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Oklahoma City Thunder: Meet the Thunder fan behind @OKCSpain

SEASON PREVIEW — The Thunder's hold on its fanbase extends worldwide to a Spaniard willing to do without sleep for his favorite team
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 27, 2013
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photo - Miguel Angel Exposito is an avid Thunder fan despite living seven hours ahead in Madrid. PHOTO PROVIDED
Miguel Angel Exposito is an avid Thunder fan despite living seven hours ahead in Madrid. PHOTO PROVIDED

Miguel Angel Exposito has to set his alarm to watch Thunder games.

He lives in Madrid, and tipoff for a 7 p.m. game in Oklahoma City is 2 a.m. there.

“But it is a small price you have to pay for watching the NBA,” Exposito said.

And for the Thunder, he will give up sleep.

It just so happened that Exposito started watching the NBA at the same time the Thunder moved to Oklahoma City. He loved that the team was young and promising. He loved, too, the guy wearing No. 35.

Kevin Durant and Co. won over Exposito.

“Maybe it was irrational having other teams like the Lakers, Celtics or Knicks, which have more fame,” the 25-year-old university student said, “but I chose them and I think I took the right choice.”

Exposito soon realized he wasn't the only one in Spain who had chosen to cheer the Thunder. Active on Twitter, he found a Spanish-language account dedicated to the Thunder, and even though @OKCSpain wasn't active, it had about 1,700 followers anyway.

Exposito acquired the account earlier this year, and in the six months since, the number of followers has nearly doubled.

Now, Exposito has plans to create a Spanish-language website about the Thunder. He knows there's a market; he sees the Thunder blue even though he's 4,878 miles from Oklahoma City.

“Having two superstars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and one Spanish player like (Serge) Ibaka (who has Spanish citizenship) helps a lot,” Exposito said. “The way they played the last seasons ... helped it, too.

“Obviously, there aren't the same amount of Thunder fans like Lakers or Celtics fans, but OKC is doing very well.”

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
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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