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What if the Thunder Never Wins it all?

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm •  Published: March 15, 2013

What type of fan are you?

That’s something that a commenter got me thinking today.

In Friday’s editions of The Oklahoman, I posed the question of whether the Thunder is better or worse than last year. No matter the result of tonight’s game against Orlando, the Thunder is guaranteed to have a better record through 66 games than it finished with a year ago. From that perspective, this season has been a success.

But what happens if the Thunder doesn’t win it all?

What if OKC never wins it all?

The Peake is widely considered one of the NBA's best environments. / Photo by Bryan Terry
The Peake is widely considered one of the NBA's best environments. / Photo by Bryan Terry

Are multiple 50 and even 60-win seasons and deep playoff runs satisfactory? Or does the Thunder need to take home at least one Larry O’Brien trophy in this golden era?

What type of fan are you? reader Pete Cooney of Detroit, Michigan, posted this little blurb under the aforementioned article:

A cautionary note to you Oklahoma fans: ENJOY THE WINS. Don’t take them for granted,” Cooney wrote. “I’m a Detroit Pistons fan, who (reads) your comments on ESPN TrueHoop, and I can tell you now: I miss the wins. I miss them a lot. We won one championship early in a good seven-year run and for most of the time fans here were yelling for another one. Don’t be petty. Don’t be Greedy! Enjoy each win. Enjoy the fact that you walk away from each victory with a smile on your face. Sitting on the other side of it — especially with the Pistons’ TRULY dismal season two years ago under John Kuester — I can tell you, you miss it badly. Savor EVERY WIN, folks!

Unlike those Pistons and fans like Cooney, however, the Thunder and Thunder heads haven’t tasted that first chip. Greed can only take shape when you crave more of what you already have. There is not yet an NBA championship banner hanging from the rafters inside The Peake. Fans around these parts are dying to see some hardware, some jewelry, some statewide parades.

That explains why there is so much angst in the air even in a Thunder season that soon will end with the third consecutive division title and the team toppling the 50-win plateau for the third time in four years. Mounting wins, while enjoyable, don’t mean as much when you feel that trouble is on the horizon.

Wonder how Phoenix fans feel these days?

Are their thoughts more along the lines of “It was a good run,” or “That’s a doggone shame.”

The final chapter of this Thunder era could be years away from being written. Oklahoma City still can become the next the next San Antonio or could fizzle into the Steve Nash-led Suns.

Can only one be a success?

What type of fan are you?


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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