Most of the best players of the 2000’s for the Oklahoma City Thunder never actually wore an Oklahoma City Jersey. Instead, they played for the franchise before the move to Oklahoma City in 2008, when the franchise was known as the Seattle Supersonics. In 2009-2010, which was just their second season in Oklahoma City, the Thunder surprised the NBA by making the playoffs. Here are the best five Oklahoma City Thunder from 2001-2010. The next decade looks to be filled with many more playoff appearances from the Thunder and maybe even a couple of NBA championships with young stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook leading the way. (Only accomplishments and stats while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2000-2010 were considered.)
1. Kevin Durant
Durant has only been in the league for three years, but very few players in NBA history have ever developed into a superstar so quickly. His rookie season was the franchise’s last year as the Seattle Supersonics, and he did enough to tease their fans with the fact that they could have had one of the best ever. In his rookie season, Durant posted averages of 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists. In the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first season, Durant immediately put his stamp on the city. The second year man scored 25.3 and had 6.5 rebounds per game. The next season Durant made an even bigger leap forward; he led the league in scoring with 30.1 per contest and led the Thunder to a surprising playoff berth. For his efforts in 2009-10, Durant was named to his first All-Star team and finished second behind Lebron James in the MVP voting.
2. Rashard Lewis
Lewis spent seven seasons with the Seattle Supersonics in the 2000’s, with his lone All-Star team selection with the Sonics coming in 2004-05 season. Oddly enough it was not 2004-05, but 2006-07 that was his best season with Seattle. In the 2006-07 season, he averaged 22.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
3. Ray Allen
This U Conn alum sharpshooter spent four and half seasons of his career with the Seattle Supersonics. To say that his best days came when he was with the Supersonics would be underestimating how much he stepped up his game while there. The four full seasons and the ½ season he played with the Sonics are the five highest scoring seasons of his career. His best point total came in 2006-07, which was his last season with Seattle. He netted 26.4 points per game that season.
4. Gary Payton
The Glove played for the Supersonics for twelve and a half seasons, but only two and half of those came in the 2000’s. He made the All-Star team and was named to one of the All-NBA teams in three of those seasons. Payton was known for his defense so it comes as no shock that he also received NBA All-Defensive First Team honors in 2001 and 2002.
5. Russell Westbrook
We started with the Thunder, and it only seems fitting to end with the Thunder. Westbrook is the Thunder’s other rising star and because he plays with Kevin Durant, a lot of people don’t realize just how talented he is. Through two seasons with the Thunder, he is averaging 15.7 points, 6.6 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 rebounds per game.