Apparently there is going to be a new local Thunder broadcast team for the 2014-2015 season, as Grant Long announced his resignation from the team after a 6-year run. In a statement released by the team:
“The Thunder wishes Grant well, and will immediately begin the search of finding his replacement.”
This is not good news for me, as I always found Long to easily be the better half of the Davis-Long duo. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that Brian Davis is terrible at his job. I mean, I know a few people who would even disagree with that statement, but now I’m just beginning to digress at this point.
If you ask me, Davis’ enthusiasm about the team and the game is a major asset. It’s just that, when he gets excited about a play, his voice goes from “standard announcer voice” to “roller skates along gravel” with absolutely no transition whatsoever. It actually has the ability to startle those who haven’t seen a local Thunder broadcast before.
Plus, I always thought Long offered certain insights into the game that you rarely get from other color commentators. He simply views the game from multiple angles, offering certain strategies that, at times, simply don’t occur to other analysts.
The sad thing about Long’s resignation is that there’s more to it than meets the eye.
About a month ago, KOKH-TV reported that Long was experiencing deep financial troubles last year, and accepted a $5,000 loan from local OKC businessman, Larry Rowell, who owns R&R Estate Jewelers in NW Oklahoma City. According to the document itself, a photo of which was obtained by KOKH Investigative Reporter, Phil Cross, Long was to repay the debt, plus an additional $1,000 within 45 days from signing the agreement.
Per the report, the loan was still outstanding as of July 29th.
Also, according to the report, Long left the title to his 2009 Cadillac Escalade as collateral. Unfortunately for Mr. Rowell, there’s a lien on it that renders said title pretty much worthless.
Online records show that Long unsuccessfully tried to file for bankruptcy earlier this year. His case ended up dismissed after he twice failed to show for a court-ordered meeting with the bankruptcy trustee. Among those claiming to be owed by Long are 9 other local businesses, 2 of them being quick-cash loan companies. But to be honest, with the way quick-cash loan places employ predatory business tactics, I can’t really say I feel sorry for those particular 2 companies.
But the source of Long’s financial troubles begins to come to light when you find out that he owes 2 out-of-state casinos well over $300,000. It says to me that Long has developed an addiction to gambling that is beginning to spiral beyond his control. If that is the case, it would be in his best interest to seek professional help. I personally know of way too many gambling addicts who have stories eventually ending in suicide, and I would hate to see Long continue down this road. Because as far as I know, this road has never led anyone to a happy ending.
I personally wish Grant Long the best, and hope that he can not only sort out his financial issues, but exorcise his personal demons as well. And if Grant Long ever stumbles onto this article and reads it personally:
I really do hope you get all of this figured out. At least know that I’m still rooting for you.