Firstly there was the coaching appointment of Darko Rajakovic to the Oklahoma City Thunder bench. Then we had the relocation of the Tulsa 66ers to Oklahoma City and now we have the 66ers being referred to as “the Thunder’s development league team”. So what gives?
Are we going to see the Thunder’s D-League team change names? Could we have an Oklahoma City Thunder and Lightning combination?
Thunder fans have always taken an interest in the Tulsa 66ers. We have seen some of our young stars spend plenty of time in the D-League and they have developed and flourished as basketball players. Jeremy Lamb is the most recent of note, but also Andre Roberson, Grant Jerrett and countless others have had stints there over time.
With the relocation, the promotion of the head coach to the NBA – you can see a tangible and effective relationship between the two entities. Clearly, the Thunder are trying to further that relationship. The D-League came back into the forefront when it became apparent that the Thunder drafted Josh Huestis with the 29th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft – to specifically play with the 66ers. This arrangement had been pre-determined before the draft by OKC and Huestis’ agent.
Other teams have affiliated teams in the D-League, but few seem to have the same tight-knit relationship that the Thunder and 66ers do. And it only appears to be getting stronger.
In order to continue to grow and nurture talent, the Thunder might be taking even more interest in the D-League and that could possibly lead to a name change. Can you think of a more fitting name than the Oklahoma City Lightning?
Watch this space. Just like the talent it develops, the Thunder’s D-League team might be going big time.
Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder