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Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder appeal crosses state lines

Fans in Wichita, Kan., line up 90 minutes before tip with hopes of getting autographs from the Thunder players
By John Rohde Published: October 25, 2012

Wednesday night's preseason contest against the Dallas Mavericks drew an arena record crowd of 15,004 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita. OKC also drew a sellout crowd of 18,222 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., for a preseason game against the Miami Heat on Oct. 8, 2010.

According to Intrust Arena officials, 95 percent of Wednesday's crowd were from Kansas, 6 percent were from Oklahoma and the remaining 4 percent were from elsewhere.

The two most popular players in the arena Wednesday were former Kansas players Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich, who constantly were surrounded by fans and local media.

“I knew Nick and Cole are big (here). I didn't know they were that big,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “They're rock stars.”

The Wichita fans were passionate and arrived early. No one was booed on either side, and both teams were applauded. The tunnel leading to the Thunder locker room was lined with autograph seekers 90 minutes before tipoff.

“The fans were here early and that's a great atmosphere,” Brooks said. “The players always appreciate that. Hopefully, they walked away in thinking this is a good team to follow and hopefully they continue.”


NBA cut day is Monday at 4 p.m., and the Thunder has only one spot available on its roster for free agent candidates Daniel Orton, DeAndre Liggins, Hollis Thompson or Andy Rautins.

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