Story by Kevin Henry found on

BIXBY – It was still 90 minutes before the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers tipped off in Game 3 of the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals Friday night, but there was already plenty of Thunder blue T-shirts filling the upper room at Duke’s Southern Kitchen.

Keeping with the theme of affiliation between the Tulsa 66ers and the Thunder, the 66ers held a Thunder watch party while also celebrating the 66ers move to the SpiritBank Event Center for the 2012-2013 NBA Development League season.

“Having the 66ers is an integral part of our team’s development,” said Kelly McKeown, director of marketing and brand management for the Oklahoma City Thunder. “It’s important for us to have that pipeline and further establish our ties to Tulsa.”

The 66ers played the 2008-09 season at the Bixby arena before moving to downtown Tulsa for the next three seasons. Jim Brylewski, president of the 66ers, is excited about the team’s return to the 4,500-seat SpiritBank Event Center.

“The fan support we had when we played here was tremendous,” Brylewski said. “If you look around the D-League at venues like Portland (Maine) and Austin (Texas), you are seeing smaller arenas. It provides for an intimate crowd experience and great home-court advantage, and that’s what we’re counting on next season.”

Bixby Mayor Ray Bowen believes…

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