Thunder: Long-time Sonics fan offers tips on difficult season
Bob Wilson is a Thunder fan with an interesting history. He’s from San Antonio but became a Seattle SuperSonics fan, making the transition to following the Thunder. He sent me an interesting email Friday, and I thought it was worth sharing:
“I have been embraced by the Thunder community every time I drive up to attend games and have even made a few new friends up there. So I feel I am obliged to pay some of the kindness back. So here goes.
“I’ve been through rebuilds with the old Sonics, and I know what it’s like going into the season hoping for 30 wins. Allow me to share some of the lessons I learned during those difficult seasons.
- Related to this story
- Article: Recap: Wizards 97, Thunder 85
- Article: Five takeaways from Thunder's home opening loss to Wizards
- Article: Thunder turns cold down stretch against Wizards
- Article: Wizards 97, Thunder 85: After offseason movement, OKC home opener has different feel
- Article: Thunder journal: Without Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, OKC rivalry with the Golden State disolves
- Video: OKC Thunder - Adams vs Washington (Game 2 of 82)
- Video: Writers Block - NBA Season is Wide Open
- Video: OKC Thunder - Alexander vs Wizards (Game 2 of 82)
- Video: OKC Thunder - Thunder drops home opener to Wizards (Game 2 of 82)
“1. Keep up with the team and roster and base your expectations on player growth and development. You’ll find a new Nick Collison who you will cherish even more when the team is good again.
“2. Watch the GM. If he checks out, you’ll be miserable for longer than it should take, but you’ll also share a common disdain for his incompetence that can unite a fan base in an odd way. Misery loves company. Luckily, Presti is WAY better than Wally Walker was, so this shouldn’t be an issue. But still keep an eye on him.
“3. Don’t fall into the trap of watching other games and teams thinking, ‘I am just watching basketball for the entertainment.’ Don’t. Continue to dislike the Warriors, Nets or anyone else you’ve always cheered against. A strong dislike of others will keep you loyal to your true love.
“4. Go to the games and enjoy defying the other teams. I used to go see the Sonics play the Spurs when we were terrible. I’d still cheer loud for my team and against the Spurs. This goes back to rule No. 1.
“5. Expectations are low so the stress levels will be lower. You won’t lose your mind when the Kings beat us in February.
“6. Enjoy being the spoiler. Take the ‘if we won’t win you won’t either’ approach. Trust me, you’ll enjoy stealing a game against the Lakers. It’ll be more fun beating LA this year than it was beating Orlando five years ago.
“7. Watch college ball more -- our future players are there or will be soon. We have draft picks now. I remember Westbrook at UCLA and wondering what he’d look like playing for us.
“We will be back, and I think it’ll be sooner than most realize. And yes, you’ll love the new version as much as the glory days. Trust me, and thank you, OKC, for the hospitality!”
Thanks, Bob. A few of my comments:
* On embracing the player development, I do think there’s something to connecting with a young player and watching him mature. Heck, the Thunder fans have been doing that already. Steven Adams is Exhibit A. There are more Stone Colds out there.
* You don’t have to watch Sam Presti. Plenty of other people will be doing that for you.
* I agree on keeping your blood boiling over hated foes. I watch ballgames to see who will win and who will lose. That shouldn’t change.
* Stress levels down? I can see that. A loss to Memphis this season won’t potentially mean anything except increasing the Thunder’s lottery odds.
* Upsets are back in vogue. The Thunder was supposed to beat the good teams in recent years, especially in OKC. Upsets now will be sweet.
* Uh, I think I’ll pass on watching more college basketball. OU and OSU, absolutely. The Big 12, yes. Anything beyond that, I’m on NBATV, trying to find a Pacers-Pelicans game.