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Legendary Players in Oklahoma City Thunder & Seattle SuperSonics History

Greatest Players in Oklahoma City Thunder & Seattle SuperSonics History

Sports franchises have a rich history, filled with the stories of legendary players who have made incredible contributions to their team. The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Seattle SuperSonics are two such franchises with an impressive resume of superstar players.

In this article, we will highlight some of the most remarkable players in both franchises histories.

Gary Payton

Gary Payton, aka “The Glove,” spent 13 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was an exceptional point guard, with keen court vision that allowed him to average nine assists per game for his career.

Payton was also a tenacious defender, earning him the nickname “The Glove.” He made the All-Defensive Team nine times and is one of the few guards in NBA history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Payton was a nine-time All-Star and had one championship title in 2006 with the Miami Heat.

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, known as KD, was drafted second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007. Durant played for the SuperSonics for only one year before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

In Oklahoma City, Durant teamed up with

Russell Westbrook and James Harden, becoming known as the “OKC Big Three.”

Durant spent eight seasons with the Thunder and became one of the best scorers in NBA history during his tenure. He won four scoring titles, earned NBA MVP in 2014, and was a seven-time All-Star.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was drafted by the Thunder in 2008 and spent 11 seasons with the team. Westbrook is arguably one of the best point guards in NBA history, averaging a triple-double in three consecutive seasons from 2016-2019.

Westbrook earned NBA MVP in 2017 and is a nine-time All-Star. Westbrook was an explosive scorer, averaging 23.2 points per game for his career.

He is also an elite rebounder for his position, averaging 7.2 rebounds per game in his career.

Shawn Kemp

Shawn Kemp was a power forward who spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the SuperSonics. Kemp was an athletic marvel and was named to six All-Star teams during his tenure with the team.

Kemp earned All-NBA honors three times and helped lead the SuperSonics to the NBA Finals in 1996. Kemp averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for his career.

Ray Allen

Ray Allen played for the SuperSonics from 2003-2007. The highlight of his time with the team was his 269 three-pointers made during the 2005-2006 season, a record that still stands today.

Allen is a ten-time All-Star, two-time NBA Champion, and is considered one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history.

Jack Sikma

Jack Sikma won an NBA championship with the SuperSonics in 1979 and was named to seven All-Star teams during his career. Sikma was known for his rebounding and defense and is currently the all-time leading rebounder in SuperSonics history.

Fred Brown

Fred Brown, aka “Downtown Freddie Brown,” spent his entire 13-year career with the SuperSonics. Brown was known for his scoring ability, most notably his outside shooting.

Brown ranks third all-time in SuperSonics scoring history and is still beloved by fans for his clutch shooting, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the 1979 NBA Finals.

Dale Ellis

Dale Ellis spent parts of five seasons with the SuperSonics and was known for his work on the offensive end. Ellis won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 1987 and was a two-time All-Star.

He ranks fourth all-time in SuperSonics’ history with 1,968 three-pointers made.

Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka played for the Thunder from 2009-2016 and is one of the best shot-blockers in franchise history. He earned All-Defense honors three times and ranks second all-time in Thunder history in blocked shots.

Spencer Haywood

Spencer Haywood started his NBA career with the SuperSonics and won an NBA championship with the team in 1979. Haywood was a dominant rebounder, averaging 9.3 rebounds per game for his career and won the NBA’s rebounding title in 1974.

Gary Payton’s Career

Gary Payton was one of the best point guards in NBA history and had an illustrious career. He spent his first 12 seasons with the SuperSonics before bouncing around to a few different teams in his final years.

Payton was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, a well-deserved honor. Over his 17-year career, Payton was selected to nine All-Star games.

Payton also won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 1996, and his nine All-Defensive First Team honors are tied for the most all-time with Michael Jordan. During his career, Payton led the league in games played twice, assists twice, steals twice, and three-point field goals made once.

Payton averaged 16.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game for his career.

Conclusion

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Seattle SuperSonics have produced some of the best players in NBA history.

Gary Payton,

Kevin Durant,

Russell Westbrook,

Shawn Kemp,

Ray Allen,

Jack Sikma,

Fred Brown,

Dale Ellis,

Serge Ibaka, and

Spencer Haywood all left their own unique marks on their respective franchises.

Whether they were dominating on the offensive end or locking down opponents on defense, these players will always be remembered for their contributions to the teams they played for.

Kevin Durant’s Career

Kevin Durant is one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. With four scoring titles under his belt, Durant is a seven-time All-Star and has been named NBA MVP once.

In this article, we will dive deeper into Durant’s career to highlight his rookie season, his scoring streak and accomplishments, and his playoff appearances.

Rookie Season and Improvement

Durant was drafted second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007. He immediately earned the NBA Rookie of the Year award, averaging 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.

Durant’s scoring output improved significantly in his second season, bumping his average to 25.3 points per game and earning his first All-Star appearance. Durant continued to show improvement every year and eventually moved with the franchise when it moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

With the Thunder, Durant formed the famous “Big Three” alongside

Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

Scoring Streak and Accomplishments

Durant’s scoring streak is perhaps the most impressive part of his career. He has won four scoring titles, including three in a row from 2009 to 2012.

In the 2013-14 season, Durant had one of the most statistically impressive seasons in NBA history. He averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 50.3% from the field, 39.1% from three-point range, and 87.3% from the free-throw line.

This season earned Durant his first NBA MVP award. Durant has also been named to All-NBA first teams a whopping six times.

His performances were so impressive that he earned the nickname “The Slim Reaper” from fans and analysts alike.

