Playing the Game
Oklahoma City basketball fans got a chance Sunday night to watch some of the NBA’s best play on the hardwood.
The US Fleet Invitational basketball took place even as NBA owners continue their dispute with players leading to a delay in the season.
Thousands of people in the Cox Convention center in downtown Oklahoma City cheer the introduction of the host of the basketball invitational, Kevin Durant.
Glenda Love sits in the stands with her daughter, Angela, both wearing OKC Thunder Shirts, the youngest sporting Thunder Blue hair.
The talk quickly turns to the current NBA lockout which upsets both of them.
Glenda says it seems like both sides are waiting for the other to blink.
“You’ve got businessmen who are used to winning in business, athletes who are used to athletics and winning, and now it’s a matter of both sides want to win. I don’t even think it’s about the money anymore.”
David Witte and his wife are walking the concourse with t-shirts which read “Let the Boys Play”.
A Thunder season ticket holder, David says he wants the owners and players to stop the bickering and get back to the game.
“Obviously, both sides have some give and take and obviously they need to get together and work it out. I think both sides really need to move a little ways. I think they’re both being stubborn.”
New Orleans Hornets Point Guard Chris Paul enjoyed his chance to return to Oklahoma City, but wants to see an end to the lockout.
“You know it’s not just about us. It’s about the fans. It’s about the employees. All the people that make our game happen, so we want to play, just make sure everybody understands that.”
Back in the stands, Angela and Glenda say they just want to see the NBA return to Oklahoma City.
“You know whenever they want to start, just tell us when and where, we’ll be there.”
Negotiations came to an end last week, after 30 hours of discussions.
Players reduced their share of revenue from 57% to 52.5% which was still too high for owners who want a 50-50 split.
Owners contend the league lost $300 million last year with 22 of the 30 teams in the red.