Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have established themselves as one of the leagues elite teams. They currently have the best record in the Western Conference.
Their recent rise to fame has been a steady climb. It began after a woeful season in 2006-2007. Things were so different then that the team was neither named the Thunder nor was it in Oklahoma City. The Seattle Supersonics, as the team was called then, finished with a 31-51 record.
The only bright point is that they won the second pick in the upcoming draft. The two big names in the draft were Greg Oden out of Ohio State University and Kevin Durant coming out of Texas University.

oklahoma city thunder present logo

Present logo of the Oklahoma City Thunder

Luckily, the Portland Trailblazers selected Greg Oden with the first pick. Oden was incredibly talented, but his injuries have prevented him from having much of a career in the NBA. The Seattle Supersonics drafted Kevin Durant.
The team was rumored to be failing to reach an agreement with the arena where they played their home games in Seattle. The team also was sold to some business owners in Oklahoma City. Things were changing for the franchise. In his rookie year for the Seattle Supersonics, Kevin Durant averaged 20.3 points per game and was named the NBA rookie of the year.
Despite Durant’s phenomenal rookie season, the Sonics finished 20-62. Before the season began, the Sonics traded away their two stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic respectively. This left little talent around the super talented Kevin Durant.
The next season all the rumors came to pass and the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City and took on the new name Thunder. The 2008-2009 season started off much like the previous season ended: with a lot of losing. The Thunder won only a few games in the first half of the season. Late in the season, the Thunder became a respectable team, and finished with a run of 20 wins and 30 losses. They finished with a record of 23-59 which was only slightly better than the previous season, but improvement it was.
The 2009-2010 season was a big leap for the Thunder. That season they won statement games against some of the best teams in the league. They also finished with a 50-32 record which allowed them to qualify for the playoffs as the 8 seed. That matched them against the 1 seeded Los Angeles Lakers who won the championship the year before. In a thrilling series, the Thunder gave the Lakers all they could handle, but the Thunder lost 4-2 in the opening series of the playoffs.
Despite their loss to the Lakers, the way they played the Lakers gave the team much credibility heading into the 2010-2011 season. They lived up to the hype. They improved by 5 games over the season and finished with a 55-27 record. Instead of being the 8 seed, they were the 4 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They won their first series against the Denver Nuggets 4 to 1. After the Nuggets they faced the Memphis Grizzlies who shocked the NBA world with an upset over the number 1 seeded San Antonio Spurs. The Grizzlies almost continued the upsets against the Thunder, but the Thunder were able to win the series in 7 games 4 to 3.
That placed the 4 seeded Thunder against the 3 seeded Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals. The games were close, but Dallas won the series 4 to 1 and knocked the Thunder out of the playoffs. The Mavericks went on to win the NBA championship.
With their young core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka still intact, many people picked the Thunder to go to the NBA Finals and even win a championship. The Thunder currently have the best record in the West as they try to regain the glory days as the Seattle Supersonics which included an NBA championship in 1979.