Oklahoma City is currently rejoicing in the arrival of Paul George. The NBA franchise here, the Oklahoma City Thunder, is a team that once soared to serious heights, only to be brought down to Earth. The city rejoiced when the New Orleans Hornets temporarily called OKC home as their home city recovered from Katrina. The fan base was enthusiastic enough and the city had grown and recovered enough from the Timothy McVeigh bombing that put the city on the national map that the NBA decided to allow the Seattle Supersonics franchise to move here.
The franchise drafted well, and maybe even too well. It wound up with a team that had Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden all at the same time. This squad was able to win the Western Conference and get to the Finals, which many assumed was the beginning of what would turn into multiple titles. However, having three potentially MVP-level players on the same roster prompted salary fears, leading to a trade that sent James Harden to the Houston Rockets for pieces and players that didn’t quite equate.
After that, Kevin Durant did win an MVP award, but he and Russell Westbrook were not able to get back to the Finals, much less win a championship. The city was devastated when Durant left in free agency for the Golden State Warriors. He did win his first championship, and Russell Westbrook was left alone where he won the season’s MVP award for himself.
The Oklahoma City Thunder traded for Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George. While he only has a single season before hitting free agency himself, it sends a clear signal to fans and Russell Westbrook that despite the players they have lost, they intend to do what they can to win and possibly even contend.