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Oklahomans defend downtown OKC after tweet from LA Lakers commentator

Skyline of downtown Oklahoma City (Dan Snyder/KOKH)

Oklahoma City residents are defending the city after a commentator for the Los Angeles Lakers took to Twitter to criticize downtown.

Former NBA player Mychal Thompson arrived in Oklahoma City earlier this week. The Lakers are in town for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder.

Related: Anthony, Adams lead Thunder past Lakers 114-90

Thompson wrote on Twitter: “This is NOT an exaggeration...We got to down town OKC at 11pm...And driving thru the city to our hotel...about 10 blocks or so...We did NOT see ONE person...Not ONE person on the streets or sidewalks...NOT ONE...It looked like an abandoned city...”

He also added, “I’m tellin u...It looked like a movie set...Like all the population had disappeared...So Freeky and Weird.”

Oklahomans were quick to clap back on Twitter. The majority pointed out that Thompson failed to mention it was around 10-15 degrees that night with wind chills below zero.

“They don’t really have to deal with that in LA, and I’m pretty sure if they did, there wouldn’t be a whole of people out there either,” said Oklahoma City resident Jesse Caviness.

A cold spell has gripped Oklahoma City the past few days, but its defenders say downtown has a lot of offer.

“Downtown Oklahoma City is more vibrant now than it has been in decades, and we are very proud of the billions of dollars of reinvestment, construction improvements, and all the attractions and amenities our city offers,” said Jill DeLozier, vice president of the Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership. “Although we don’t have the temperate weather and large population of a city like Los Angeles, we do have great momentum going here and a lot to be proud of.”

The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau encouraged Thompson to come back for another visit.

“Once they come to Oklahoma City, people are like, ‘Wow, I never knew. I’m so excited about this place, can’t wait to come back.’ It’s what we hear from visitors,” said Michael Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s what we hear from potential companies looking to move or expand. Come visit and experience the real Oklahoma City. We’ll change your mind.”

One Oklahoma City resident told FOX 25 he hopes Thompson will plan his next trip around the Thunder’s schedule.

“Tell him to come in the summertime, when we’re in the championship and they’re at home, and we can see how fun it is,” said Zeke Wariboko.

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