Thunder Most Likable Team in NBA
Chances are if you're reading this article, you're already a Thunder fan. If you're not and you have no alliance for the upcoming restart, might I suggest jumping on the Oklahoma City bandwagon.
Unless you bleed blue and gold (Golden State Warriors) or have an affinity for Kevin Durant, most Oklahomans are pretty darn hospitable. Not to mention, the Thunder has become the most likable team in the NBA.
You won't see a ton of Thunder jerseys outside their home town. Still, you'd be hard-pressed not to find one guy worth rooting for on this team.
Chirs Paul is the catalyst for this unlikely image change. Paul, whose reputation of being a bad locker room guy proceeded him, is revamping Oklahoma CIty into a selfless, never say die, clutch time, juggernaut.
A considerable advantage Paul has over his predecessor Russell Westbrook, is being a more traditional point guard. Nothing against Westbrook, but his style could not have maximized this group's talent.
This team needed patience and someone to help spread Billy Donovan's message, not run with their own agenda. Paul was the perfect fit. Dennis Schroder says, "He's awesome."..."He's one of the top point guards ever to play this game."..."He Changed the culture here as well, how we're playing together as a team."
If Paul isn't the guy you want to hitch your wagon to, there's Danilo Gallinari. No one would have batted an eye had Gallinari chose not to come to Orlando before his free agency to avoid injury and sickness.
Gallinari's sacrifice embodies what the Thunder looks for in every player it brings into the organization. "We are fighting for something, and I think that what we are fighting for and what we play for is more important than the free agency I am going to approach."..."We are trying to win something, to go far."
Finally, the Thunder has Steven Adams (the New Zealand Philosopher) who, when I asked about how hard life in the NBA bubble was, said. "Let's be clear, mate."..."This is not Syria mate."..."We're living in a bloody resort."
There's not enough time to tell you about Darius Bazley, Lu Dor, and Dennis Schroder, but Thunder fans already know, all about these guys. Now, it's your turn, watch the seeding games and see why ESPN's Zach Lowe says they're "Though as hell."
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.