“:NBA–OKC–No Longer OK”
Fame is fleeting int he NBA these days. Dynasties as we used to know them, are never likely to be part of the NBA landscape.
The Seattle Supersonics franchise was allowed to move by the NBA, to Oklahoma City. The team became the Thunder and started their first season like a big oak tree crashing down.
The Thunder went (3-29) out of the gate the first year. Oh it was awful.
But all that losing brought them high draft picks, and they hit the jackpot on talent
But they never got it done, and now it’s over.
The Thunder got to the NBA finals just once with a roster full of superb stars. They didn’t win because Miami had LeBron James-Dwayne Wade-Chris Bosh and Pat Riley running the show.
They reached the NBA West finals, four other times, but never moved on.
Think of the great group of players the Thunder drafted, acquired, played with, then lost.
James Harden, the Houston Rocket icon, came from Arizona State and was the first one.
Paul George became something very special out of Fresno State, coming in a trade from Indiana..
Russell Westbrook exited UCLA to become an exciting offensive talent.
Kevin Durant was spectacular every minute-every night.
And now they are all gone.
Harden went to Houston and has become a great scorer.
Westbrook has just been traded to the Rockets too.
Durant exited and was part of this just concluded tremendous run with Golden State, and is now a Brooklyn Net.
George was supposed to be a one year rental, who elected to stay, but a year later, forced a trade to the LA Clippers.
The group scored lots of points, won lots of games, galvanized the community, and became so tough to beat, especially in the OKC.
But it never turned out like everyone expected.
Egos clashed, the demand for top dollar took precedence, and the lure of big markets took the talent away.
They were electric to watch. They were eclectic as a unit. They were driven and dynamic.
But they never won a ring, and now they are all scattered to the wind.
Tanking and stockpiling draft picks has become a way of life around the NBA. Oklahoma City is no exception. The aftermath of the Paul George-Clippers trade wound up being a (9-for-1) transaction, with players and draft picks all mixed in the grab bag haul.
A long rebuild is likely. Who knows if the fans will stick by the team.
1-thing for sure, just because you have all this great talent, does not necessarily you can have a Michael Jordan-Larry Byrd or Magic Johnson run.
Sadly despite the great individual talent, history will write the Thunder did not get it done.
The NBA in OKC-No Longer OK.