Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Oklahoma City Celtics

Clay Bennett must eat Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast. There's no other explanation for the amount of good fortune the Oklahoma City Thunder has received. I thought their luck had run out when they got Kevin Durant to sign a long term deal, but apparently the rabbit's foot in Mr. Bennett's pocket is still paying dividends. It has been reported that Russell Westbrook will sign a 5 year $80,000,000 contract giving the Thunder the most dynamic duo in basketball for years to come.

If this signing is indicative of the climate in the NBA I have to wonder what the lockout was all about in the first place. Here is an example of one of the league's best players shunning the bright lights of New York City or the glamour and glitz of LA to play in a city where the cattle outnumber the people. Teams in Cleveland, Indiana, Milwaukee, and Sacramento can no longer complain that free agency and big market teams have created an unfair competitive advantage.

I'm not saying these cities will become big free agency destinations like Miami, Chicago, or Brooklyn, but if the money is right and the organization has a promising future anything is possible.

Not since Karl Malone and John Stockton have two bonafide superstars decided to spend their prime years in a small market wasteland. Most players in this day and age look for situations where they can leverage their celebrity status to create enormous wealth through endorsements.

It's interesting to see two young men put their quest for winning championships and personal happiness above all other things (even if I hold a grudge against the team they're doing it for). Whether it's because Clay Bennett is half leprechaun or the calendar stays on March 17th all year round in OKC the Thunder aren't going away anytime soon.

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