Since relocating from Seattle, the Oklahoma City Thunder have done basically whatever they can to separate themselves from the Seattle SuperSonics. The team has been looking to establish their own identity in the mid-west, and have pretty much ignored anything the franchise accomplished prior to the 2008-09 NBA season.
With the league adding a gold tab to the jerseys of teams who have won NBA titles, many were interested in seeing if the Thunder would commemorate the Sonics title win by having the tab on their jerseys. According to the Oklahoman, the Thunder have decided against adding the gold to their jersey, declining to commemorate the franchise 1979 NBA title while located in Seattle.
Christopher Arena — the NBA’s vice president of outfitting, identity and equipment — told The Oklahoman in a phone interview Monday the Thunder will not honor the Seattle SuperSonics’ 1979 NBA title with the league’s new championship tags.
“As of right now, they are not wearing it,” Arena said. “They actually would have had to have told us that some time ago, and that was their choice. We have several teams who have a lineage that exists prior to the city that they’re in …Some teams embrace that past, some teams don’t. Whether it’s because of ownership changes or perhaps the lineage is too great of a distance or the team nickname changed or whatever it may be, that’s their decision.”
The decision isn’t all that surprising. With as much bad blood as there is between the Thunder, NBA and the residents of Seattle, it’s probably a good idea not to add the gold tab and rub it in the faces of the spurned fan-base.