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Oklahoma City Thunder opens practice to fans

BY MIKE BALDWIN Modified: October 21, 2008 at 8:56 am •  Published: October 21, 2008
The NBA requires every team to conduct one open practice.

The Thunder’s annual session Monday night at the Ford Center was an opportunity for approximately 3,000 fans to see players in a non-game environment.

"We wanted to see these guys on a more personal basis,” said Stephen Smith, who brought his two sons. "You get to see them interact with their coaches and find out more about their personalities.”

Coach P.J. Carlesimo and assistant coaches Scott Brooks and Ralph Lewis were miked up throughout the two-hour session that ended with a two-quarter, intra-squad scrimmage.

"We like our (season tickets), but we can’t believe how good these seats are,” said Robert Metcalf, of Yukon, who has season tickets in Section 109. "We wanted to come support the team. We’ll be here every time they play, whether it’s regular season or a practice.”

Nicholas Rodriguez, his wife and son, Bryan, drove 90 miles from Enid to attend Monday’s event that was free to the public.

The Rodriguez family has purchased single-game regular-season tickets for three games — Phoenix, Minnesota and Golden State.

"We really liked it when the Hornets were here and are so glad this team is here,” said Bryan, 9, a fourth-grader. "I’m hoping to get some autographs after this is over.”


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