Oklahoma City fans are fortunate to have inherited the team. Originally the Seattle SuperSonics, the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City and has been a contender for the most part. Superstars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have spoiled OKC fans, with the latter leading the all-time Thunder’s team stats.
Past the Westbrook era, the Thunder have been rebuilding. This franchise is enduring losing seasons, but is also stockpiling prospects and draft picks. At some point, the Thunder will start proving the NBA odds wrong, making them a potentially lucrative bet.
Team Ranked Stats
Oklahoma City Thunder All-Time Records
Russell Westbrook, 18,859
Oklahoma City Thunder Stats & Team History
The franchise joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1967. Lenny Wilkens became the Seattle SuperSonics’ first star, as he was both a player and a coach for the team. After some periods without Wilkens, he returned to coach the team in 1978. The SuperSonics made consecutive NBA Finals, winning the 1979 NBA Championship.
Seattle remained a competitive franchise even as Wilkens left. In the 1990s, Seattle acquired stars like Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. The duo, alongside head coach George Karl, turned the SuperSonics back into a powerhouse. They made the NBA Finals in 1996 but lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
The SuperSonics declined even as Ray Allen and other stars continued to make the team respectable. But after talks of a new arena in the city broke down, Seattle was ultimately relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. The franchise had just drafted Durant and Westbrook, who would both go on to win MVPs.
Rebranded as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team rose to become a title contender in the league. James Harden joined the team in 2009 and together with Durant and Westbrook, led the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals. They lost to LeBron James’s Miami Heat, however.
Harden left the following season, but the Thunder remained a contender. The team made deep playoff runs but could not get past the Conference Finals. Durant then shocked everyone by signing with the Golden State Warriors in 2016, a team they had almost beaten the previous season.
With Durant’s departure, Westbrook became the Thunder’s main star. He led the Oklahoma City Thunder’s team stats and became the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double in a season.
The team acquired Paul George to support Westbrook. But despite their best efforts, OKC could not get past the first round. Westbrook and George were eventually traded in 2019, and Oklahoma City made a brief NBA playoffs run in 2020 before beginning a rebuild.
Now led by young stars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren, the Thunder are becoming a contender again. Fans may just have to wait.
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