Oliver and Danilo Play Catch

Oliver watches Danilo Gallinari take it to the basket.

Oliver and I had a great time tonight watching the Thunders beat the 76ers in overtime. The highlight came with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter (at the 7:25 mark here) when the ball came flying towards us and Ollie caught it. He passed it to Danilo Gallinari—who playfully tossed it back. Ollie passed it back to Gallinari, who again tossed it back to Ollie. At that point, the referee retrieved it from Ollie because there was a timeout. He then handed the ball to Ollie and said, hey, you hold this during the timeout and then remind me where to in-bound it.

I love it when players do nice things like that for young kids. During pregame warmups, one of the 76ers, Mike Scott, had come over and passed the ball to Ollie. Ollie passed it back to him for the assist. Another 76er, Josh Richardson (an Edmond Santa Fe graduate), came over and shook Ollie’s hand. So cool.

Oliver holds the game ball during an official timeout.

The evening was full of memorable moments. When the Thunder didn’t get a goaltending call, some bozo behind us yelled at the referee, “That ball was in the cylinder!” Whereupon the referee turned and chirped back, “No it wasn’t!” Ollie looked up at me and laughed. It was funny to hear the ref talk back. 

It was also hilarious when one 76er got teed up for a defensive-three-second violation. The very next play (!) that same player was again standing in the paint without guarding anyone. The ref, with a mixture of incredulity and frustration bordering on anger, promptly screamed at him: “You’re doing it again!” I guess he could have (should have?) teed him up again, but for some reason, he showed mercy.

At another point in the game, Chris Paul was right in front of us and said to Tobias Harris: “Nice move.” I chuckled and asked Ollie if he heard that. He replied, “Yeah, Tobias Harris wasn’t having any of it. He just walked away.”

Here are the game highlights:

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