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Oklahoma City Thunder: With James Harden and the Rockets coming to town, there's no avoiding The Beard now

COMMENTARY — Plenty of folks in Oklahoma City have tried to throw memories of James Harden in some dark, back corner. But as the Thunder prepares to face Harden and the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs, the reality may be rough for Thunder fans.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 18, 2013

He wanted what was best for the team, and as he digested the trade last fall, he thought the team might ultimately be better in the long run.

“Give credit to Presti or Clay Bennett or whoever's running the show,” Ketch said. “The management of the Thunder, I think, knows what they're doing.”

Not to say that he wasn't like most Thunder fans when he heard about the trade. He was disappointed. He was down.

And he had a huge beard that suddenly he didn't know what to do with.

Ketch tried to find a new home for his beard in The Beard's new home.

“At one point, we put it on Craigslist when he got traded to Houston,” Ketch said, “and nobody hit on it.”

He took down the ad after four or five days.

“You think about the Houston market with football and baseball,” Ketch said, “and I don't know if the Rockets are as popular maybe in Houston as the Thunder are here.”

Of course, the Rockets might be more popular in Houston now than they were before. Pre-Harden, the Rockets struggled. Fought to finish above .500. Missed the playoffs three straight seasons. Weren't all that much fun to watch.

Now, they play a high-scoring, up-and-down brand of basketball that has them back in the playoffs.

Finding a beard buyer in Houston might not be so difficult anymore.

“Maybe we need to try it one more time,” Ketch said.

Then again, with The Beard coming back to town and bringing all sorts of attention to this series, maybe Ketch doesn't want to sell.

“How could we put that beard up and still use it?” he mused. “Could we cross it out?”

He paused.

“Maybe we should hang it upside down.”

He laughed.

“How 'bout that?”

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at