Kevin Durant, Derek Fisher and Serge Ibaka are returning to the BOK Center hardwood to take on the New Orleans Pelicans for what has become an annual event for NBA fans in the Oil Capitol. Since the arena’s opening in 2008, the Thunder have taken on the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and a tilt in 2009 with what would be the Thunder’s 2012 NBA Finals opponent, the Miami Heat.
Tulsa is the home to the Thunder’s NBA Development League team, the Tulsa 66ers, who play home games in the SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby. Oklahoma City will also play another neutral site exhibition tilt in Wichita, Kansas in the InTrust Bank arena as well as a game in Phoenix and at home in Oklahoma City in the Chesapeake Bank Arena.
Thunder fans in Tulsa will be treated to four quarters of NBA magic that will feature all of the Thunder greats except point guard Russell Westbrook, who will be sidelined for the first four to six weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Westbrook injured the meniscus in his knee during the first round of the Thunder’s 2013 playoff run against the Houston Rockets, and additional swelling was discovered in the knee prior to training camp, caused by a loose stitch from the April knee repair surgery. Described by General Manager Sam Presti as an “outlier”, the loose stitch was causing swelling but didn’t impact Westbrook’s now healed meniscus.
The Thunder have had a very successful preseason record coming into the game with New Orleans, having won every game in a showcase of the National Basketball Association in Europe. Oklahoma City swept through the continent first defeating Fenerbahce Ulker, one of the perennial contenders in the Turkish basketball league by a score of 95-82 and another win over the Philadelphia 76ers 101-92 in Manchester, England.
Over the weekend the Thunder played their annual Blue and White scrimmage in front of a sellout crowd at Westmoore High School gymnasium in Moore, Oklahoma. The team used the opportunity to give the residents of Moore, still shell-shocked from the horrific EF-5 tornado last May a chance to see Oklahoma’s NBA team who had done a lot of relief work in the community after the storm.
Prior to the start of Sunday afternoon scrimmage the Thunder announced that they would pay to rebuild three outdoor basketball courts at Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary and Highland East Junior High schools, all damaged in the tornado.
Tickets for the exhibition game in the BOK Center are available at the BOK Center Box Office and on the Thunder’s website at thunder.nba.com