MAITLAND, Fla.- More than anything else, the move from Seattle to Oklahoma City offers a welcome prospect for the players and staff of the unnamed franchise formerly known as the SuperSonics.
The mobile home mentality is over.
Despite no official team name, color scheme or practice facility in place, just knowing the Oklahoma City address is in place has to be deemed as progress given what the last 12 months have been like.
"Last year was a tough year for us with all the controversy,” said forward Jeff Green, who scored a team-high 21 points in Oklahoma City's 95-78 loss to Indiana on Monday afternoon. "This year, we're finally stable. We know where we'll be, so now that it's done we're hoping to represent Oklahoma City very well.”
The settlement owner Clay Bennett reached with the city of Seattle last Wednesday, delivering his franchise permanently to his native Oklahoma City, was cemented by the team's first appearance in an NBA competition.
"It's nice to have a resolution. It wasn't an easy situation for anyone,” said general manager Sam Presti. "We're excited about the opportunity we have in front of us in Oklahoma and thankful for the opportunity we had in Seattle.”
There's still an abundance to do, from nurturing bonds that will allow the team to flourish in its new environment to the aforementioned dilemma of finding the right place to train, but getting out on the court with a roster of members wearing uniforms with Oklahoma City emblazoned across their chests provided closure. The move is made. A new chapter is beginning.
"I'm excited. I'm excited about the whole thing, just the move, seeing a new city, new fans,” said second-year forward Kevin Durant, the face of the franchise. "I didn't think we would move this soon. I was sure I'd settle in Seattle, bought a house for my mom and we moved out there, our family. That's my home, but this is a part of the business and we've got to get up and move, so I'm looking forward to playing in a new city.”
Durant said he's familiar with the Ford Center from his participation in a previous Big 12 tournament, but he's looking forward to learning the building's nuances and calling it home.