No team in the NBA has ever won an NBA title with a 55-27 record. No team in the NBA has ever held a series lead against a team with 70+ wins. No team with this much transcendent talent has ever been written off like they were this year. Blah, blah, blah. No team has ever disappointed and fascinated like the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Someday we will all look back on this robust experiment of a basketball team who played with “THUNDER” on their chest in a forgotten American city with a desperate sense of nostalgia.
Someday when the OKC Thunder will be the since-defunct OKC Thunder, when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s jerseys will be the lasting memory of those wild years playing in a city that had no business being an NBA city, we will all begin to appreciate what we were seeing in the 2010s.
Someday when you meet up with your friend who loved basketball as much as you did back then and you count down all the champions by year and you mention that time Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook finally broke through and became champions you will long for that time in your life when something so ultimately unimportant could mean so much to you.
Someday when you stumble upon a clickbait article called “WORST NBA TRADES OF ALL TIME” and you remember that the OKC Thunder broke up the best crop of organically raised NBA talent ever you will recall the feeling of deprivation you felt over something that was never even yours.
Someday when you have a boy who loves the nuance and beauty of basketball the way you did asks you not about the time the Golden State Warriors ran away with the league or about the time LeBron James sold out and went to Miami, but about the time two stars with the gravitational pull of the sun or a planet or something else that demands such attention almost didn’t do it but then reached the top, you will smile because you will remember how much that moment meant to you.
Someday when ESPN classic runs game six of the 2016 Western Conference Finals when Kevin Durant dropped 35 points and Russell Westbrook transcended Steph Curry before our impressionable eyes, you will wish you were young again, and you will wish you cared about anything in your life the way Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams and the people of Oklahoma City cared about basketball in the spring of 2016.
Someday it will be Oklahoma City’s time. I think it is their time right now.
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