Experiencing MLK Day With OKC Thunder

When I was working as Sideline Reporter for the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder, one of my duties was to host and produce pieces on the road for our weekly magazine show “Air Thunder”. My pieces were dubbed “Thunder Road”, and I shot and edited snippets of the lives the guys led. The players as indivduals were very, very open to this and with some planning I was able to look ahead and do some cool things and tell some important stories.

We had a travel day in Memphis, meaning there were a few hours mid-day to get some sightseeing in, but for me, I wanted more than anything to visit the Loraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. As a young boy in a carpetbagger family in metro Atlanta, I remember my mother’s pain and anguish the day Dr. King was murdered. I didn’t understand – I was too young – beyond the pain I saw through her. It stuck with me through my life, and this was a day I looked forward to. I took the video camera and walked from our hotel near Beale Street to the motel, which is now a museum. It was overcast that day, but clear enough. I didn’t have access to the interior of the museum video-wise that day – the PR contact was ironically out. But we had already done interviews with Kevin Durant and Joe Smith, Thunder players, about their previous trips to the location and about Dr. King’s legacy in their eyes. the only disappointment was that none of my co-workers chose to go with me on this visit. In fact, I usually went to whatever stories I did for this series alone.

I tried to share the players’ thoughts, and hopefully shared some of the impact Dr. King had on their lives. Yes, I shot and edited this (except the SOT’s, which were shot at practice by our crew, and the stand-ups) and all of my Thunder Road pieces.

Below you will find that story – in the midst of a montage of my “Thunder Road Intros”- aired on Air Thunder that first OKC Thunder season.


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