Starting out as the Seattle SuperSonics before making the move to Oklahoma, the team now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder have a rich yet complicated history dating back to 1967. During their 4 decades in Seattle, the team had some of the greatest players in the league, particularly during the 1990s era of Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and Nate McMillan. The team’s time in Seattle brought 6 division titles, 3 conference championships, and an NBA Finals victory over the now-Washington Wizards. Today, based in Oklahoma City, the Thunder are continuing this legacy of success, taking 5 more division titles since their move in 2008 and making it to the NBA Finals again in 2012. With tickets to home games at Chesapeake Energy Arena, you can watch all the above-the- rim action brought by stars like Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
Founded in 1967, the Seattle SuperSonics—like most new expansion teams—didn’t have a winning season until several years after
their debut. However, by 1974, the team had packed a roster with All-Stars such as Spencer Haywood, Fred Brown, and Slick Watts and made it into the
NBA Playoffs for the the very first time. Within a few years, they had
added players like Jack Sikma and Dennis Johnson, who helped lead the team to 2 conference championships and the ultimate victory in 1979.
Unfortunately, this success didn’t last long. Soon, the team lost many of its best players and fell into a period of ups and downs that lasted
until the early ‘90s. They returned to the playoffs 7 times between 1980 and 1990 but never managed to make it again into the championship.
The Sonics then had another period of great success following the signing of players like Shawn “Reign Man” Kemp and Gary “The Glove” Payton. Between 1993 and 1998, they finished first in the Pacific Division 4 times and returned to the playoffs each year. The strongest roster perhaps ever for the Sonics came in 1995 with the addition of players like Detlef Schrempf, Sam Perkins, Nate McMillan, and Hersey Hawkins. They made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 1996 but lost to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in 6 games. Following another loss of the some major players, the Sonics fell into a decade of decline. Though the addition of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis helped the team take a surprising division title in 2005, the highest they placed otherwise in the conference was seventh place.
In 2006, the Sonics were sold were to a group of Oklahoma businessmen and in 2008, the team relocated to the Oklahoma City as the Thunder. But before the move, the team managed to snag rookie Kevin Durant when they were awarded the highest draft pick they’ve ever had. Along with the addition of players like Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the team went on to have their best streak in history, taking the division title 5 times between 2010 and 2016. They returned to the NBA Finals in 2012, though they lost in 5 games against the Miami Heat. Today, under Head Coach Billy Donovan, the team is continuing to fight their way up the ranks and have earned a rabid fan base that some have said have the most devotion of any team’s in the league. Oklahoma fans rush to get tickets to see the team face off against rivals like the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs.