Loud City has been resurrected in Oklahoma City.
The moniker that characterized how lively the Ford Center’s upper level was during Hornets games from 2005-07 and became a staple in the arena’s pandemonium will return tonight as the Thunder makes its 2008-09 debut.
Thunder director of events and entertainment John Leach said the franchise will continue the Loud City theme as a part of its tradition.
"We think the fans established that, not necessarily the Hornets,” Leach said. "So we want to make sure the fans still have that Loud City because it sets the tone really for that upper level.”
Loud City also was the heartbeat of a significant home-court advantage for the Hornets. Ford Center fans stood until the home team scored its first basket. They cheered the Hornets through tough stretches. And they never booed.
The Ford Center affectionately was called a college atmosphere.
Hornets coach Byron Scott once said his team wouldn’t have lost a game to Phoenix had the game been played inside the Ford Center rather than in front of a dismal Baton Rouge, La., crowd.
Former Hornets vice president of basketball operations Willis Reed often stressed how susceptible young NBA teams are to energetic home crowds. How the energy in buildings can fuel a youthful bunch for better or for worse.
David West only intensified the Ford Center’s mystique each time he sank a buzzer beater, snatching away the thrill of victory from Milwaukee, Houston and Washington.
Now, the question becomes how much will a significant home-court advantage help the Thunder?
"I think it’ll be a big advantage,” said Nick Collison, who played inside the Ford Center as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics.
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