Main Event: Where will the Thunder be when it grows up?

Darnell Mayberry takes a look at the future of the Thunder's kiddie corps
By Darnell Mayberry Staff Writer Published: February 21, 2011
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photo - Clockwise from top left; Thabo Sefolosha, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.
Photos by Chris Landsberger; Photo illustration by Matt Clayton, The Oklahoman
Clockwise from top left; Thabo Sefolosha, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. Photos by Chris Landsberger; Photo illustration by Matt Clayton, The Oklahoman

“In this league, I think you need a strong three guys who play at an All-Star level four out of five nights a week,” said former NBA forward and current NBA TV analyst Rick Fox. “Then it's filling in the pieces around that with guys who understand their roles, are serviceable for 82 games and then not be complacent about the success they have.”

How far away is a championship?

“They're a couple of years away for that,” said Hall of Fame guard Magic Johnson. “But once you make the playoffs, you're on your way. All you want to do now is take a step at a time.”

Each step is accompanied by a learning experience. The Thunder got its first taste last season against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. And as the current No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, OKC is on pace to get another dose this postseason.

Or will it dish out a dose?

“I don't know why people don't talk about them,” said former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst Jon Barry. “They're tied with the Lakers in the loss column. If they get on a little run, they could conceivably go past the Lakers and get a 3 seed. And if you get home court advantage, who knows what might happen?”

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