OKC Thunder: Courage that Lu Dort and Fred VanVleet share

OKC Thunder rookie Lu Dort bet on himself and it all paid off in the end. Raptors guard Fred VanVleet did the same thing.

Lu Dort has become a cult hero for the OKC Thunder. Now known as the Harden stopper or Harden whisperer. 

The 21-year-old’s story and journey to the NBA is an unconventional one but nonetheless an inspiring one, showing us that though the journey may not be how you envisioned, it will always lead you to where you are meant to be.

It’s a story that reminds me of Toronto Raptors’ guard and champion Fred VanVleet. Apart from the Canadian connection, the two players also share a seemingly unwavering attitude that has seen them fulfill their hoops dreams. Both players went undrafted, Dort in 2019, and VanVleet in 2016.

The difference is that VanVleet secured his full time-contract through proving himself in the NBA summer league and training camp in the same year.

OKC Thunder – Lu Dort’s blessing in disguise

While Dort went undrafted on June 20, 2019. It truly was a blessing in disguise. He was offered a two-way deal to play for the Thunder’s G-League Affiliate – the OKC Blue, and 45 days with the OKC Thunder Varsity team.

26 games are all it took for the Canadian to prove his determination and unshakeable ability to be a force for OKC.

Much like VanVleet is a significant part of the Raptors team who is arguably the best side in the East, as young as he is, Dort plays the same role for the Thunder. He’s one of the big reason’s why OKC was able to tie up the series against the Houston Rockets.

Both Dort and VanVleet play with the hustle, passion, and a chip on their shoulder knowing where they’ve come from and how hard they’ve worked.

To earn a contract after going undrafted was an achievement in itself, but to then earn a starting role in his rookie season is incredible.

Maybe that’s why Dort is so great at taking on defensive assignments against superstars of the league. Because he always plays big and never backs down.

I’d like to believe that when the OKC Thunder win an NBA championship like the Raptors one day (hopefully very soon), the story of Luguentz Dort will come up again. And many will be talking about the kid who was given an opportunity but also took it upon himself to earn it.

A story that continues of someone who has truly fought to be where he is today.