LA vs. OKC for a Confused Fan: Picking Sides When Loyalties Collide

Growing up, I was never that much of a basketball fan.

That's probably because it was one of those sports I could never get good at no matter how hard I tried.

Like so many Midwestern, white kids... and more particularly middle-class kids from Oklahoma City, a future in basketball was not on my radar.  So, I did what everyone else was doing; I joined a soccer team and then ended up playing some high school football.

Oklahoma City's professional sports focus was the Oklahoma Sooners football team in those days, and despite what people say about my USC Trojans, I intentionally call the Sooners professional because I know many players have profited off of their Sooner allegiance.

And no, I'm not talking about by getting drafted early.

It was by complete chance that OKC ended up with the Hornets after Katrina, but once the games sold out for the whole season, the NBA became the first major sports league to realize that Oklahoma actually had a market.

It seems like a week later, but these days, the Thunder are in the playoffs taking on the Lakers.

When I moved to LA for school, I quickly discovered I was in a basketball city.  Aside from the college team that calls the Coliseum home (the one that ESPN is obsessed with, which by the way, if you're in school there you never get used to that) the Lakers are the big deal.

The Dodgers and Angels kind of exist on their own island, and LA just isn't a hockey town.

The one thing that everyone in LA cheers for in unison is Lakers basketball; I wasn't about to be the only guy there who didn't.

Especially when the Staples Center was within walking distance.

But as a casual basketball fan, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  They are, in all reality, my only home team.

Five or six years ago, I would have found it laughable if you told me OKC would g...

About the Author