News: All-Decade lists highlight OKC Thunder golden era

OKC Thunder: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook (Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook (Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

All-Decade lists highlight the excellence of the past 10 years of the OKC Thunder and the talented individuals who played for the franchise.

The sheer volume of players who have worn the OKC Thunder jersey speaks to the job Sam Presti has done in his 11 seasons as General Manager for the club. Perhaps Presti abandoned a certain trio too soon over far too little money but no one can say the GM doesn’t have an eye for talent.

Rather, his issue seems to be filling ‘specific roster gaps’ or landing the right equation of players. Chemistry is always difficult to create and many title teams will tell you how being lucky and intangibles play a major role in building successful rosters.

As of this moment, Presti is figuratively back in the frying pan almost starting from scratch with the exit of his two best players and one in Russell Westbrook which most Thunder fans hoped would take the Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki route by playing their entire careers for just one franchise

One phone call from Paul George changed that possibility. Moving forward depending on how long it takes for OKC to rejoin the upper echelon PG13 may eventually be viewed as the man who single-handedly ended the Thunder golden era.

To that end, as the All-Decade lists were announced these past few weeks each one invariably cited specific OKC Thunder players or the team within their rankings.

Whether it was shooting, best feuds, All-NBA teams, regular season games or NBA Finals every single list included the OKC Thunder. Thunder Nation should be proud of that accomplishment.

Naysayers will point to the fact the Thunder drafted three future Most Valuable Players who played together for three seasons. Two would go on to play together for eight seasons but ultimately only have one NBA Finals appearance to show for it.  In retrospect that may become a thorn in Sam Presti’s side. Or this recent turn of events may result in yet another golden era where the GM learns from the experience of the past 11 seasons.

There was no option once Paul George made his demand, and Presti made the best of a bad situation. For now, let’s reflect on the numerous citings on the All-Decade lists.

NBA Finals:

Sports Illustrated, The Crossover writer Michael Shapiro ranked all ten NBA Finals of the past decade placing the OKC Thunder ninth.

Thunderous Intentions (T.I.) offered our thoughts on the list and OKC Thunder placement.

Greatest Feuds:

Writer Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, The Crossover served up the greatest feuds of the past decade. Russell Westbrook makes the list definitively via his feud with Kevin Durant (and indirectly via the Joel Embiid listing).

T.I. offered our thoughts on the list and the Westbrook – Durant inclusion.

Best Eight Games of the Decade:

An ESPN panel got in on the All-Decade action selecting the top eight games of the decade. The list is comprised of regular season and playoff games. To put this in context that’s 82 games multiplied by 30 teams and again by 10 seasons (24,600 games) plus all the playoff games. Given those parameters, It seems like the list could easily have been extended to top 10 games of the decade (or maybe I’m putting too much emphasis on symmetry).

T.I. offered our thoughts on the two OKC Thunder games which made the list along with a few that arguably should’ve been considered.

Top 10 Perimeter Shooters of the Decade:

ESPN writer Kirk Goldsberry highlights the best 3-point shooters of the past decade. Three OKC Thunder players make the list although one feels like a stretch given he’s yet to play a game for the club (Chris Paul). The other two are former OKC Thunder players Kevin Durant and James Harden (are you seeing a pattern?).

T.I. offered up our thoughts on the list and how CP3’s presence and shooting may affect the team this season.

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All-NBA Teams of the Decade:

Last but not least, Sports Illustrated, The Crossover writer Rohan Nadkarni ranked the first team, Michael Shapiro ranked the second team and Nadkami also ranked the third team of All-NBA teams of the past decade.

Again, the former OKC Thunder MVP trio made the teams with Kevin Durant and James Harden on the first team while Russell Westbrook and newly acquired Chris Paul made the second team.

T.I. offered our thoughts on the lists.

Ranking Top 100 players of 2019-20 season and 25 snubs:

Though not part of the All-Decade articles, this list may be the most enticing for fans given its focus on the current season. Two articles were presented by Sports Illustrated, writer Rob Mahoney with a focus on the top 100 players an annual list which began in 2013 and a secondary article of the 25 snubs.

And the accompanying T.I. article citing the two current OKC Thunder players snubbed (and four former Thunder players) along with nine players on the top 100 list (three current, six former) and our thoughts.

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Enjoy the lists and articles and be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section.