OKC Thunder: Top 10 moments of 2009-2010 season

LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 22: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 111-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 22: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 111-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
11 of 12
Next

Hail the conquering losers

The above image, if you can’t tell, is Paul Gasol tipping home Koby Bryant’s missed jumper to end the Thunder’s season.

A certain number four had his shock blocked at the other end, and then a certain number nine failed to block out Gasol. A certain number zero had a decent chance at a corner three to force a Game 7, but with only 0.5 seconds left on the clock, it was never to be.

The Thunder had gone toe-to-toe with a foe the like of which they had no business competing with. They had been weighed, they had been measured, and they had been found formidable.

Durant and Green both fell to the floor in despair, and Russ hung his head low. Loud City would have none of that.

OKC Thunder Culture

More from Thunder All-Time Lists

Again, here is the full highlight video for that game, but the above is all you’ll need. I’d like to take a moment here to gloat – I was at this game, up in Loud City, high enough to touch the rafters of the Ford Center and bask in the rising emotions of those beautiful fans.

This was a truly special moment in the entire history of sport. When the Thunder failed, fell to the floor, and hung their heads, the crowd refused to let them despair. 18,342 Thunder fans stood as one and cheered their fallen warriors until they left the arena entirely.

This moment, at the time, may have been just a feel-good, reality tv fluff piece, but the decisions of first Russell Westbrook and then Paul George to remain in OKC with this team, and this culture, and these fans, all reflect back on these moments.

Call it naive, but these fans were here for their players when they were needed. Now, they have players who are here for them, too.