OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder orchestrated a conference-call with the local media and Chris Paul on Wednesday.
With his status as the leader of this Thunder squad and president of the NBA Player’s Association, Paul’s voice holds a lot of water during the current situation across the world concerning the NBA.
Among topics discussed — the league’s plan to return, how long players would need in order to prepare for a return — Paul’s voice became sincere when asked about the potential of this Thunder team not having a true ending.
“Aww man, I don’t even like to think about it,” Paul told the Franchise. “I’ve thought a lot that this is one of the funnest years I’ve had, just with this team.”
The Thunder were in the midst of doing something special. There would more than likely not be any significant banners hoisted over the Chesapeake Energy Arena floor following this season, but that didn’t stop OKC from capturing the imaginations of their fanbase.
With the trades of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the franchise was supposed to head in a certain direction. Chris Paul wasn’t a part of the plan moving forward and would more than likely need to be moved quickly. You know the story.
The Thunder found themselves in position to take — for the time being — the fourth seed and home court advantage if they could beat the Utah Jazz at home on March 11th. This was on the heels of a spectacular end-of-game, come-from-behind win on the road against the Boston Celtics.
Then fate and Rudy Gobert intervened.
There are more important things to worry about than the potential end of the 2019-20 Oklahoma City Thunder, but this story needed a conclusion.
“When you’re on a team like we have, where you have genuine happiness for each other,” Paul continued. “We always want to see what we can achieve. I’m just like everyone else, I hope we can find the safest way to get back together and play.”
The 14-year veteran has played on a number of exciting teams, like the Lob City LA Clippers with Blake Griffin or the 65-17 Houston Rockets. Yet this Thunder team appears to hold a genuine place in Paul’s heart thanks to, among a plethora of things, Zoom.
“I get excited with our Zoom calls, because it makes me more and more confident that we can figure this thing out,” Paul said. “We spend a lot more time with each other than our actual family.”
With the league’s short-term future in limbo, there is only so much players can do during this time. Paul lamented not having any further information as to a potential return in the near future but appears to still be engaged with his current team.
If the NBA comes back, the chemistry amongst thie 2019-20 Thunder team — even if they have to play in 2021 — will remain one of the strongest in the league. Let’s hope we find out what their ending looks like.
Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12. Brady is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma class of 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports