Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Last night it began anew for me, the tenth season of the Oklahoma City Thunder here on the Great Plains and the 2017-18 NBA season.

Sure, the 102-91 win over the New Orleans Pelicans was just the second of four exhibitions before the actual season begins in a couple of weeks, but the routine started ten years ago on that “first night” was played out again.

The anticipation was there, again, after the long months of late spring and summer, and I couldn’t wait to get in the car and take that thirteen mile trip to downtown Oklahoma City.

For the four hundredth or more time in those ten years my night will be complete when the final buzzer goes off in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Win or lose, I will view basketball at the highest level, even if tonight’s game is just a glorified practice.  Reigning league MVP in point guard Russell Westbrook scored nine points in ten minutes of action, with new additions in Paul George adding 25 points in 27 minutes and Carmelo Anthony adding another nine in 17 minutes made little difference, in continuing what has been a long-standing tradition of mine.

The real-life, in-person excitement of live sports, which started for me at the age of three, in watching my Uncle John Pratt’s Midwest City Bombers basketball team play in a tournament in Drumright, OK.

That was in 1956.  Today, after thousands of games, that excitement is going strong at mid-morning.

This should be one heck of a ride for the Thunder with the additions of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.  With three cinch Hall-of-Famers on this Thunder roster, the possibility of playing and competing for a NBA title at the highest level, that is the Finals, is a fact.

Westbrook, George, and Anthony, supported by some familiar faces such as Roberson and Adams, Collison and Abrines, and spiced with other new faces that are named Patterson and Felton, bring the Thunder, sports fans, because I am ready!

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