Sunday is a day of rest. The Thunder takes that to heart.
Oklahoma City's NBA team often rests on Sundays. Rests on defense. Rests on offense. Rests on rebounds.
The Thunder has played 17 Sunday games this season. The Thunder is 7-10 in those games. On all the days when the Lord did not command us to rest, the Thunder is 48-23.
The Thunder is 5-8 in Sunday home games, which is particularly alarming since a Sunday home game is exactly what the Thunder faces in Game 7 of its Western Conference Semifinal against the Memphis Grizzlies.
In all other home games, the Thunder is 30-4. Thirty and four!
It's enough to make the Thunder wonder if God prefers his teams here in the Bible Belt to refrain from Sunday competition.
“I sure hope God isn't frowning on that, especially tomorrow,” said mega-Thunder fan Chris Lambert, whose wife, the Rev. Wendy Lambert, is an associate pastor at St. Luke's United Methodist Church.
When the Thunder plays on Sunday, “I may rearrange my church schedule, but I don't skip it,” Chris Lambert said.
“With any team other than the Thunder, that might be a concern. But considering Kevin Durant carries a Bible in his backpack, and Eric Maynor was going through ‘The Purpose-Driven Life' earlier this year...
“I tend to see God being concerned about other things than when the Thunder plays.”
Eric Chaffin, a Baptist minister who runs 3:14 Ministries, Inc., said his father, a long-time pastor, “used to jokingly say that they should turn Remington Park into a football stadium, because it's a lot less sinful to play sports on Sunday than to gamble on Saturday.
“As for me, the issue wouldn't really be whether a team plays on Sunday. Rather, it would be, does God care at all?”
Chaffin wrote a book, “Everything I Know About God I Learned From Football,” in which he addresses such mysteries.
“The question isn't so much of whether God favors one team over another — on any day of the week — but whether we favor His team.”
That team concept is something to remember.
“One team has to win this seventh game on the Lord's day,” said Forrest Bivens, associate minister at Forest Hill Christian Church, “and we know that the Home team won on a certain Sunday 2,000 years ago.”
Bivens offers optimism for Game 7.
“This is the seventh game, and the number seven has been pointed out by many as the Holy number,” Bivens said. “With the exception of the number one, seven is mentioned more times in the Bible than any other. It is the number of completeness or perfection.”
Plus, God often spoke through thunder. Job. Revelations. John. Disciples John and James were called the sons of Thunder.
Oklahoma City Arena will be filled today with sons of Thunder, many of them wearing their designer KD III's, having come straight from church, where the Lord is glad to see all comers, even those wearing yellow shoes.