now that the move from seattle is complete and the supersonics are no more...who becomes the thunder's main rival? in a perfect world, new orleans would give the hornets back to charlotte and adopt lightning in respect to okc, where they played after hurricane katrina. i hope you are still following me because it only gets more strange from here!
i realize my dreams will not be coming true, so here is my more realistic goal. it is a three-step plan with three different teams over three seasons.
this makes the most sense for a couple of reasons. portland was seattle's natural rival, and they are in the same division. greg oden and kevin durant were drafted 1st and 2nd overall in the 2007 draft, and this will be the first season that they can play each other since oden missed all of last year due to surgery. my biggest reason for picking this match-up, however was due to portland causing oklahoma city some trouble this pre-season. instead of the thunder playing the trailblazers to stir the rivalry more, portland backed out and the two teams don't play until february. so much for that idea...
because portland is coming off of a good season and adding oden to the mix, i want to give the thunder a fighting chance in their second year of existence. look no further than the sacramento kings, the team most likely to find themselves, with oklahoma city, towards the bottom of the standings in the western conference. not only did sacramento trade their best 'name' players in ron artest and mike bibby, but they return only one 'star' quality player in kevin martin. hmmm, sounds a lot like the thunder to me. if only the kings can struggle just enough, this might make for an interesting match-up down the road.
first off, let me preface this by saying i really enjoy thinking ahead. my fiance doesn't understand this obsession, but i promise you it is very real. with that in mind, i hope a couple of things happen around the may-june 2010 timeframe. the nba needs to realize that the grizzlies didn't work in vancouver and moving the franchise to memphis hasn't worked either. three strikes and you are out in baseball, so basketball needs to stop at two and give seattle what it wants -- a second chance at making it work. all i really care is that if memphis leaves for the greater northwest, oklahoma city can take the vacant spot in the now-called southwest? division.
instead of a full-fledged realignment, i am also hoping for one more stroke of good luck to make the proposed match-up work. it won't be considered good for the new orleans hornets but really who likes that name anyway? the hornets will always be thought of because of charlotte, no matter how well chris paul plays. and if the team doesn't play as well as it did last year and maybe has a couple of down seasons, there is a perfect place waiting with open arms. i know the name won't stick but how does this sound for a rivalry...
playing for the midwest division crown, the oklahoma city thunder vs. the kansas city lightning!
true, kansas city already lost the kings back in the 80's and is more of a college basketball haven. but on the plus side, they do have a building in place (the sprint center) and the chiefs aren't really a football team anymore. kansas city lost in its bid for the pittsburgh penguins, and no other franchise has expressed interest as of yet, leaving a hole that the hornets could fill. personally i would love to see durant and paul fight it out on a regular basis, and it could be called the battle of .