Happy New Year everybody! 2012 was certainly a great year to be an Oklahoma City Thunder fan and 2013 is even more promising for the franchise.
There were a lot of ups and downs from 2012 for the Thunder playing most of the lockout 2011-12 season in this calendar year and then some offseason drama after that.
Some of the criticism and questions surrounding the Thunder in 2011 were put away this year. Russell Westbrook has pretty much risen above the hate he was receiving as he continues to evolve into a superstar. Head coach Scott Brooks has also silenced most doubters after a trip to the NBA Finals.
Let’s take a look back at the year that was 2012 for the Oklahoma City Thunder by counting down the top 10 moments of the year.
10. Perry Jones III falls to the Thunder in the 2012 NBA Draft
This was a very excited and underrated moment of the year. Coming into the draft, the Thunder had the 28th overall and no one really expected them to draft anyone too talented. Then Jones III started falling because of concerns about the health of his knee and one of the best athletes from the draft class was joining the most athletic team in the NBA. Jones III has yet to make any kind of impact in his rookie season but the potential he has with this team is still very exciting.
9. Serge Ibaka signs 4-year extension
NBA fans woke up one Saturday morning after the Olympics had ended to read the news that Serge Ibaka had inked a 4-year, $49 million extension with the Thunder. The Thunder were working on extending Ibaka and Harden this summer and when Ibaka got his deal done first, the future of the Thunder franchise changed forever.
8. Harden elbowed in head by Metta World Peace
It was one of the best regular season games of the year on a Sunday late in the season between the Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers. The game went into overtime and the Lakers won thanks to Kobe Bryant heroics but what happened earlier in the game received the most headlines. Following a fast break dunk, Metta World Peace elbowed James Harden viciously in the head while running back on defense, concussing Harden and resulting in a 3-game suspension for World Peace.
7. Kevin Durant All-Star Game MVP
The West beat the East 152-149 and Kevin Durant scored 36 points and grabbed seven rebounds to earn MVP honors. It wasn’t a hard ending to predict with Durant’s knowing of only one speed on a basketball court. He was looking for his shot early and often and the award was going to him without a doubt if the West one. This won’t be the last time Durant wins this award either.
6. Blake Griffin dunks on Kendrick Perkins
This wasn’t a positive moment for the Thunder but definitely a memorable one. Blake Griffin has made it a habit of putting big men on posters since entering the NBA and what he did to Kendrick Perkins on Jan. 31 was flat out mean. The video says it all.