Roundtable: Thunder Twitter, Part 2
Whether defending Russell Westbrook against the haters, proclaiming their undying true love of Steven Adams, mancrushing on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, debating the pros and cons of trading Dennis Schröder or cursing KD’s latest quotes, there is a very large and very tight knit collection of Thunder fans on Twitter.
I thought it would be fun to spotlight some of the biggest and best names from Thunder Twitter. These superfans have as many or more followers as many members of the local media. And just like the media, their opinions may help shape others’ Thunder thoughts and narratives. Let’s see what they have to say about that and much more.
Who is your all time favorite Thunder player?
@ThunderChats*: Russell Westbrook. Hands down.
@Three_Cone: Russ easily. He’s the one who made me fall in love with basketball
@SteveThunderfan*: KD is the best player we ever had. I regret that for so long he would have been the answer.
@ThunderND: Russell Westbrook
@mynameis_kaylee: RUSS. Hands down. Always will be. Brodie forever.
If Kevin Durant decided he wanted to come back to OKC later in his career, would you welcome him back or not?
ThunderChats: Nah bro. Forget for a second how insecure this guy is. Forget that he can’t keep his mouth shut. Forget he makes himself continue to look stupid. Forget even that OKC is living in his head rent free. You can even forget that he made one of the softest moves in competitive sports by joining the winningest (regular season) team in the history of the NBA. You can even take away the stacking of the team, and forget the fact that he fell into the old trope of “If you can’t beat em, join em.” You can forget that he ruined what was going to be a dream roster of Russ, Andre Roberson, KD, Al Horford, and Adams with Victor Oladipo, Dion Waiters, Enes Kanter, and Domantas Sabonis off the bench.
Forget all that. The man said he wanted to play here his entire career. The man told Russ and Nick Collison he was coming back. The man waited until 5 days into free agency to make his decision, hamstringing us in acquiring anyone else. The man left the place the he once called (and still laughably does) home. All that being said, he supposedly still has a great relationship with Sam Presti and Thunder ownership. So it’s likely to happen one day.
Three_Cone: The angry, bitter Thunder fan in me says absolutely not. Maybe that’ll change down the line, but the way he’s burned every bridge he had since leaving makes me feel like he’d only do it to try and redeem himself.
SteveThunderfan: Yeah! Ew. I guess. Gross. Hey we’d be so good. I thought I had principles. Rings, though. Fine. Yay KD. Ugh.
ThunderND: If KD ever wanted to come back to OKC, I would have to think about a couple of things. 1) Would he even be a fit once we get this rebuild going? Obviously one of the best scorers the game has ever seen would be hard to pass on. However, I would have to see what he looks like when we get to that point based on his injury history. Do we really want to open up that old wound again if we have a young wing in development? Is it worth the money? 2) If we were to bring him back, I feel like some kind of acknowledgement of wrongdoing would be in order, whether that is an apology to the fans or just admitting he made the wrong decision. If he does that, I may accept him back in OKC. I won’t pretend like I don’t miss watching him play in a Thunder uniform, because I do.
mynameis_kaylee: No. No. NO! <bleep> no.
Who is your favorite player on this current Thunder team?
ThunderChats: Full disclosure: I’m a Kentucky Wildcats fan. Therefore I’ve followed Hamidou Diallo, Nerlens Noel, and Shai since their senior years in high school, through college, and their careers in the NBA. That being said Shai is easily my favorite, with potential to become my most favorite all time, too.
Three_Cone: Shai, I loved him on the Clippers and he quickly became one of my favorite young players during the Clippers/Warriors first round series last season. I remember how heartbroken I was to see Paul George’s name pop up in a Woj notification, but I also remember how ecstatic I was to see Shai coming to OKC, and I see him as a critical building block. Also: I love Chris Paul now.
SteveThunderfan: It’s Steven Adams. I love that man. That I can’t grow a proper mustache is one of my life’s great regrets. I have no tattoos, but if I ever got one, it would be a replica of his arm sleeve, which is why I’ll likely never ever get one. I’d walk through fire just to hear him call me “mate” one time. Yes, I realize there are probably less painful ways to make that happen. I’d do it anyway. Don’t judge me.
ThunderND: Shaivonte Aician Gilgeous-Alexander (but CP3 has really grown on me).
mynameis_kaylee: Do I have to pick just one?! I love Shai, but I really love Danilo Gallinari. And Nerlens. Man. Geez. I guess Shai.
Where do you rank this Thunder team among your all time favorite Thunder teams?
