Thunder Experience “Changing of the Guard” in Western Conference



5 years ago, Kevin Durant heard his name called at the NBA draft, number 2 overall to the Seattle Sonics. In the time that has passed, the baby faced, mama’s boy, 6’9″ forward has turned into a 3 time scoring champion. His team has become exemplary for other NBA teams that wish to build through the draft. Young, fast, athletic and talented, the Thunder look to build a dynasty henceforth in the NBA. Led by Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, the Thunder have taken a huge step in building this dynasty.

On June 6th, the Western Conference changed forever. The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the mighty San Antonio Spurs 107-99 to advance to the 2012 NBA finals. This is the first trip for the franchise, who relocated to Oklahoma in 2008. Not only was this game significant in Durant’s illustrious young career, but it was a pivotal moment in NBA history. For many years, the West has been dominated by the Spurs and the L.A. Lakers. In fact, 5 out of the last 6 Western Finals have included one of those teams. However on this day, we may have witnessed a new trend emerge.

Next for the Thunder is the final step in their quest for a title. The big stage, the NBA finals. Whether they play Boston or Miami, it looks to be a fantastic series. Back to the present however. A sold out arena in Oklahoma, bursting with energy, chants “M-V-P! M-V-P!”. A humbled Kevin Durant can only express himself by shyly looking down at the trophy he earned. It’s a truly surreal moment, seeing the 23 year old grow up before our eyes. The beginning of his legacy could come as early as this season, if he can win his first NBA title.

Looking again into the future, we likely will see the Boston Celtics come out of the east. If this is the case, the legacy of a certain “King” will be further damaged. “He chokes in the clutch!” and “He doesn’t have a ring!” are two main claims used to argue against the greatness of LeBron James. It seems like the compilation of talent in Miami hasn’t worked in their favor just yet. Heat fans are searching for an answer right now, while Thunder fans are drooling over a savvy young team. To quote the immortal Michael Jordan: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

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