Oklahoma City Thunder All Time Roster

STARTING LINEUP :

C. Jack Sikma

P.F. Shawn Kemp

S.F. Kevin Durant

S.G. Lenny Wilkens

P.G. Gary Payton

BENCH :

C. Tom Chambers

P.F. Spencer Haywood

S.F. Xavier McDaniel

S.G. Dennis Johnson

P.G. Gus Williams

S.G. Ray Allen

S.F. Detlef Schrempf

 

CENTERS :

At center I picked Jack Sikma. As a matter of fact he’s probably the best center that the Thunder (Sonics at the time obviously) ever had. He was also the starting center of the team that won the only ring that the franchise ever won.

 

As his back up I picked Tom Chambers (Tom was first a PF and actually played PF most of the time in Seattle but, as I said in the Suns post, he definitely could play C ; he actually did several time through the course of his career) who had some of his best years in Seattle, he even was All Star for the first time of his career with that team and won his only All Star MVP.

 

POWER FORWARDS :

At P.F. it obviously has to be Shawn Kemp. Certainly the best player that the franchise ever had. Shawn was really an amazing player, it’s in the 95/96 season that he definitely asserted himself as the leader that people expected him to be by finally leading the Sonics to the Finals against the Bulls, this after two very disappointing seasons in which the Sonics were among the very best teams in the league during the regular season (even the best in 94..) but they had yet lost twice in a row in the first round. Too bad that the dream didn’t last long for Kemp as the following year he got jealous of McIlvaine’s contract (the Sonics actually gave more money to this basic center than they did to their star) and demanded to be traded. Which the Sonics did. And after a very good first year in Cleveland the lock out just ended Shawn Kemp’s career as Shawn decided to spend his time eating during this year without basketball… He became a fat pig that had nothing to do with the superstar he used to be. That’s sad…

 

I picked Spencer Haywood as his back up. Spencer is first of all the guy who changed the NBA forever as he forced his way into the league and changed the rule prohibiting teams from using a player whose college class had not yet graduated. As a matter of fact he boldly challenged the NBA establishment, taking his demand all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Something that most people didn’t like at the time, in fact during his first season with Seattle, Haywood was booed at several NBA arenas. At one arena, the announcer even went so far as to announce « Ladies and gentlemen, we have an illegal player on the court »…But aside from that Spencer was also a fantastic player. Before entering the NBA Haywood played one year in the ABA in which he had a truly outstanding season, he was named both ROY, All Star MVP and season MVP at the age of 21. He is acutally the youngest regular season MVP ever. Besides his 986 field goals made, 1,637 rebounds, and 19.5 rebound per game average are the all-time ABA records for a season. It’s in Seattle that Spencer had his best NBA years, he was truly one of the very best inside players in the league at the time.

 

SMALL FORWARDS :

At SF I picked Kevin Durant. At first I did not want to pick him because of his very young age, but honestly he clearly already is the best SF that this team ever had despite his youth. One of the most amazing scorers we ever seen. At the exception of the great Michael Jordan, no one has scored at least 25 points in a row more than he did (29 games, Jordan’s record is 40 games in a row). And he’s shown that he was a good leader as he’s already led his team to the WCF. With such a great player as Durant, the least we can say is that the franchise has a very bright future.

 

As his back up I picked the X Man. Xavier McDaniel. One of the toughest and craziest players ever but also one of the most talented. It’s in Seattle that Xavier had the best years of his career.

 

SHOOTING GUARDS :

At SG I picked Lenny Wilkens. Well Lenny spent most of his career playing PG but he was truly a combo guard. That’s why I decided to make him start as SG, as one of the very best players to ever play in that team I believe that he has to start and I prefer to keep Payton, who’s at worst the second best player to ever played in that franchise, as the starting PG. In Seattle Lenny started to get old but he still had four of the best seasons of his career. He even was All Star MVP for the first and only time of his career there. He was also player-coach in his Seattle years, which is totally forbidden in today’s NBA. He’s in second place for highest number of games as a player-coach.

 

His back up has to be Dennis Johnson. As a matter of fact DJ was a SG in his Seattle years. And he was a true star then, he even led the team to his only ring ever in 1979. And was elected NBA Finals MVP. His block on Grevey’s shot at the end of the 1979 Finals game 4’s over time, which allowed the Sonics to lead 3-1, is one of the greatest playoffs moments. I’ve always found DJ to be underrated by many people, he was a fantastic player, one of the very best defenders ever and one of my personal favorites.

 

POINT GUARDS :

At PG it has to be Gary Payton. As I said before he’s at worst the second best player to ever play in that franchise. Could arguably be considered as the best (it’s between him and Kemp). He’s certainly the face of this franchise anyhow, even if he didn’t win a ring, as he’s the superstar who spent the most time in it. Arguably also the best defensive PG ever.

 

His back up is definitely Gus Williams. He was with DJ, Sikma and Fred Brown one of the key players of the only Sonics/Thunder team that won a ring. A fantastic scoring PG.

 

11th and 12th SPOTS :

For the last two spots, well it was hard to choose cause there have been so many great players in that team.. But I eventually picked Ray Allen and Detlef Schrempf. Ray Allen cause he’s the last true star that the team had, he had some amazing years there.

 

And Detlef Schrempf is definitely the second best German player ever. One of the first true European NBA stars. Very important during the Kemp-Payton era, was certainly the third best player of the team. I even hesitated to put him as the back up SF but eventually decided to give the edge to the X Man, but it’s close between the two, both players would deserve it IMO.

 

I want to precise that I decided not to pick Westbrooks just because he’s very young and still have a lot of things to prove before they can be considered as better as any of the guys I mentioned. Other players like Eddie Johnson, Fred Brown, Dale Ellis or Nate McMillan would have deserved to be in that list but I just thought that the ones I mentioned deserved it more.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Oklahoma City Thunder All Time Roster”
  1. ZC says:

    umm, the only thunder player you put was Durant.

    • pataloysius says:

      Contrary to what some young NBA fans might believed, the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise was not created in 2008… It were created in 1967 under the name “SuperSonics” and they were based in Seattle then.

      In 2008 the franchise was moved to Oklahoma City and changed their name to “Thunder”.

      So all the players I mentioned played for the same franchise, the franchise that used to be called Seattle SuperSonics and which is now called Oklahoma City Thunder.

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