What is Iceland known for? Ice? Land? That whole story you heard in fifth grade about Greenland and Iceland and some sort of confusion between the two in naming them (I obviously didn’t really listen to it)?
Whatever it is, I would think basketball would be relatively low on the list. And thus, one would assume, making it somewhat odd to be a fan of the NBA in Iceland. Somewhat odd. Not completely out of this world to enjoy it.
But what’s really odd – meaning more than somewhat - is being an Oklahoma City Thunder fan in Iceland, one of the least visible teams in the league. Which brings us to Hlynur Omar Bjornsson, the self-proclaimed only Thunder fan in Iceland. Let me ask it for you: “Huh? How? Why?” So I asked him, among other things.
You are a Thunder fan in Iceland. Simply, how and why?
I‘ve always liked basketball and the NBA. As a kid I started supporting the Sonics. First, because of Shawn Kemp and his monster dunks, but eventually Gary Payton became my favorite player. I‘ve never been to Seattle, but my father used to travel there quite a bit because of his work (visiting the Boeing offices) and he really liked the city, so at least I had some connection to the city.
When the team was sold and eventually relocated to Oklahoma City, I was pretty upset and thought that if there was any time when you were allowed to actually switch your allegiances and become a fan of another team, this was it. So I tried to find a new team to follow but none stood out. I then noticed that every morning when I checked the NBA news or the box score, the team I looked up first was the Thunder. How was my old team doing? How was Kevin Durant playing? I was really excited when the Sonics drafted KD so maybe I was just keeping track of him? Keep Reading…