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Thunder-Spurs: Time for NBA analyst Charles Barkley to see Oklahoma City

TNT analyst will finally see Bricktown during the Thunder-Spurs Western Conference Finals.
by Jenni Carlson Published: May 25, 2012

Now you've gone and done it, Charles Barkley.

I mean, it was bound to happen eventually. With everything you have to say about Oklahoma City and the Thunder, we figured there'd be a point some day where we'd actually agree with you.

So, what pushed us over the top?

Your proclamation about your impending trip to Oklahoma City for the Western Conference Finals.

“Can't wait!” you said the other night.

We couldn't agree more.

Your arrival, Sir Charles, is like a cherry on top of this basketball decadence we're about to enjoy in Oklahoma City. Making it back to the Western Conference Finals is the sweetest part of the deal, of course, but there are more layers to all of this. Playing the storied and streaking Spurs. Witnessing the series that many are saying will determine the NBA champion. Being the focus of the basketball world.

Welcoming the fun-time bunch from TNT is just part of the grandeur.

And since you promised to come to Oklahoma City six years ago — six years, Charles! — it's good to see TNT finally making an honest man out of you.

Now, Charles, there are some people here who don't understand why anyone cares that you're coming to town. They think you're a blowhard. They would just as soon eat the red carpet as roll it out for you.

But here's the thing — deep down, all of us want you to like us.


Well, for one, you aren't a knucklehead. You may be obnoxious, but you aren't stupid. You may be a jokester, but you aren't a fool.

You have been around a lot of years and seen a lot of things. You know this game of basketball. And while you say things in a way that sends us into a blind rage sometimes, there's a nugget of truth in pretty much everything you espouse.

I mean, that “vast wasteland” bit a few years back hit a nerve around here, but there are parts of the state that are pretty darn vast. So, that much was true.

The wasteland part, well, we're going to see what we can do to prove you wrong there, Chuck.

OKC is ready to show you what we've got.

For starters, you have to see the Oklahoma City Memorial. It is an amazing place, humbling yet empowering. There's a reason that the Thunder takes every employee, players included, for a visit.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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