Well, it’s official. The Oklahoma City Thunder have the best fans in the NBA and possibly all of sports. This city flat out loves their team.
The Thunder returned home today from Miami after losing the NBA Finals last night and were greeted by more than 4,000 fans at the airport.
This Thunder team was special and their fans knew it better than anyone. Oh, how they were dying to get to see them play one last time in Chesapeake Arena but that wasn’t in the cards this year.
It was a frustrating and tough loss to go out the way they did but they showed incredible grace in defeat.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden stood together through the final moments of Game 5 cheering on their teammates despite being down by 20. They stood watching the Heat players celebrate hoping to one day feel the same way.
Then it was an incredible scene as they left the floor with the entire Thunder organization waiting for them in the tunnel, embracing each player as they came through.
It culminated as it should have with Durant and his mom. They hugged and cried together and Thunder fans everywhere did so too.
The knowledge that it wasn’t their time was in the back of all our heads but it still hurt coming this close and losing.
They will be back. Next season promises to be the best yet for the Thunder as they have improved and taken the next steps every year it seems.
Losing in the Finals this year is part of their path to becoming a champion. A truth that’s hard to take but necessary nonetheless.