It always has been my favorite color, but blue seems to be the most popular color in Oklahoma these days. Apparently, it’s a favorite outside our state boundaries as well.
You can attribute that to the success of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The local NBA team has become THE TEAM for a rising number of fans. Throughout the Oklahoma City metro, as you would expect, Thunder players’ likenesses or connections are everywhere.
It seems you can’t visit a shopping mall or any other location without encountering someone with a jersey that has a favorite player’s number and/or name, a Thunder cap, or shirt, or some other merchandise that has the team name, including the little flags on vehicles, bumper stickers, or license tags.
During recent trips to northern Oklahoma, I heard several praises for the Thunder and fielded questions about what it was like around Oklahoma City during this season, or was it exciting inside Chesapeake Arena when the team played at home?
But that support definitely has crossed into other states. They’re turning true blue.
A reader relayed to me recently that on a recent trip to Kansas, he counted an easy dozen Thunder stickers, tags or flags on vehicles he passed.
“Funny thing was, not one of those cars had an Oklahoma tag,” he said.
A friend who frequently makes trips to Texas, where you would expect to see a heavy concentration of Dallas Mavericks or San Antonio Spurs references, says he has seen more and more Thunder items on vehicles — and people — south of the Red River.
My mother told me that, while talking to friends and family in northwest Arkansas, she heard several compliments directed toward the Oklahoma City team, as well as comments from those who regularly watch Thunder games on TV and read about it in the newspapers.
Some of those who seem so interested in the Thunder actually live closer to Memphis, home of the Grizzlies.
Thunder support seems to be growing in Missouri, I hear, particularly in the Kansas City area, which had an NBA franchise of its own years ago.
The Thunder’s success since it first played here has brought an incredible excitement to the city, the state, the region and apparently to other areas. It’s been a boost to the economy as well. You can’t be disappointed with that.
Read more about the Thunder, its players, coaches and fans, in The Oklahoman and by going to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/KEVIN-DURANT.