Oklahoma City Thunder, American expert basketball crew situated in Oklahoma City that plays in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The establishment was situated in Seattle for the initial 41 years of its reality, during which, as the Seattle SuperSonics, it won three meeting titles (1978, 1979, 1996) and the 1979 NBA title. The Thunder won the Western Conference title in 2012.
The SuperSonics (named for Seattle's avionic business and normally abbreviated to "the Sonics") started play as a NBA extension group in 1967 and were the primary real North American games establishment situated in the Pacific Northwest. Early groups were eminent for highlighting player-mentor Lenny Wilkens, protect Fred ("Downtown Freddie") Brown, and elite player focus forward Spencer Haywood, who joined the Sonics in 1971 in the wake of winning a milestone U.S. Preeminent Court case that enabled him to turn into the principal player to join the association before he was four years out of secondary school. The Sonics did not fit the bill for the playoffs until the 1974–75 season, when the group, under the direction of second-year head mentor Bill Russell, earned a postseason billet by completing 43–39 and crushed the Detroit Pistons in a three-game first-round playoff arrangement.
Twenty-two amusements into the 1977–78 season, Wilkens came back to Seattle to fill in as the group's head mentor. He pivoted a Sonics group that was 5–17 at the season of his contract and drove them to a fourth-place gathering wrap up. In the postseason the Sonics vanquished the Los Angeles Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Denver Nuggets in transit to the NBA finals, where they lost to the Washington Bullets in seven diversions. The two groups met in the finals again the accompanying season, with the Sonics—driven by gatekeepers Dennis Johnson and Gus Williams, just as focus Jack Sikma—winning the rematch in five diversions to catch the establishment's first NBA title. Seattle progressed to the meeting finals again in 1979–80 however was wiped out by a Lakers group including new kid on the block sensation Magic Johnson.
The 1980s saw the Sonics much of the time fit the bill for the playoffs, with one striking postseason run coming in 1986–87. That season the Sonics limped into the playoffs with a 39–43 record, useful for the seventh seed in the Western Conference, yet figured out how to disturb the higher-seeded Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets on the way to another meeting finals misfortune to the Lakers.
George Karl turned into Seattle's head mentor halfway through the 1991–92 season, assuming control over a high-flying group that featured point monitor Gary Payton and power forward Shawn Kemp. In Karl's first full season in charge (1992–93), the SuperSonics progressed to a Western Conference finals confrontation with the Phoenix Suns, a nearby seven-game challenge that the Suns at last won. The accompanying season saw the Sonics register the best record in the NBA during the standard season just to turn into the main top-seeded group allied history to lose in the first round of the playoffs to an eighth-seeded group (the Denver Nuggets). In 1995–96 the Sonics posted a 64–18 record, the best in the Western Conference that year and at the time the tenth best in NBA history. In the postseason the SuperSonics won their initial three playoff arrangement to gain a billet in the NBA finals, where they met Michael Jordan and the overwhelming Chicago Bulls (proprietors of the best record in NBA history [72–10] that season), who vanquished Seattle in a six-game arrangement.
Karl was terminated in 1998 after the Sonics pursued their NBA finals keep running with two back to back seasons that finished in a moment round playoff misfortune after the group had won a division title. Seattle at that point went into a time of remaking wherein it qualified for the postseason just twice (the multiple times as a seventh seed) in six seasons. Driven by head mentor Nate McMillan (who played with the group from 1986 to 1998, which earned him the epithet "Mr. Sonic") and the deft shooting of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, the Sonics won an amazing division title in 2004–05 and progressed to the gathering elimination rounds.
While the group was battling in the principal long periods of the 2000s, various off-court occasions occurred—including the clearance of the Sonics to a gathering of Oklahoma-based financial specialists and the state and city governments' refusals to pay for a freely supported field—that eventually prompted the establishment's migration to Oklahoma City in 2008. The move was made simply after the goals of a claim brought by the city of Seattle, which brought about its holding the rights to the Sonics' name and history if another NBA establishment starts play in the city.
The group, renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder, rapidly reconstructed, and, behind the champion play of forward Kevin Durant and watchman Russell Westbrook, the Thunder equipped for the playoffs in their second season in Oklahoma City. The group's fast climb brought about Oklahoma City's progressing toward the Western Conference finals in both 2010–11 and 2013–14 and to the NBA finals in 2011–12. The group came back to the meeting finals in 2015–16 and took a 3–1 arrangement lead over the Golden State Warriors (who had won a NBA-record 73 recreations during the ordinary season) before eventually being killed by the Warriors in seven amusements. Durant shockingly left Oklahoma City for the Warriors in the accompanying off-season, and the Thunder then reconstructed around Westbrook. While he made NBA history by averaging a triple-twofold and setting the association record for most triple-twofold recreations in a season (42) in 2016–17, the group did not have enough incredible reciprocal players, and its season finished with a first-round playoff exit. The group included star wing Paul George before the 2017–18 season, and Westbrook arrived at the midpoint of another triple-twofold that crusade, yet the one-dimensional Thunder again neglected to progress past the first round in the accompanying playoffs. In spite of Westbrook's third straight season averaging a triple-twofold and George breaking out as one of the NBA's best players in 2018–19, the Thunder again frustrated in the postseason with a first-round misfortune.