Oklahoma City: My Top 10 Observer-ations
9. Stayed in a hip, happening part of OKC called "Bricktown." Think of it as Dallas' West End, with a canal running through it. Part San Antonio's Riverwalk and part Dallas Alley. Thumbs up.
8. The storms that ravaged Joplin, Missouri just grazed OKC, which is about 200 miles southwest of the Sunday tornadoes' epicenter. But you're constantly reminded OKC is in tornado alley, and on the prairie. Winds are 30 mph daily. Yesterday a gust literally ripped my media credential off my lanyard and whisked it down the street before I had to run and catch it.
7. After a night of drinking, a 2:30 a.m. chili dog from a street vendor is never a good idea. May seem like it at the time but, trust me, it ain't.
6. Played some basketball at the OKC YMCA Sunday with a group of Dallas media. Scouting report: Jeff "Skin" Wade got game. Ben Rogers is a mix between Jeff Ruland and Kevin McHale. Mark Followill has the energy and elbows as the spawn of Eduardo Najera and Brian Cardinal. And me? Over two games I was like 3 of 15. I'm like J.J. Barea, only without the skill or the accent or the Miss Universe girlfriend. So, actually, nothing like him. Would you go for Mike Iuzzolino?
5. After Game 3 a group of media went to Skky Bar and bumped into Miss Oklahoma (Morgan Woolard).
Perhaps Definitely inappropriately, I asked if her grooming habits trended more Slick Watts or James Harden. Answer: "I prefer to landscape." Touche.
4. Unlike Dallas, OKC is a walking town. After watching Heat-Bulls at a sports bar last night we passed none other than Mavs coach Rick Carlisle walking along the street with some guy I didn't recognize dressed in TCU hat and shirt. (No, it wasn't Greggo).
3. So there's this parking garage/mall that somehow connects our hotel to the convention center. Get off on the first floor and it's like a scene right out of Dawn of the Dead. Giant, cavernous space where retail shops once were, but now only musty darkness and cobwebs remain. Creepy.
2. Also didn't quite find the time to go to the American Banjo Museum. Tried to think of anyone I even knew who played the banjo. Roy Clark on Hee-Haw? One of the Dixie Chicks? Still, an entire museum?
1. Outside OKC Arena there is a walkway that funnels fans into the game. It's 90 percent a one-way affair, with media forced to swim upstream against the masses. Horrible planning. Magnified by inexplicable attitudes. As we struggled to make our way to the media entrance before Game 3 a female arena official with a walkie talkie and an undeserved title yelled "You gotta walk around!" and wanting us to turn a 15-foot trip into 15 minutes. When she threatened "Stop! Or I'll take your names and make sure you never step foot in our arena!", I simply kept walking and offered "It's okay, you've never hosted a conference finals game before."