The NBA spliced together a video compilation of fans hitting half-court shots last season.
If not for Thunder fans, it would've been short.
Heck, if not for Thunder fans, the league might not have even bothered.
Three folks hit a half-court shot to win $20,000 last season, and all of them came last spring within a six-week period. Already this season, two more fans have followed suit and pushed the grand total since the NBA has been in town to eight.
Thunder fans have another chance Sunday night during the game against Orlando.
The NBA hardwood might be the dominion of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and other super humans, but for a brief moment each game, mere mortals are allowed to take a shot. And every time a fan toes that line at The Peake, you expect it go in. That's the kind of hot streak Oklahoma City fans have been on.
In the last 28 home games — dating back to the first of the shots made last spring — Thunder fans are shooting 17.9 percent from half court.
How did this become such a half-court haven?
It starts with the selection.
There is no official place to sign up, no magic formula to follow to get picked for the MidFirst Bank Shot Contest. The fans who've won have been selected in both the concourse and the arena.
But there is a common denominator for a vast majority of them — they were picked more than an hour before tipoff, almost right after the doors opened.
Members of the Thunder's Storm Chasers group find fans for all the in-game promotions, and it figures that they'd want to get contestants lined up as early as possible. Don't want to have to mess with that as tip-off gets closer. Too many other things to worry about.
And while there's not a whole lot beyond arriving early that a fan can do to get picked for the half-court shot, it's pretty clear that the Thunder is on the lookout for a certain type of participant.
Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney once told me that they want people who look like they would have fun with the contest and could make the half-court shot.
Yes, they want people who can hit it and win it.
They want someone who can do what Roland Garrett and Robert Yanders and Roman Owen and Heath Kufahl and Justin Dougherty and Larry Hill and Cameron Rodriguez and Brad Brucker did.
That's why the Thunder picks people who look athletic and capable. Rarely do you see someone out there who needs to take the half-court shot granny-style.
It makes the Thunder look good. MidFirst, too.
I don't know how MidFirst calculates how much free advertising and positive publicity it has gotten out of all these half-court makes, but it has to be worth more than the $100,000 that it has given away this year.
Take the video of Dougherty hitting the half-court shot last March, then getting tackled by KD. It has been viewed about a million times on YouTube, and as the twenty-something TV reporter launches the shot, there's a sign with the MidFirst logo on it right in front of him.
If MidFirst ever decides the contest is costing too much, there will about a bazillion business lined up to take its spot.
Still, can you imagine the reaction of the guy who writes the half-court checks?
Oklahoma City is a half-court hotbed.
What has happened to the folks after they've hit those half-court shots is pretty remarkable. They have appeared on SportsCenter and Fox and Friends and The Today Show. They have used the money to put a down payment on a house and start a nonprofit and pay for school and offset doctor bills. Their after-the-shot stories are heartwarming and funny and down right amazing.
They are every bit as good as their shots.
By the way, here's hoping that the folks at NBA headquarters are planning another compilation of half-court shots. At the rate we're going, Oklahoma City fans will make about six more half-court shots this season.
There are a few NBA teams who wished they shot as well as Thunder fans.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.