Kevin Durant is a Golden State Warrior now, which triggers dozens of fascinating basketball subplots. But off the court, it will help answer a question I’ve had for a long time: is Oklahoma City actually a viable long-term basketball market?
Because of a million different reasons—basketball history, non-basketball history, competitiveness, and geography are just a few—some areas can support an NBA team better than others. Despite being located a huge metro area, the Atlanta Hawks have always struggled to draw fans, even when good, to the point that an owner wrote a racist email about how to draw fans that forced him to sell. On the other hand, the Chicago Bulls drew the second most fans in the league during the 2000-01 season, when they were an NBA-worst 15-67.