The Oklahoma City Thunder are young, talented, fun and overachieving. SB Nation's Andrew Sharp writes that the case for the Thunder is pretty simple.
Let's see... Prada gave me this assignment. "Why should you root for the Thunder?"
That's a real question? Like, if you're seriously asking that as a fan, here's another question...
Do you even like basketball?
If you do, and you're not already committed to another playoff team, then the Thunder have got to be your team. They've got two of the most exciting players in basketball (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook), they've overachieved all year long, and if you hop on the bandwagon now, nobody will call you a poser three years down the road, when these guys are true title contenders. I mean, really. They're that talented.
But let's focus on the payoff they provide in the short term. Here's what you're getting if you root for the Thunder: the best scorer in basketball (Durant), a great coach (Scotty Brooks), one of the best Poseys in basketball (Jeff Green), and a home crowd in Oklahoma City that's tasting the playoffs for the first time EVER. Think they'll be loud against the Lakers?
And that last point applies to the whole team, really. With the Thunder, you get the very best that sports has to offer. A rags-to-riches story, and a bunch of fresh-faced newcomers that are just thrilled to be a part of the playoffs. They're going to play hard every night, smile when they win, and maybe cry if they lose. OKC is the type of lovable underdog that we as sports fans are conditioned to love.
But there's a twist with the this group: They're actually good.
This isn't your typical rags-to-riches narrative, because Oklahoma City doesn't suck. We usually apply the "Cinderella" tag to teams and players that aren't good enough to warrant other superlatives, but not with this team. Durant and the Thunder are a feel-good story, yeah, but they could actually make some noise in the first round against the Lakers. They're scrappy, and overachieving considering their youth, but they still have more pure talent than half the teams in the Western Conference playoffs.
They'll go to war with one of the best players in the game on their side, a fun supporting cast, oceans of good karma, and a puncher's chance against the NBA defending champs. If you can't get root for the Oklahoma Thunder, again I ask ... Do you even like basketball?