ThunderChats: Fringe top 5. I think they come up short as far as 2011-2016 squads. But they have a stronger team than the Russ-led MVP squad, and match up well with the 18/19 team.
Three_Cone: It may be recency bias but for me it just might be top two. 15-16 is the other contender; I really thought we were winning it all. This team is just so fun to watch. I feel like as a Thunder fan I always have high expectations and end up being a bit disappointed. This season is the exact opposite, where I had us as a fringe playoff team, but now I can genuinely see this team winning a playoff series. There’s never a dull moment, other fans are rallying around us as an underdog, and every game feels so fun. Plus this is my first season on Thunder Twitter so that’s made it a lot of fun as well.
SteveThunderfan: The Thunder U teams will always be the favorites. 2009-2012, those teams were just so pure, so fun, so exciting and surprising. We didn’t know what we were doing as fans yet, and it really seemed like we had wandered into a room full of balloons and flowers and Turkish delight. There was absolutely nothing bad to say about those teams. Nothing.
I think I’d put this team right behind those teams. There are other seasons I’d put ahead of this. Russ’s MVP. KD’s MVP. 2016. But for teams, this one’s right after Thunder U.
mynameis_kaylee: It’s my second favorite behind Russell’s MVP year.
ThunderND: This team is definitely in my top 5. I was admittedly very pessimistic about this team in the beginning, especially toward CP3 and the idea of having to set aside our differences with him. But the way this squad has grown on me is incredible. I still think the Thunder squads from the 2015-16 season or the 2016-17 season occupy my top spots.
What do you miss most about the Thunder during this lock down?
ThunderChats: What do I not miss? Chris Paul’s 4th quarter heroics, Gallo’s out-of-nowhere impressive dunks, Adams making huge plays with his arm that would make even Pat Mahomes jealous, Dennis carving up the defense and smiling while he does it, Lu Dort straight up dogging the offensive elite of the league, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander doing literally anything. I just miss this team, man. I don’t think they were contenders by any means, but there was something special about this group. I hope we get to see them play again.
Three_Cone: The three guard lineup coming up clutch at the end of games and proving everyone wrong every night. Also Luguentz Dort. Get this man a full contract, @OKCThunder.
SteveThunderfan: Honestly just the routine of it all. Looking up the slate every morning, picking which teams I wanted to lose. Thinking about what a Thunder win/loss would do to the standings. Even just looking at the standings because, man, that’s been a surprisingly delightful exercise this year. I love that stuff, but it’s really not what I miss most.
What do I miss most about the Thunder this year? Basketball. I miss when they play the basketball games.
ThunderND: Getting to watch my man Lu Dort lock up the best player on the court every night.
mynameis_kaylee: Literally everything. The down-20 comebacks, Kiwi slams, Nerlens blocks, Shai’s silky smooth moves, GALLOOO FOR THREEEE, Dennis being a 6th man freak, and of course, my point guard cooking in clutch.
What do you think about the job Sam Presti has done reshaping the team and its future?
ThunderChats: Presti has always been great at looking towards the future. He showed that in spades in his Paul George trade, getting not only our new franchise player in Shai, but a record setting amount of draft picks. AND HE WASN’T DONE. Flipped Russ for CP3 and more picks. And probably gonna get EVEN MORE PICKS. Dude has a legendary draft resume, too. Three HOFers in a row. Wouldn’t want anyone else for the “repositioning” of our franchise.
Three_Cone: The job Presti has done is phenomenal. I don’t think there’s any other GM out there who could have engineered the high potential situation we’re in now. Through a series of trades, he turned Serge Ibaka and a first round pick into SGA, Gallinari, six first rounders, and a pick swap. How is that even possible? Plus, with his track record of drafting really well, there’s nobody I’d rather have than him.
SteveThunderfan: There’s a convincing argument to be made for the idea that diving harder this year would have been productive. That said, Presti turned a stagnant team with a superstar who asked to leave into the team with the largest stockpile of assets in the league. Seriously, this warchest? If there was another similar team to compete with, we’d be looking at a Cold War, “mutually agree to disarm ourselves” situation. But there’s not another. So the Thunder are hereby in charge of the global economy.
The route to the future runs through OKC. I think he did a good job.
ThunderND: I think Presti has done a fantastic job of making the best of the terrible situation he was unexpectedly thrown into. I was just tweeting the other day about how impressive his haul of assets was for Russ and PG once you put it into context. We should be in a great spot to improve the team for years to come. #EmoniBatesTrain
mynameis_kaylee: Presti is a genius. That’s all I have to say about that.
*ThunderChats and SteveThunderfan have both written guest posts on Daily Thunder this season.