If the past year has taught us anything then it’s the fact that change always comes- for better or for worst. For the fans of Seattle’s SuperSonics, change came with heart break and loss. On July 2, 2008 the Professional Basketball Club LLC AKA Seattle basketball’s ownership group announced the relocation of the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City, OK. We’re going to take some liberty with dates and mark July 3rd as the first full day of ‘basketballlessness’ (that’s a flawlessly made up word) in Seattle. The move was largely facilitated by a lack of facilities/ renovations to Key Area (overall money). Fans of the ‘Sonics still have the bitterest of tastes in their mouths because of their team’s bright future. Rookie Of The Year, Kevin Durant, showed monumental upside and during the summer of 2008 Seattle drafted another eventual superstar, Russell Westbrook.
Hope engulfed the basketball community around Seattle; they finally possessed future franchise cornerstones, a missing component since Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis earlier in the decade. Oklahoma City on the other hand was ecstatic to permanently have a franchise of their own. During Hurricane Katrina the New Orleans Hornets played out their season in OKC while New Orleans recuperated. Oklahomans immediately gravitated towards NBA basketball, welcoming the Hornets and establishing themselves as a possible destination for expansion. The perfect storm was created using the turmoil in Seattle for OKC to swoop up the Sonics. Using ‘Tornado Alley’ as inspiration Oklahoma City renamed the team the Thunder.
Changing a name doesn’t change a product; you can call poop gold, but it’s still poop. The Thunder’s first season in blue didn’t magically translate into success. Their 20-62 record from the 2007-08 season did improve to 23-59 but ultimately still underwhelming. KD came into his own averaging 25 points and 6 rebounds but Russ wasn’t yet the player he’d later become. Lets take a look back at the kicks worn by OKC players and enjoy some memories of simpler times – memories of Kevin and Russell’s budding friendship because we don’t see that anymore. Since Boogie signed with golden State yesterday the league has officially been broken.