The new Thunder: OK to hate them?

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Ben Detrick of Grantland argues that after the James Harden trade, it is now ok to dislike and even sports-hate the Thunder.

We're embarking on our second week of the NBA's regular season, and to nobody's surprise, the two favorite topics du jour for people to discuss and write about are 1) the Lakers' slow start; and 2) the Thunder's struggles after trading away 6th Man of the Year James Harden. The latter has provided a steady helping of fodder from all corners, and Ben Detrick at Grantland gets into the act:

For about three seasons, the Thunder have been America's most beloved sports team. Rooting against them, which no one ever did, would have been the equivalent of kicking a dolphin. Seriously, what kind of horrible monster doesn't want to see gentle Kevin Durant smile?

And yet here we are. When the Thunder slumped off their hushed home floor with shoulders bowed, it was beautiful. And when Tony Parker left Westbrook confused in the wilderness and drained a game-winning jumper for the Spurs on opening night, it was sublime. What kind of foul necromancy could be afoot when joy is derived from witnessing the dreary, timeworn Spurs beat the precocious Thunder? It felt a bit like reading 1984 and cheering for Big Brother and the Ministry of Love.

But you're finally allowed to hate the Thunder. It's OK. After the franchise jettisoned Harden in a move that emphasized profits ahead of chemistry or winning or anything to do with basketball, we have been given the rare opportunity to reevaluate whether Oklahoma City deserves our allegiance. Let's call this the Harden Schism.

...

The Thunder must lose.

Here is my question - what exactly is this article supposed to be? For whom is it written?

  • Is it written for the opposing fan bases, like the Trail Blazers, Nuggets, or Lakers? I am pretty sure that those fans are quite happy about the trade. In fact, I know they are.
  • Is it written for the fans in Seattle? I am pretty sure they already hate the Thunder.
  • Is it written for the casual NBA fan who does not really have a team but simply follows the league? This to me seems silly because the idea that there is a group of fans that think to themselves, "I've been looking for a reason to cheer against this team," is ridiculous. Casual fans will root against one team and for another, but to think that they need a reason to change whom they cheer for on a night to night basis doesn't seem to sync up well with reality.
  • Is it written for Thunder fans? Now we are perhaps getting somewhere.

Is this not the crux of the article, really? That those who cheered for the Thunder in the past because of all the wonderful pieces, big and small, should not cheer for them anymore because of what they've done with Harden? To me, this is really the exact same argument that Sonics fans have been using ever since the team left Seattle. In other words, watching the Thunder now is kind of like...what was it? Ah yes, "a bit like reading 1984 and cheering for Big Brother and the Ministry of Love."

I think it is a fine straw man argument. What do you think?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Welcome to Loud City

You must be a member of Welcome to Loud City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Welcome to Loud City. You should read them.

Join Welcome to Loud City

You must be a member of Welcome to Loud City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Welcome to Loud City. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker