Thunderstruck Premiere a True Oklahoma City Community Event
Durant’s new movie, Thunderstruck, premiered at Harkins Theater in downtown Oklahoma City where Thunder fans flocked to be the first to see the film that stars the Thunder forward himself along with Taylor Gray and Jim Belushi. The red carpet was rolled out in front of Durant, his mother Wanda Pratt and others associated with the film, even the Thunder’s very own mascot, Rumble. Watching on were hundreds of Thunder fans who came to support Durant.
“Words can’t describe how grateful I am to these people here for just supporting me,” Durant said. “That’s all I need from them is support and that’s all they’ve been giving me for the last five years. I’m just blessed to be a part of this community, blessed to be around such great people and hopefully they continue to support me.”
Over the past four regular seasons the Thunder’s connection with Oklahoma City has only increased, whether with consistent hard work that shows on the basketball floor or interacting with fans out in the community. School visits, book bus events, Homeland shopping sprees and Thunder Youth Camp sessions are all ways in which Thunder players like Durant have gone the extra mile to reach out to the Oklahoma City community.
Those trips to touch those in the area is why fans decked out in blue, white and orange return the favor on a daily basis and came out in full force Sunday night. For that reason Durant felt like it was a perfect time in his life to make a movie that shines a bright light on his town and team.
“I love being in Oklahoma City,” Durant said. “People are starting to know more and more about it and I think it was the right time. I’m glad I did it, it was different for me to be in a movie, but all in all I had fun.”
Not only did Thunder fans come out to support Durant’s funny, family-friendly movie, but other members of the organization grabbed some popcorn and soda and enjoyed the flick too. Headlining the group with Head Coach Scott Brooks, who spent some time this summer in California with his family, but came back to get the “Hollywood” red-carpet experience down in Bricktown.
“This is fun, I’ve never done this before,” Brooks said. “One of the things we’ve always felt from the moment we came to Oklahoma City is that we have our fans behind us. I think our players do a great job of getting in the community and believing in what we do… and we also have a team that the community is proud of off the court too, and we value that.”
Governor Mary Fallin was in the house too, as well as long-time Oklahoma Sooners head football coach Barry Switzer. As a fellow Oklahoma icon, Switzer came out to see Durant’s new flick with his wife. After sneaking past the red-carpet crowd, Switzer took a moment to explain why he felt the need to come support Durant.
“I’m glad he’s in Oklahoma,” Switzer said. “I followed his career in Texas. Without question he was a great, great college basketball player and he’s become one of the top pro players in the country… I just wanted to support him as he supports us and we wanted to be a part of it, so we’re here.”
It’s not just Switzer who is glad that Durant is in Oklahoma. The three-time NBA scoring champion and Olympic Gold Medalist exhaled with relief about being back in Oklahoma City after a barnstorming traveling tour around the world.
Two weeks after the NBA Finals ended, Durant went to Las Vegas, then Washington, DC as a part of Team USA’s Olympic preparations before traveling to Barcelona and then London for the Olympics. Durant made a final stop in New York City to pay a visit to the Jimmy Fallon show along with teammate James Harden before returning home to the comfort of his own house.
“I was talking to my guy the other day and said I can’t wait to get home,” Durant said. “I’ve been living out of a suitcase for two months straight. Just to come back home and sit on my couch and lay on my bed for a few minutes was something I needed.”
While on the subject, Durant’s mind couldn’t help but wander to the start of the 2012-13 season, which begins with training camp in October, with the regular season commencing on November 1st. Durant, however, can’t wait for the beginning of September, when he and some of his teammates will begin revving their engines in preparation for another season of Thunder basketball.
“I can’t wait to get back here at the start of September,” Durant said. “Just getting ready for the season, hanging around the guys. I miss the guys, I miss the coaches and the trainers, everybody back at the facility. I can’t wait to get started.”