Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, coach Scott Brooks and several more Thunder players told a huge crowd of fans at Will Rogers World Airport that they were overwhelmed by their support, and determined to bring home a championship next year.
The Oklahoma City Police Department estimated more than 5,000 fans gathered Friday afternoon at the airport to cheer the team that made it all the way to the NBA finals. The Thunder lost the championship to the Miami Heat Thursday night in a heartbreaking 121-106 loss. Despite the loss, most Thunder fans say they're extremely proud of the team and want to show the players how appreciated they are.
The airport set up a special staging area so enthusiastic fans could greet the players. The team arrived just after 2 p.m. They boarded buses and were driven to the staging area where they spoke to the enthusiastic and massive crowd.
Durant spoke first, saying he and his teammates were disappointed they couldn't bring the championship back to Oklahoma City, but they were going to do their best to win it all next year.
Westbrook then took the mic, thanking the fans and his teammates for supporting him through his ups and downs throughout the season.
Kendrick Perkins said he played for eight years with the Boston Celtics and thought that team had the best fans; but he says he now knows that Oklahoma City has the most supportive and dedicated fans in the NBA.
People driving to the airport told News 9 Airport Road was a "parking lot" because the road was filled with so many fans trying to get to the rally. According to some estimates, traffic was backed up about four miles.