Five Good Reasons to Hate the Oklahoma City Thunder
Last year, we made some rather foolhardy predictions about the NBA finals and ended up with a tattoo of Jason Terry indelibly inked on our pale white ass. So this year, we are avoiding any claims of clairvoyance and appealing to a baser emotion: pure, unbridled hatred.
Yes, the Miami Heat are the most despised sports team since the 1986 Hurricanes. And yes, the "Imperial March" song from Star Wars does follow Pat Reilly wherever he goes. But the truth is, the team America should really hate isn't the Heat. It's the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here are five damn good reasons why.
5. Remember Seattle?
Everybody keeps talking about how smart the Oklahoma City Thunder has been; how the club supposedly did things the hard way by drafting its superstars instead of buying them like the Miami Heat. But as sportswriter Dave Zirin points out, that's a load of crap. Because the Thunder didn't draft Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook: the Seattle Supersonics did. And when The Big Grunge balked on paying for a new, totally unnecessary $300 million stadium, Supersonics owners Clay Bennett and Aubrey McClendon moved the team to the midwest (with a little help from NBA commissioner David Stern).
Claims that the team was "meticulously and honestly assembled" are only half right. Meticulously? Sure. Honestly? No way. For a year, Bennett and McClendon made promises to keep the team in Seattle. Then, in August of 2007, McClendon let the truth slip, telling reporters: "We didn't buy the team to keep it in Seattle." Bennett denied it but, three months later, the move was announced.
Lamb fries, not to be confused with lamb and fries
4. Lamb Testicles
Before moving the team, Bennett brought the Sonics management to Oklahoma for a dinner. The executives dug into heaping plates of fried appetizers. When one of them finally asked the waitress what they were devouring, she told them it was lamb testicles. As everyone at the table choked with disgust, Clay Bennett just laughed his ass off.
Say what you will of Heat owner Micky Arison, but not even he would feed livestock balls to his employees. That is some Hannibal Lector shit.
3. Anti-Gay Owners
If Bennett and McClendon were merely über-rich energy tycoons with a sick sense of humor and zero sense of loyalty, we might forgive them. But the fact is that they are über bigots, too.
First, McClendon gave $250,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to suckerpunch John Kerry's bid for president in 2004. Then he donated more than half a million dollars to a group called Americans United to Preserve Marriage, which argues that gay couples "flout marriage by using it for their own political agenda (and) cheapen the institution."
With zombies, road-side masturbators, and mutant mosquitoes on the loose, South Floridians have plenty of things to be afraid of. But gay marriage isn't one of them. Join the 21st century, Oklahoma.
Mmmm... taste the mercury! Thanks Jim.
2. Oklahoma Is Trying to Kill Us
Oklahoma isn't just ignorant, it's dangerous. Well, maybe not all of Oklahoma, but its politicians. For the past week, Senator Jim Inhofe has been desperately trying to kill a regulation limiting the amount of mercury and other toxic chemicals that can be emitted from power plants. And you thought Rick Scott was dangerous.
The state's other senator, Tom Coburn, once protested against the airing of Schindler's List. He accused NBC of dragging television "to an all-time low, with full-frontal nudity, violence and profanity." He also accused the network of "irresponsible sexual behavior," adding, "I cringe when I realize that there were children all across this nation watching this program."
Dude, it's about the Holocaust.
1. Russell Westbrook's Outfits Make Our Eyes Bleed
If all else fails to convince you to hate the Oklahoma City Thunder, consider this: Russell Westbrook's outfits are scientifically guaranteed to give you eyeball cancer. The same could be said about Dwayne Wade's pink pants, but we chalk that up to a one-off bad decision. Westbrook, however, has a whole wardrobe of hideous shirts. Now he's claiming that he invented the whole designer-glasses-without-lenses thing. Maybe the lenses committed suicide after seeing his outfit.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.