There was no champagne, no victory cigars, not even the sound of any sighs of relief.
The Thunder’s ninth win came and went last night without any mention from the media and no celebration by the players or the coaches. Oklahoma City, after Jeff Green’s 16-foot buzzer-beating bank shot, can no longer set a new mark for the NBA’s worst record in a season after tying the nine wins the Philadelphia 76ers finished with in 1972-73.
The idea of the Thunder possibly reaching that futile feat quickly gained steam back in December when OKC began the season 3-29. But on Jan. 21, the night Oklahoma City hurdled over that historic hump, the only talk of the Sixers came from yours truly.
As promised, here’s what those involved had to say……
Coach Scott Brooks
“That was never even an issue. I know our team was better than that. It’s happened one time 30 years ago. Our focus was on every game. I know that sounds generic. We focused on practice and getting better in practice. We focused on making sure we’re going to be in fourth-quarter games. Now our next step is learning how to win those fourth-quarter games. It never even crossed my mine. It never crossed our players’ minds that we were going to be the worst team in NBA history. We’ve got too many winners on this team, too many guys that believe in each other and they’re fighters.”
“We’re not the only team who’s struggling. You’ve got the Wizards and Clippers going through some tough times right now so we’re not the only team. But we’re going to keep pushing. We know what everybody is saying about us and we know what type of team we are. We’re not the team that our record shows. We’re a much better team, and I think things are starting to turn around for us and we’re going to get better. The talk about us matching (the Sixers) is going to change and be over with.”
“I didn’t think there were a lot of people really worried about it. I had heard people talking about that at some point, but I don’t think there was anybody on our team that really thought that or was really too worried about it. But it is nice now knowing that no one will talk about it anymore. That’s a good thing.”
“I never thought about it anyway. It is what it is. We’ve just got to move forward. I’m glad the talk is over obviously.”