NBA Finals: 'Thunder U' is wise beyond its years

The youngsters who are about to play for the NBA championship can mix fun with business.
By John Rohde Published: June 8, 2012

That's 261 playoff appearances for a group with an average age of less than 25 for a franchise that's 4 years old.

So far this postseason, OKC has disposed of the defending world champion Dallas Mavericks, the 16-time world champion Los Angeles Lakers, the four-time world champion San Antonio Spurs and potentially could get a crack at the 17-time world champion Boston Celtics.

For what already has been achieved – and what potentially awaits – is it safe to dump all “Thunder U” references?

Is school no longer in session?

“No, it's still here. It's still open,” Brooks said with a smile on Friday. “We're in grad school right now – living off-campus, no kids.”

Not to mention roughly $62.6 million in “scholarship” money.

There will come a day when the Thunder roster will lose its youthful charm, when the players will become grizzled veterans perfectly capable of controlling moments of laughter.

That time is not now, Brooks insists. The team remains a mixture of youthful exuberance that is wise beyond its years.

“That's always been our philosophy here at Thunder U,” Brooks said, sounding like the Dean of Admissions. “Bring the enthusiasm, but have maturity with it.”

Mission accomplished.

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