Doubtless the NBA would have preferred that Thunder minority owner Aubrey McClendon not choose this week -- the week the league's long-running claims of owners in financial pain are on trial in the minds of players, and that Wall Street is covered in anger at the filthy rich -- to appear in print sucking down $10,000 worth of wine at a sitting.
But that's the thing about billionaires, they do what they want! And evidently this is what McClendon wants.
Before we sit down to a dinner of steak and fries, billionaire wildcatter Aubrey McClendon handles the wine bottles arrayed on the table of Oklahoma City’s well-worn Deep Fork Grill. “This one’s okay, a $10 wine. Here’s another $10 wine.” He grins: “It’s up to you, Chris: We can drink cheap wine, or we can drink good wine.”
McClendon’s proposition was rhetorical. He co-owns the restaurant and had already picked the wine, which was decanted two hours ahead of time. Only the royal stuff: a 1989 Petrus, a 1989 Haut Brion and, conspicuously, a 1982 Lafite Rothschild. Easily ten grand worth of tipple.
Erudite and confident, with rimless glasses pinned to a face that looks far younger than his 52 years, McClendon is charming. And he’s not shy about spending money.