SEATTLE, UNITED STATES: Houston Rockets Kenny Smith (C) gets squeezed out on a screen play by Seattle Supersonic Detlef Schrempf (R) as his teammate Gary Payton (L) dribbles past during game one of their Western Conference semifinal series on 04 May in Seattle. Seattle won 108-75. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Amazingly, this franchise is already entering its 11th year in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have a rich history however, that dates back to the 1967-68 season when they were the Seattle SuperSonics. The franchise reached the pinnacle early in it’s Seattle days, winning its only title during the 1978-79 season. That team was led by coach Lenny Wilkens and Jack Sikma. Under George Karl, the Sonics reached the Finals in 1995-96 losing to Michael Jordan‘s Chicago Bulls. Then, they reached the Finals in OKC during the 2011-12 season, where they lost to Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Let’s take a look at the top five players in Oklahoma City Thunder history.

The Top Five Players in Oklahoma City Thunder History

5) Shawn Kemp

Number five on the top five players in Oklahoma City Thunder history is Shawn Kemp from the Seattle Sonics days. Kemp was the definition of exciting during his eight seasons in Seattle. He was certainly a double-double machine for much of his time in Seattle. Additionally, he could jump through the gym, providing many highlight reel moments. He had to be on this list.

Accolades with the franchise: Five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA

Stats with the franchise: 16.2 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game, 1.5 blocks per game. 52% from the field, 73% from the free throw line

Franchise ranks: 8th most games played, 2nd in rebounds, 7th in steals, 2nd in blocks, 7th in points, 9th in FG %, 4th in rebounds per game, 6th in blocks per game, 5th in player efficiency rating, 10th in offensive win shares, 3rd in defensive win shares, 5th in total win shares, 4th in win shares per 48 minutes, 8th in box plus/minus, 6th in defensive box plus/minus, 6th in value over replacement

4) Jack Sikma

Jack Sikma is a great fit at number four on the top five players in Oklahoma City Thunder history list. Sikma is another player from the Sonics portion of their history. He was a perennial All-Star along with being the unquestioned leader, even in his second year, of the 1978-79 NBA championship team. In addition to being a double-double machine, Sikma was also a great defensive player. Clearly, the most productive seasons of his career were the nine he spent in Seattle.

Accolades with the franchise: Seven-time All-Star, one time NBA All-Defensive Team, 1978-79 NBA champ

Stats with the franchise: 16.8 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, 3.3 assists per game, 1.1 steals per game, 1 block per game. 47% from the field, 84% from the free throw line

Franchise ranks: 6th most games played, 1st in rebounds, 8th in assists, 9th in steals, 3rd in blocks, 5th in points, 2nd in rebounds per game, 8th in offensive win shares, 1st in defensive win shares, 4th in total win shares, 5th in defensive box plus/minus, 4th in value over replacement

3) Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook continues to build his case as one of the greatest players in not only franchise history, but NBA history. For now, he comes in third on the top five players in Oklahoma City Thunder history list. Westbrook is a tough player who plays harder than most. His individual numbers reflect his work ethic along with the incredible talent he possesses. In recent years, he has forcefully become a triple-double threat almost every night on the court. In fact, he has amazingly averaged a triple-double per game each of the last two seasons! Let’s take a look at the impressive numbers.

Accolades with the franchise: Seven-time All-Star, seven-time All NBA, 2016-17 NBA MVP, two-time scoring champ, one time assists champ, two-time All-Star Game MVP

Stats with the franchise: 23 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, 8.2 assists per game, 1.7 steals per game. 44% from the field, 31% from three, 81% from the free throw line

Franchise ranks: 5th most games played, 5th in made three-pointers, 3rd in rebounds, 2nd in assists, 3rd in steals, 3rd in points, 4th in points per game, 2nd in assists per game, 7th in steals per game, 3rd in player efficiency rating, 3rd in offensive win shares, 4th in defensive win shares, 3rd in total win shares, 7th in win shares per 48 minutes, 1st in box plus/minus, 2nd in offensive box plus/minus, 2nd in value over replacement

2) Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant obviously came into the league as one of the most hyped players in league history. Quickly, he showed that he was undoubtedly worth the hoopla. That is evidenced by him averaging 20 points a game en route to winning the rookie of the year award in 2007-08. During his time in OKC, he led the league in scoring a staggering four times. Incredibly, two of those seasons he averaged over 30 points per game. He won the MVP award during the 2013-14 season where he averaged 32 points, seven rebounds, six assists a game. Durant’s nine seasons in OKC prove that his offensive game is one of the best we have ever seen. KD is a perfect fit at number two on the top five players in Oklahoma City Thunder history list.

Accolades with the franchise: Seven-time All-Star, six-time All NBA, 2007-08 Rookie of the Year, 2013-14 NBA MVP, one-time All-Star Game MVP, four-time scoring champ

Stats with the franchise: 27.4 points per game, 7 rebounds per game, 3.7 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game, 1 block per game. 48% from the field, 38% from three, 88% from the free throw line

Franchise ranks: 7th most games played, 1st in made three pointers, 5th in rebounds, 7th in assists, 8th in steals, 4th in blocks, 2nd in points, 1st in points per game, 1st in player efficiency rating, 7th in true shooting %, 2nd in offensive win shares, 6th in defensive win shares, 2nd in total win shares, 1st in win shares per 48 minutes, 2nd in box plus/minus, 3rd in offensive box plus/minus, 3rd in value over replacement

1) Gary Payton

Gary Payton comes in at number one on the top five players in Oklahoma City Thunder history, of course from the Seattle Sonics days. Clearly, the Glove was one of the best defensive points guards in NBA history. However, he was much more than that. Obviously, we all know he was a great passer as well as a solid rebounder. Often, what gets overlooked is the fact that he was an efficient offensive player. He averaged more than 20 points per game in eight of his 13 seasons in Seattle. Surely he could have won awards for his strong trash talk game as well. Additionally, he is one of the toughest players to ever play the game. For everything he accomplished for this franchise, it is clear he is the best ever.

Accolades with the franchise: Nine-time All-Star, nine-time All NBA, nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team, 1995-96 Defensive Player of the Year, one time steals champ

Stats with the franchise: 18.2 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, 7.4 assists per game, 2.1 steals per game. 47% from the field, 73% from the free throw line

Franchise ranks: Most games played, 3rd in made three pointers, 6th in rebounds, 1st in assists, 1st in steals, 1st in points, 3rd in assists per game, 3rd in steals per game, 7th in player efficiency rating, 1st in offensive win shares, 2nd in defensive win shares, 1st in total win shares, 8th in win shares per 48 minutes, 3rd in box plus/minus, 4th in offensive box plus/minus, 1st in value over replacement

Last Word

There it is, the top five players in Oklahoma City Thunder history. To see other teams, please visit the LWOSports NBA section.

Others considered: Ray Allen, Nate McMillan, Rashard Lewis, Detlef Schrempf.

Stats acquired at https://www.basketball-reference.com/.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.