Steve's Thunder Travelogue: 1 Trip Down; Many More To Go

Oklahoma City Thunder reporter Steve McGehee writes from the road, bringing the cities of the NBA to you. First stop for the 2023-24 season is Chicago.

Sunday, November 5th 2023, 10:37 pm



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The Oklahoma City Thunder plays one time in Chicago every season, usually during the frigid time of the year, but not this time.

The weather couldn’t have been better. The only stinker was my flight from OKC-Chicago Midway. 5:30 a.m. departure – OUCH! 

The early arrival allowed me to attend Chicago Bulls practice the day before the game. The weather was so good, I decided to walk back to my hotel after practice.

Two plus miles back to the hotel, with a small cup of coffee in my hand, along with my equipment. I was probably operating on about four hours of sleep. No complaints: step by step I was soaking it all in.

I knew I would be doing a Thunder report from Chicago on the day before the game, so I reserved a balcony room to do my report from. Some downtowns are safer than others, hauling camera equipment and setting up my camera, tripod, etc. tends to draw attention.

The balcony was fine. The view could’ve been better, but I’ve had worse through the years. 

My first ever experience with Chicago deep-dish pizza was at Pizzeria Uno on Rush street back in the Spring of 1988. I returned to reacquaint myself with the high-calorie (I don’t care) pizza, and it didn’t disappoint. I ordered a medium.

So, I could save some for the next day for lunch and a midnight snack after the game. Over the years, I have tried Lou Malnati’s, Geno’s East, Giordano’s, I’ll go back to any of them again, if given the chance.

I had a travel casualty right out of the gates on trip number one. It was maybe 2-3 before I had to leave for the game. I was on the treadmill, doing all I can to work off those calories. I lost my balance, my phone, and headphones, plus a dongle connecting my headphones to the phone go flying into the air. The dongle was bent (ruined) and the phone case cracked. Welp, I need headphones for my live shots, so I rushed to Walgreens to buy a pair of Bluetooth earbuds. Mission accomplished but at the arena, for whatever reason my earbuds wouldn’t connect to my phone, so about 20 minutes before my 6:00 live shot, I borrowed a pair of iPhone headphones. Crisis solved. Later that night, I tried at the hotel room and they connected just fine, oh well.

No issues on the flight back. I was able to eat at PorkChop at the Midway airport. Usually barbecue is questionable at airports, but this place doesn’t disappoint. I was surprised to see it was open. I had been through Midway several times in previous seasons, but it wasn’t open. I thought the pandemic shut it down for good. Instead, I flew home with a Thunder win and solid barbecue.

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