Thundering Return

Oklahoma’s only major professional team opens its NBA season at home this month.

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Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBA via Getty Images

Fans of multiple sports love this month because they can add to their professional and college football diets with plentiful plates of basketball.

The National Basketball Association returns Oct. 18 with 11 games nationwide; our state’s only major professional team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, opens its regular season at home the next night against the New York Knicks.

In the offseason, the Thunder, coached by Billy Donovan, traded for standout forward Paul George and signed three-point specialist Patrick Patterson. They join a lineup that includes perennial All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.

“This feels like home,” George said when he was introduced as Westbrook’s running buddy. “Defensively, we could be pretty special. And I will add onto the fast, high-tempo, fun team that’s always been here.”

Westbrook, center Steven Adams and others on the Thunder will try to convince George to remain in Oklahoma long-term because he will become a free agent at the end of the season. However, George might find a separate, off-court reason to stay in state. At 6-foot-9, he may be one of the tallest fishermen in Oklahoma. The avid angler, who hosts his own annual fishing tournament, has access to plenty of places to drown a worm at Oklahoma’s premier fishing spots, such as Lake Texhoma, Flat Creek, Quanah Parker Lake, Lake Eufaula, the Deep Fork River and Grand Lake.

The Thunder’s other regular-season home games this month at Chesapeake Energy Arena are against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 22 and the Indiana Pacers, George’s former team, Oct. 25.

Thunder supporters can preview the team in action with exhibition games at Tulsa’s BOK Center on Oct. 3 and at Chesapeake on Oct. 6 and 8.

For ticket information, go to nba.com/thunder/tickets.

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