While the circumstances of how ownership hijacked the Seattle SuperSonics and made them the Oklahoma City Thunder have always been unpalatable for NBA fans, the electric enthusiasm of the OKC crowd has always been held up as a silver lining in the sense that it’s genuinely cool to see a small market throw themselves full throttle behind their team. Now that the Thunder have stripmined their team for a bevy of future draft assets, we’ll see just how unconditional that love really is.
After a Year 1 honeymoon phase where the Thunder went 23-59 in 2008-09, they’ve won at least 45 games every season and missed the playoffs in just one of them. They have had marquee players the whole time with some combination of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Paul George. They made one NBA Finals and three other Western Conference Finals. That’s an easy team to get behind.
The Process 2.0 is going to require a lot more patience.
Here’s the obligatory part of this story where we show you just how many future assets Sam Presti has acquired for the Thunder