy bought a 2010 Mitsubishi Galant last December and a couple of months ago had it painted to honor his favorite NBA team. The Galant is painted dark blue, the color of the Thunder warm-ups, with “Thunder” painted on each front door, a vertical “Thunder” on the hood, “OKC Thunder” on the back and “35” (Kevin Durant's number) on the trunk.
“I'm a fan,” said Murphy, who drove the car to pick up his cousin from Norman's Jackson Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon. “It's something different.”
Vanessa Shadix and Cheri Rich are from Oklahoma City, but Wednesday night, you'd have thought it might've been by way of Zurich. The women wore matching “Swiss Miss” inspired Thunder outfits. Blue wigs in long braids. White peasant tops. Long skirts made out of material bearing the Thunder logo.
But that wasn't even the most interesting part of their getup — they were carrying a blue and orange cuckoo clock.
They intended to try to give it to Thunder swingman and Switzerland native Thabo Sefolosha.
SEEN AND HEARD
*Beverley was loudly booed when he was introduced during the starting lineups, and the boos continued every time he touched the ball.
*Westbrook was shown on the arena's jumbotron during the game's first timeout. The crowd went nuts as the injured Thunder guard, wearing the same blue “Let's Go Thunder” shirt as everyone else in the arena, waved his arms.
*NBA super fan Jimmy Goldstein sat courtside wearing a silver lame' jacket.
*Singer and actress Selena Gomez was spotted in one of the midlevel suites.