Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Draft Lottery Party, Ben Wilson Leaves Thunder and Big 12 Baseball Tournament

Another slow week in the life of Steve. Would love to write about an exciting Memorial Day Weekend but I didn't do too much that would be considered interesting to most (went for a 13 mile run on Sunday morning followed by watching the Indy 500 which is a good day to me but may not appeal to others).

Last Tuesday was the big NBA lottery party at Buffalo Wild Wings and we had a nice turnout for a gathering in which all of us Thunder employees and fans were hoping to find out that we were going to get the 1st pick in next month's draft. It was a festive atmosphere and we even gave away prizes. The guy that won the grand prize in the drawing was even wearing a customized Thunder #23 Blake Griffin jersey (see picture). Griffin is from OKC and will almost definitely be the first player picked in the draft. I guess we know that that guy was wishing for. I mentioned in my last blog that I would include some pictures. They weren't the most exciting pictures ever snapped but regardless, they are included. There was big excitement in the building when we found out that we were one of the final 3 teams with an opportunity to get the #1 pick. ESPN went to commercial to keep all of us in suspense, unfortunately we found out a couple minutes later that the LA Clippers were the winners and that we were going to be drafting 3rd which was still pretty good news since we had the 4th best odds going into the draft and essentially climbed up one spot. Should be exciting to see what we do with that pick on June 26th.

Thursday morning about 30 of us were treated to a very nice breakfast at the Skirvin Hotel to say goodbye to Marketing Director Ben Wilson who decided to leaver our organization after 14 years of service. Ben loved his job but unfortunately Seattle is home and it was time for him to depart now that he has completed a season of helping the team transition to their new home (he had been commuting all season which I can only imagine was a major pain in the neck). This was a special breakfast to me because Ben started off working on the Promotions Crew back in 1995 and I was able to watch him work his way up the ladder the entire way. I even helped Ben get a part time job as a valet at the Space Needle back in the late 90s while he was waiting for a full time job to get offered to him upon completing his Sonics internship. Ben is a talented and bright guy who used his skills and strong work ethic to rise all the way up to a Director a few years back and did it with class and dignity. Ben is a friend and I am sorry to see him leave us but thankful that he is a friend and I wish him well.

Saturday I did manage to get on down to the Bricktown Ballpark and watch Oklahoma play Missouri in the Big 12 college baseball tournament. Two college baseball games in one month for me, not bad for a guy who had only been to one college game in his life before this year and that was while wearing a costume. It was a great day for baseball as the temperature was around 80 degrees and the sun was out. Unfortunately for Oklahoma they came up a little short and lost to the Tigers 5-4. The game was at 4pm and I was debating whether or not to stick around and watch the Texas A&M vs Texas Tech game that was to follow it. Fortunately I made the right decision by leaving. Dark clouds blanketed the sky right after the OU game and apparently a major storm hit downtown as soon as I started driving away (didn't get a drop of rain at my place 15 miles away). The rain and hail were so bad that the final game of the night didn't start until almost 10 pm but I guess the weather for the rest of the evening was nice. Crazy Oklahoma weather. For the record, Texas defeated Missouri on Sunday to win the Big 12 tournament that had been in town all week.

My buddy Jon and I did manage to have some extra fun while walking back to his place after the game. There is a field a few blocks from the ballpark with these statues of bison so we climbed the fence and snapped some pictures which I decided to share.

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