OKC Thunder era’s cross paths in more ways than one

Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

Marketable is not something you often hear regarding small-market NBA squads. Usually, the spotlights are shining in L.A., New York, Miami, and other big cities and historic franchises. However, Oklahoma City has been able to buck that trend before. When the OKC Thunder rostered Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden, this fly-over states team went international.

Westbrook and Durant put this team on the map, literally, not only having the sports world buzzing about the duo, but even non-sports fans understood who they were and their impact on Oklahoma. We often ask if history can repeat itself in terms of winning on the hardwood with this new Thunder core, but can it also repeat itself off the court?

As Josh Giddey appears on the cover of GQ, can the OKC Thunder become one of the premiere franchises in the NBA on and off the court?

The OKC Thunder own one of the best young cores in the entire NBA. A quick rise after a two-year postseason drought, the Thunder saw a 16-win improvement leap them into the play-in tournament a year ago without their highest pick of this rebuild.

Between Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, Chet Holmgren, and a ton of depth, the OKC Thunder are primed for a postseason run in a tough Western Conference this season. This is the most excitement around a team since 2017 for the Thunder, and rightfully so.

However, the team is not doing it exclusively off the court. Like their predecessors, this spunky OKC Thunder squad can be seen making a name for themselves away from the hardwood. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was at the Met Gala this summer for crying out loud—a significant event in pop culture Americana.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been tabbed the most fashionable male in the world by GQ, and Josh Giddey has climbed those ranks himself in the sports world. Now, as Josh Giddey graces the cover of GQ, it is fair to ask if this iteration of the Thunder is the most marketable ever.

This is on the heels of Josh Giddey and Chet Holmgren being spotted at a NIKE event together in New York City.

Between the fashion scene that the OKC Thunder roster desperately wants to (and deserves) be in and their focus on building social media brands, their Q rating will only grow with more wins and National TV games under their belt.

Not only has this young core said all the right things about wanting to stay in Bricktown, but their embracement of the social media platforms and introducing themselves to more marketable scenes only helps their individual and team profiles grow.

With a potential new arena on the horizon to keep the Thunder in Oklahoma City through 2050, this young core upgrading the team’s visibility would do wonders for the franchise and this state. It would be now two generations touched by this small market franchise, and it is how you work your way into “historic franchise” status.

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