The Oklahoma City Thunder: A Young Team on the Rise

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A few years back hurricane Katrina barreled through New Orleans leaving buildings crushed and families without homes. The NBA franchise, the New Orleans Hornets, were left without a home court as well, when the stadium suffered major damage and was used as a makeshift shelter for residents after the storm hit. The Hornets moved to Oklahoma for two seasons and were embraced by the locals and had success, but the move was only temporary.

A new beginning:

After the Hornets returned to New Orleans the Oklahoma sports scene took a hit. In 2008, Oklahoma was awarded a franchise of their own when the Seattle Super Sonics moved to Oklahoma City. The team changed its name to the Oklahoma City Thunder and drafted some great young talent that is preparing to take the entire league by storm.

There are four young players that make up the core of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The hope is that this talented group will lead the franchise to a number of rings in the near future as they grow and gain experience on and off the court.

The leaders of the pack:

Kevin Durant is the face of the franchise and one of the best scorers in the NBA. He’s one of those players you watch and expect to see at least three or four plays a game that will completely amaze you. He is a smooth player who glides across the court, has a pure jump shot, and can handle the ball like a shooting guard. The fact that he is 6’10” with long arms isn’t even fair for anybody who has the unenviable assignment of trying to guard him.

If Kevin Durant is Batman then Russell Westbrook would be Robin. The athletic point guard is feared by opponents for his ability to get to the basket and finish over bigger opponents with rim shaking dunks. He is the second option for the Thunder and is given the green light by head coach Scott Brooks to make plays for the team. James Harden and Serge Ibaka are two other young players who continue to improve every year and will see their roles with the team continue to expand.

The Thunder went from not making the playoffs to winning their division title. Last season they were bounced from the playoffs by the eventual champions. The next step for them is to win the NBA championship.

Goals put on hold:

If you follow the NBA you surely know that the league is currently facing a lockout that keeps players from working out at their teams facilities or playing in games. It’s a depressing time for fans of the NBA and people who work at the arenas and own businesses in the surrounding areas. It is a difficult and anxious time for many as the players and franchise owners continue to meet and try to work out a new deal that both sides agree on.

During this lockout period the players have adopted the mantra, “basketball never stops,” and have set up a number of All-Star charity games across the country. A new tournament is being put together now that will have players on a world tour playing exhibition games in Australia, Macau, and London among other stops. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden have all been playing in these games and improving their skills. When the NBA season resumes the Thunder look like they will be ready to take the next step.

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