Scan the recently released NBA schedule and, particularly early in the season, you'll notice an unmistakable trend.
Like the NFL in plenty of cities across the country, Thunder basketball is becoming an Oklahoma City tradition on Sundays in the fall.
The Thunder will play home games on nine of the first 10 Sundays this upcoming season, including all five in December, giving them more Sunday home dates in the first two months than 28 of the league's other 29 teams have the entire year.
That's mainly because, when given a chance to request Saturday or Sunday to the schedule makers, OKC remains one of the only NBA markets more concerned about avoiding overlaps with college football than the NFL.
“There's a possibility that some of our Thursday night games, as far as TNT, that creates the opportunity for Sunday games,” said Dan Mahoney, OKC's Vice President of Communications. “(But) we recognize in the fall that there's some conflicts that we'd rather stay away from if we could, in regards to college football.”
That's certainly conducive to the wishes of many of their fans, including OKC native Tara Henson, a season-ticket holder for both the Thunder and OU football.
But the Sunday game has become more than just a way to avoid sharing the attention with their in-state sports competition. The earlier tip time (usually at 6 p.m. or earlier) has proved enticing to many fans.
“It's easy to get in and out of downtown and you get home in a reasonable time to start your workweek. I love that,” Henson said. “And Saturday night, there's usually so much competition for things that are going on, whether it's socially or work-related activities.”