Thunder timeline: From Seattle to the playoffs
Here is how the Thunder went from being in Seattle to being in the playoffs and playing the world champion Los Angeles Lakers:
July 18, 2006: An eight-member group of Oklahoma City-based businessmen led by Clay Bennett join to form the Professional Basketball Club, LLC and agree to purchase the Seattle SuperSonics and WNBA’s Storm for $350 million.
Sept. 21, 2007: Sonics owners file an arbitration demand seeking a ruling by arbitrators that would prevent Seattle officials from forcing the Sonics to remain at KeyArena through 2010. A judge later denies the request.
Nov. 2, 2007: Sonics owners file a relocation application with the NBA seeking to move the franchise to Oklahoma City.
Feb. 16, 2008: NBA Commissioner David Stern says the Sonics leaving Seattle is “an inevitability.” Stern also says Seattle turned down an offer of about $30 million to buy the team out of its lease with KeyArena.
March 4, 2008: Oklahoma City voters approve a 1-cent sales tax to pay for about $121 million in improvements to the Ford Center and an NBA practice facility.
March 14, 2008: Oklahoma City officials sign a letter of intent with the Sonics ownership group, outlining preliminary terms of a 15-year lease agreement for the use of the Ford Center.
June 26, 2008: Selects guard Russell Westbrook (fourth overall) and center Serge Ibaka (24th overall) in the NBA Draft; acquires forward D.J. White (29th overall) in exchange for Walter Sharpe (32nd overall) and Trent Plaisted (46th overall).
July 2, 2008: Bennett announces the franchise will relocate to Oklahoma City.
Aug. 11, 2008: Acquires guard Kyle Weaver from Charlotte in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Aug. 29, 2008: Three moving vans arrive in Oklahoma City from Seattle.
Sept. 3, 2008: Formal announcement at Leadership Square that the Seattle SuperSonics will be called the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Oct. 29, 2008: Thunder plays its first-ever regular-season game and loses 98-87 to Milwaukee at home.
Nov. 21, 2008: After opening the season with a 1-12 record, Thunder replaces coach P.J. Carlesimo with assistant Scott Brooks on an interim basis.
Dec. 30, 2008: Signs free agent center Nenad Krstic.
Dec. 31, 2008: Off to a 3-29 start and riding a five-game losing streak, the Thunder beats Golden State 107-100 inside the Ford Center and goes 20-30 the remainder of the season. Earlier that same day, Thunder announces the hiring of defensive guru Ron Adams as an assistant coach.
Feb. 13, 2009: Durant scores a record 46 points for the sophomores in the Rookie Challenge game during All-Star Weekend in Phoenix. Durant made 17 of 25 shots, had six dunks and four 3-pointers.
Feb. 14, 2009: Durant wins the inaugural H-O-R-S-E competition as part of All-Star Weekend.
Feb. 17, 2009: Thunder trades forwards Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith and the draft rights to center DeVon Hardin to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for center Tyson Chandler. Later that same night, the Thunder’s new mascot, Rumble, makes his debut inside the Ford Center during a game against the Hornets.
Feb. 18, 2009: Chandler trade is rescinded when Thunder officials are not satisfied with the results of a physical examination of Chandler’s toe.
Feb. 19, 2009: Acquires guard Thabo Sefolosha and cash considerations in exchange for the least favorable of Thunder’s 2009 first-round draft picks.
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