OKLAHOMA CITY — Here’s the thing: The NBA Finals don’t happen in places like Oklahoma City.
It happens in cities and states home to more than one major professional sports franchise. It happens in places where Bud Wilkinson is some guy from Minnesota.
It happens in sexier cities, more exotic cities — cities where public transportation is the most efficient way to travel. It happens in places where you don’t have to catch a connecting flight into the city.
It happens in cities where the ocean is within driving distance and pleasant folks will sell you directions to your favorite celebrity’s house. It happens in cities where folks brag about how hard, how hardened, the city has made them.
That’s why this series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat is bigger than any national championship any college in Oklahoma could win.
Swords were dropped — and have remained so — when the Thunder began its playoff run. Cowboy orange, Sooner crimson and Tulsa Hurricane royal blue have all been forsaken for Thunder light blue.
Oklahomans are a part of something they’ll be proud to talk about, to remember in the years and decades to come. But even then, folks will probably have a hard time explaining to loved ones how crazy and exciting it has been and will be. After all, empathy is learned — not conveyed.
Oklahoma has arrived at the party. Have fun dancing with her.