It may not be on the travel brochures, but the abundance of suitable emergency landing locations in the Oklahoma City area is undoubtedly a pillar of the region’s strength. You can’t go more than a couple of miles in any direction without encountering a field of nothing, no matter where you are. I’m sure it’s of great comfort if you happen to find yourself at the controls of an airplane that suddenly loses power and plummets to earth.
But, as I’m sure many of you did, I sensed something sinister was afoot Tuesday when a biplane ditched in a field across from the Thunder’s practice facility. Why there? And why were the two occupants from and headed to California?
The answer was as immediate as it was obvious. They were spies sent by the Los Angeles Lakers, desperate for any edge to hold their tenuous perch atop the NBA heap and hold off the charging Thunder next season.
I’m not sure if their scheme crumbled because of bad luck or a high tech, non-lethal anti-aircraft system deployed by Sam Presti as soon as he detected the threat. At least the feeble Californians weren’t able to return to enemy territory with whatever intelligence they managed to gather before it was surely seized by the responding police officers and Thunder counterintelligence agents. And they missed Serge Ibaka’s workout by a few hours anyway.
But it’s clear more needs to be done to protect Thunder facilities, staff and players from future dastardly plots and get through the offseason unscathed. I propose a five-point plan, but we’ve got to find a large group of people with plenty of expendable time and a fearless determination to avoid doing anything else constructive. I’m thinking college students.
1) Form a human bubble around the practice facility.
Start with fortifying what has already come under attack. We need a squad of enforcers to ring the perimeter of the practice facility property at all times, controlling access to the parking lot and searching the skies for more air raids.
This may sound tedious, especially with the dog days of summer underway, but there’s a Sonic nearby so everyone could take advantage of happy hour. And speaking of dogs, it will smell like dog food because it’s right next to the Purina plant.
2) Find a food tester for the FIBA World Championships.
Something about Kevin Durant and possibly Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green going overseas makes me nervous. I’m not distrustful of foreigners, but the world championships are pretty cutthroat. And there’s lots of hairy guys with beards on the other teams, they just seem kind of untrustworthy.
I don’t know why, but it just seems like poisoning would be the way someone would try to get to Team USA to derail our bid for the world title. Poisoning is something the guy in the movie with the accent would do. I feel like there’s a real risk here.
Just to be safe, let’s send Earl Watson to test their food. And like be a mentor or something.
3) Make sure immigration papers are in order for Nenad, Thabo and Serge.
You know that law in Arizona that requires police to look into the immigration status of anyone they think could be in the country illegally? The Suns are clearly desperate. We’re fighting with the likes of them to ascend into the upper echelon of the Western Conference. They’ve lost Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash isn’t getting any older. A stricken Suns fan who happens to be a police officer could cost the Thunder a precious game in the playoffs race with a timely detention or three.
Let’s just leave nothing to chance. The Thunder’s foreign players need to carry full identification and work permits on them wherever they go in Arizona when it’s time to play the Suns, and several shadows who can jump out with certified copies of official papers in the event of emergency.
4) Attack Twitter haters with an army of hackers.
Daily Thunder is likely the perfect place to recruit diehard Thunder fans with computer skills to fight the cyber war. This could be your time to shine.
Kevin Durant certainly seems to take criticism to heart. He seemed a bit hurt by Phil Jackson mouthing off before the playoffs, and he consistently responds to negative attacks on Twitter. The Thunder clearly needs him in the proper frame of mind to make a strong run next season, and it can’t help to have him feel negative energy from Twitter bullies.
So people with the know-how out there need to fight fire with napalm. Someone’s got to infect their smart phones and computers with some silicon-melting virus or whathaveyou and put an end to the trash talking for good. Just make the problem disappear, no matter how messy it gets.
5) Get some moles working at Cheesecake Factory franchises nationwide.
This is the most ambitious but perhaps most important facet of the plan. The inexplicable love NBA players have for the Cheesecake Factory knows no bounds. There’s at least a 38 percent chance Chris Paul is demanding a trade while he waits for an appetizer at a Cheesecake Factory right now. And I’d think at least half of the “sources” out there during the LeBron saga were Cheesecake Factory bus boys. The need for Thunder spy network is clear.
By infiltrating at least one person into shifts during every hour of the day at Cheesecake Factories in NBA cities, no plan to foil the Thunder’s rise will go unheard and no rumor will go uncorroborated. And we’ll be able to keep an eye on Thunder players as the dine to ward off direct threats.
And you could probably smuggle out tons of delicious cheesecake.