Playoff Appearances

Durant first reached the NBA Finals in 2012, when the Thunder faced off against the Miami Heat. Despite leading the series 1-0, the Heat won the next four games to claim the championship.

Durant played well, averaging 30.6 points per game in the series, but it wasn’t enough to overcome LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the rest of the Heat. The Thunder returned to the Western Conference Finals in 2014, where they faced the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.

Although the Thunder fell short in the series, Durant’s performance was nothing short of incredible. He averaged 29.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in the series, earning his second NBA scoring title in the process.

Durant’s playoff accolades and his scoring prowess eventually earned him a spot with the Golden State Warriors, where he earned two NBA titles and picked up numerous other accolades.

Russell Westbrook’s Career

Russell Westbrook is one of the most electrifying players in NBA history. He is a nine-time NBA All-Star, an NBA MVP, and is known for his high-energy, driving style of play.

In this article, we will delve into Westbrook’s early career and injury, his Finals appearance and MVP season.

Early Career and Injury

Westbrook played college basketball at UCLA before being selected fourth overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2008 NBA draft. He quickly emerged as one of the team’s key players alongside Durant and Harden.

Westbrook’s driving style earned him the nickname “Russell the Hustle.”

Westbrook was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the league’s top players when he suffered a torn meniscus in the playoffs during the 2013-14 season. The injury sidelined him for the rest of the playoffs and put his future in jeopardy.

Westbrook quickly bounced back from the injury, returning to form the following season and leading the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals where they fell to the Golden State Warriors.

Finals Appearance and MVP Season

In the 2011-2012 season, Westbrook played a major role in the Thunder’s first NBA Finals appearance since the team moved to Oklahoma City. Though the Thunder fell to the Miami Heat in the Finals, Westbrook’s performances were a key reason why the Thunder made it that far.

During the 2016-17 season, Westbrook had a historic year, becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season to average a triple-double for an entire season. Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game that season.

His performance earned him the NBA MVP award, and he became the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, joining Robertson himself. In that same season, Westbrook put on one of the greatest individual performances in NBA history when he tallied 57 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in a game against the Orlando Magic.

Westbrook’s performance set an NBA record for the most points in a triple-double.

Conclusion

From Durant’s scoring prowess and playoff runs to Westbrook’s high-energy play and historic triple-double season, these two basketball superstars have earned their status as two of the best players to ever grace the hardwood.

Shawn Kemp’s Career

Shawn Kemp was a seven-time All-Star and one of the most dominant power forwards in the game during his prime. He spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Seattle SuperSonics, and later played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Orlando Magic.

In this article, we will explore Kemp’s All-Star selections and career starts, as well as his standout 1995-1996 NBA season.

All-Star Selections and Career Starts

Kemp was selected as an All-Star in six consecutive seasons from 1992 to 1997. He was the starting power forward for the Western Conference in each of those six All-Star games.

Kemp’s combination of athleticism and skill made him a fan favorite and one of the most electrifying players in the league. He was known for his thunderous dunks and powerful finishes around the rim.

Kemp’s All-Star selections showed that he was one of the best players in the game. Kemp was also a durable player, starting in 646 games out of the 738 regular season games he played in his career.

This shows that he was a player who could not only put up impressive numbers but also play hard every night.

1995-1996 Performance

Kemp’s standout season came in the 1995-1996 NBA season, a year in which he carried the SuperSonics on his back. That season, Kemp averaged 19.6 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

He also shot 55.4% from the field, showing off his efficiency as a scorer. Kemp’s performance helped propel the SuperSonics to their best season in franchise history.

The team won a franchise-record 64 games and made it to the NBA Finals, where they fell to the Chicago Bulls. Kemp played a pivotal role in the team’s success, averaging 23.3 points and 10 rebounds per game in the playoffs.

Kemp’s 1995-1996 season cemented his place as one of the best power forwards in the league. His combination of size, speed, and skill made him a matchup nightmare for defenders.

Kemp’s physical abilities were only surpassed by his passion for the game, a trait that endeared him to fans.

Ray Allen’s Career

Ray Allen is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. He won two NBA championships during his career, was a 10-time All-Star, and is the all-time leader in three-pointers made.

In this article, we will explore his achievements and stats, as well as his league-leading performances in three-pointers and three-point attempts.

Achievements and Stats

Allen’s remarkable career spanned 18 seasons, during which he played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. Allen was an elite scorer who averaged 18.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game over his career.

He was also an excellent three-point shooter, making 40% of his attempts from beyond the arc. Allen helped lead the Boston Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008, and then won another title with the Miami Heat in 2013.

He was also a 10-time All-Star and a two-time All-NBA selection. Allen was known for his tireless work ethic and training regime, which helped him maintain his high level of play throughout his career.

Leading the League in Stats

Allen’s most impressive season came in 2005-2006 while playing for the Seattle SuperSonics. In that season, he led the league in both three-pointers made and attempted.

Allen made 269 three-pointers that season, which is still the NBA record for most three-pointers made in a single season. He also attempted 653 three-pointers that year, which at the time, ranked as the second-highest total in NBA history.

Allen was a lethal three-point shooter, and his performance in the 2005-2006 season showed that he was one of the most skilled long-range shooters in the game. His consistency and accuracy from beyond the arc made him a constant threat to opposing teams, and his ability to stretch the floor opened up opportunities for his teammates.

Conclusion

Shawn Kemp and

Ray Allen were two of the most exciting players to ever play in the NBA. Kemp’s combination of athleticism and skill made him one of the most dominant power forwards in the game during the 90s.

Allen’s remarkable shooting ability made him one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Their combined expertise helped elevate their respective teams and cement their legacies as two of the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood court.

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