The sting of losing in The Finals is still pretty fresh but there are the Thunder’s three main players, all suited up again and trying to win a different kind of championship all over again. And it’s a good thing too. The Olympics roll around at a good time for the Thunder as a way to hopefully move past a disappointing end to the 2011-12 season. Reader Brandon emailed in his take on it.
By Brandon Buckner
Special to Daily Thunder
By now, you’ve probably come out of your Thunder-induced coma to brave the harsh reality of life after the 2012 postseason. The absence of Charles Barkley’s voice is oddly depressing. Your brain needs time to assume its default state of Oblivious to Skip Bayless. Mainly, it’s hard to understand how things went so wrong after starting off so right. To even try would require you to relive it all in your mind, and right now it just seems too soon.
Hang in there. There’s light at the end of the Chunnel. The London 2012 Olympics begin in less than two weeks and not one moment too soon.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden comprise a Thunder trifecta for USA Basketball. Starting July 29, they will take center court in a land markedly devoid of Joey Crawford, Lil’ Wayne and Metta World Peace, where American dominance and London Bridge will graciously span the two month chasm between now and college football. Happier yet?
For Oklahoma City, these Olympics will allow fans to hit restart on the 2012 season and help shed the tired, fruitless narratives of a ‘bright future’ and ‘likeable star.’ By now, each are little consolation in light of the city’s heightened metric for success that can culminate in nothing short of a maritime championship parade up Bricktown Canal. They provide a well-placed timeout from speculation on departures and an imminent dynasty in Miami. It will be safe to turn on the television once again.
At a time when otherwise prone to revisit the minutiae of role player minutes and creative third quarter officiating, we’ll have new and fresh storylines to sink our teeth into. We’ll be tweeting impassioned support for this new and exciting team that, swallow hard, will feature the likes of Thunder postseason foes Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Chalk it up to patriotic duty.
Unlike game four whistles, this goes both ways. Patriotic Americans from Los Angeles to Miami and perhaps even Seattle will find themselves throwing support behind the Oklahoma City contingent of USA Basketball representing our country.
More than NBA loyalties, this team has the opportunity to eclipse the brutal climate of an impending presidential election, arousing patriotic chest bumps across the aisle of a divided nation. Leading this cause, our very own Durant, his 34-inch vertical transcending partisan politics like so many badly outmatched Frenchmen. What could be more American?
None of this will be hard. Come Opening Ceremony, we’re all on the same 312 million-man roster. We’ll put aside our differences and nauseating Michael Jordan comparisons and do what will come naturally—fall in love with USA Basketball.
Brandon Buckner is a Virginia-based graduate of Oklahoma City University and the University of Oklahoma. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandonbuckner.