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Oklahoma City Thunder profiled by New York Times for pregame prayer Published: February 27, 2014

Every game before the Thunder tips off, there is prayer.

The Oklahoman has written about it before, but the New York Times rolled out a piece Thursday on the team's unique tradition.

From the story by Andrew Keh: "Preceding each game is a stadiumwide prayer of invocation that on most nights briefly turns a raucous sports event into something resembling a megachurch gathering."

Said Dan Mahoney, Thunder vice president for corporate communications and community relations: “We feel people’s faith is important to them. ... Gathering to support our team, we feel it’s appropriate to build in a time of reflection.”

The prayer tradition stems from former Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn, who said he made a pact with God to "honor him," after he was awarded an expansion franchise in the late 1980s. The tradition then imported from Charlotte to New Orleans to Oklahoma City.

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