Scoop Jackson writing for ESPN.com’s Page 2 with a feature on OKC basketball and the perception it would stink to be stuck here. A good excerpt:
But Oklahoma City has at least one thing that definitely appeals to players. The Thunder has a training facility unlike almost any other in the NBA. It’s where the team practices and works out. To any player who thinks OKC is NBA purgatory, this place will make you thank a higher power than David Stern for allowing a trade to go through.
The facility has become an extreme home away from home. It’s an old roller-skating rink that was tricked out into a state-of-the-art basketball factory where players have been known to hang out hours after practice is over. The oversized chairs and couches are all butter-soft leather. The sound system keeps Dream and Snoop blasting. There are so many flat screens you might almost mistake them for wallpaper. There are also two chefs on site to cook for the players.
If this is the abyss, where does the line start?
Funny thing when you become the main attraction in a place that is supposed to be your purgatory, but the people embrace you so tightly you find it impossible to let them down, or let them go. You begin to realize it ain’t so bad.
“People always ask, ‘Wouldn’t you rather be in Miami or L.A.?'” Durant said. “I always tell them, ‘No.’ This place is perfect for me.”
I do believe I might shed a tear with that closer. But Jackson’s piece is very well done. Yes, we all know Oklahoma City isn’t The Place when it comes to basketball cities. I’ve gone over this. Others have covered it. It’s not news to anyone. But if a player is so shallow and rooted only in his specific interests that he cares about da clubzzz, women and a fancy downtown over being part of a really well run organization, I’m not sure I want you on my team anyway. Keep Reading…