It’s tornado time in Oklahoma and unless you’re a native Oklahoman, it can be a stressful, anxious time. So with most Thunder players being out-of-towners, I thought I’d ask a few about it.
“I haven’t,” KD said on if he’s ever been through one. “I haven’t. I better knock on some wood (knocks on his locker). But I haven’t been through one. We’ve been dodging them since I’ve been here. We’ve missed two or three.”
And wouldn’t you know it, the team is in Minnesota tonight meaning they’ve dodged what appears to be another run of severe Oklahoma weather.
Said Thabo: “Not quite. I’ve been through a hailstorm about a year and a half ago that was pretty big, but no tornadoes and I hope it stays that way … I’m a little worried about them. Growing up in Switzerland the most we had was high winds and stuff like that. But tornadoes, you see stuff like that on TV and it’s pretty worrying. [In Switzerland] we didn’t have anything like tornadoes.”
Cole Aldrich seemed a bit more relaxed about it.
“To be honest, I see them on TV all the time,” he said. “There was just the one in Norman. But, I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m going to hide when I see one. But I was just giving Fish some crap because he was like, ‘You didn’t tell me about this weather.’ But I’d rather know when we had a hailstorm or a tornado than an unknown earthquake.”
Lucky for Cole, because of the lockout, he wasn’t here the day Oklahoma had a tornado watch, thunderstorms and an earthquake all in the same day. But he’s had some experience with severe weather.
“Bad storms, tornadoes, going to college in Kansas, you know,” he said. “We had some in Minnesota every once in a while. You just gotta watch the weather, be prepared and have a plan of where you going to go when it comes.”
When I told Perk I was asking about tornadoes, he laughed and just “Oh man.” Being an idiot, I assumed since he’s from Texas he’d been through one before. “Never,” he said. “Hurricanes, never tornadoes.” Evidently Beaumont is close to the Gulf of Mexico. But is big scary Perk scared of a tornado?
“Yeah, because with a tornado, they can just kind of pop up on you, right? You don’t really know the area and all of a sudden, boom, you gotta evacuate. So they’re very scary. I was driving here today and I was looking at all the lightning and stuff and I’m like, you know, is the game canceled or what?”
(I love the fact Perk said “evacuate.” He has no idea what you’re supposed to do in a tornado.)
I asked Perk if when he got traded from Boston to OKC if he thought that he might ever find himself taking shelter.
“For some reason,” he said, “as a basketball player, you always think the tornado’s not going to mess with you because you’re a basketball player. That’s how I think. But then you get here and you like, nah, you gotta move your family just like everybody else.”