When Seattle fans see the Oklahoma City Thunder claim history that belongs with the Sonics, it immediately touches a nerve. Such was the case last week ahead of the NBA playoff matchup between the Thunder and Denver Nuggets. On the NBA pregame show, a graphic flashed with the Thunder’s historical playoff record at home against the Nuggets.
The record was 7-2 and encompassed the Sonics’ statistics. But instead of letting it pass, Charles Barkley stood up for Seattle and slammed the shared history, endearing him to Northwest sports fans immediately. The issue keeps coming up — Kendrick Perkins was unable to use the jersey number because it was retired in Seattle in honor of Jack Sikma, as well.
So why the shared history, then? Seattle fans have no place to house it, but would like to keep the Sonics alive and keep the memories of the past living on. And, according to Sonicsgate’s Jason Reid, Oklahoma City fans feel the same way.
“The other thing we’ve heard from OKC fans — they don’t want our history. They don’t care about the ]1979 NBA Championship] trophy or the history,” he said before explaining why the Thunder share their history. “Clay Bennett signed a deal sharing the history. Really what they should do is say Oklahoma City started when they moved and they should leave the records and history alone.”
It’s a debate that rages on, but if Seattle fans want the history back and Oklahoma City fans don’t want the Sonics’ history and tradition, why can’t there be an easy solution? The Thunder should blaze their own trail, and are doing a fine job of it right now. Yet because of the deal made when the Sonics left Seattle, the Thunder will continue to share the records, statistics and many of the traditions that made the Sonics who they were.