The Oklahoma City Thunder always have been, but they are even more of a championship team, with Dena Ander.
Barely a week after a fire destroyed her shoe store — a fixture on Miami's Main Street since 1936 — her display of prized Oklahoma City Thunder memorabilia also was lost.
The Thunder front office was notified about it and sent a number of items, including a pair of Nick Collison shoes (“I had a Kevin Durant shoe and it didn’t look nearly as big as this.”), an autographed picture of guard Raymond Felton and a new custom-made Thunder jersey No. 100, commemorating her 100th birthday — complete with her name on the back.
Collison, the last remaining member of the team when it played in Seattle, retired last month.
“Oh my gosh, you ought to see what they brought me,” Ander said. “They brought me everything. I was thrilled.”
She hasn’t been to Chesapeake Energy Arena, but hasn’t missed a game on TV in the 10 years the team has been located in Oklahoma City.
“I was delighted; I was thrilled,” she said when she saw the collection. “They’ve gone all-out for me. They’ve gone all-out. That was really nice of them.”
The team also sent a personalized note:
“Mrs. Ander: We were saddened to learn of the devastation to your renowned shoe store. Our thoughts are with you and the police & fire departments investigating this senseless act. We are honored you are a member of the Miami Blue Alliance and wanted to send a few items for you to start a new ‘Thunder Corner.’
"Sincerely, Your Thunder Family.”
“Everybody has been wonderful,” Ander said.