Hello from one of Oklahoma City's newest residents. Haven't reported in a few days and quite a bit is happening so here comes a LONG posting.
Arrived on Monday nice and tired. Didn't go to bed at all Sunday night but managed to sleep on the plane for a couple of hours. Got into town, picked up my car and went straight to the Thunder office. Met with my boss and grabbed some lunch before heading to the apartment to sign all of my paperwork. Got to the apartment at 3:30 and by 5:00 I was heading back to the Ford Center to run through our game night rehersal for the following day. Stayed at the Ford Center until 8:00 and then headed straight to Circuit City. Bought a TV as they were closing and then hurried off to Target to get 20 minutes of "necessity shopping" in before they closed. Got back to my empty apartment at 10:15 and realized that I am only one person and have no way to get my new TV up the stairs. Called my friend/co-worker MarcTaylor and he came over and helped me out. Finally ran off at 11:00 to grab some much needed dinner. Got to Sonic at 11:05 and found out they had closed so I started driving around until I found a Wendy's and had some outstanding cusine.
Didn't sleep very well on Monday night even though I was only going on 2 hours from the day before. Bought 2 pillows and a blanket at Target and the floor is currently my bed. Woke up at 5:30 AM and never could get back to sleep so I went for a quick jog. Got home and showered in my tub that still didn't have a curtain (turns out that showering without a curtain causes water to go all over the place). Before I could even get dressed there was a knock on the door, the cable company showed up at 8 AM exactly to do the install. Found a place to iron my pants and they did it for free (I'm wearing a lot of "Seattle" clothes so quite a few people are asking if I moved with the team) . I still paid the woman a couple of bucks even though her boss told her no charge. The people here are great and are excited to have us.
Had our first pre-season game Tuesday night which was an interesting experience. New arena, new town and a lot of new faces as well as those that I already know. The first game of the season is always a little rough and this one wasn't any different. We are still a work in progress. We hired a temp service for the first game and 18 of them helped with the roster distribution at the doors. They did a nice job and then it was onto the game itself. We kept everything fairly simple and there weren't any major hiccups. We had over 16,000 people show up for the game which we lost 90-88. There was a lot of energy in the building and you don't normally experience that at a pre season game. After the game a bunch of us headed over to Hooters as they are the only bar/restaurant within walking distance that serve food after 10:00. Walking out of the arena I realized just how surreal all of this is. Usually I walk out the credential entrance and look up at the Space Needle.
I actually slept in today. Went to bed at about 1:30 and didn't wake up until 10:30 (I did wake up a couple of times in the middle of the night as apparently I don't sleep as deeply when I am sleeping on the floor). The sleep was much needed. Still have quite the choir list going and got a few things done today. Went to the store to buy a bunch of things that I was still lacking: shower curtain, shower rod, bowl to eat out of, spoons, soap, napkins, FOOD, etc. The apartment is still fairly bare other than the TV but I am getting there. Also made some phone calls regarding insurance and electricity (have it but need to transfer it to my name instead of the apartment building). Still need to do Furniture shopping tomorrow.
Spent the latter part of the day at the Thunder office discussing staffing. I am going to be responsible for 2 staffs. One will be the folks that help with giveaway distribution before the game and we are still trying to determine if we are going to hire a staff much like what we had in Seattle or if we will use non profit groups to help. The other staff is the "Interactive Squad" which will be responsible for livening up the games with their talents and dynamic personalities. This will be a 12 person staff. 5 of the 12 are our new Dunk Team that will be performing acrobatic dunks at many games and will help with on-court promotions as well as other in arena events. The other 7 have yet to be hired. We start looking to fill out this crew ASAP and will probably be looking for various talents (dancing, tumbling, balloon makers, improv artists, etc). People that can entertain our guests in the concourses before and during the game as well as get the crowd motivated with cheers when needed during the game. It will be a different set up than how we did things in Seattle but they are changes that I am very excited about.
Anyway, it is now 8:15 pm and I am in the Thunder offices and have yet to have dinner. Signing out for now but I will be better in the near future with my updates.