Heat vs. Thunder: Oklahoma City Should Be Encouraged Despite NBA Finals Loss
The NBA is not a place for moral victories. There is no second place trophy, no silver medal for the team that wasn't good enough to pop the champagne and take pictures with the Larry O'Brien trophy.
The only thing the runner-ups get is a long, quiet plane ride home and a summer of wondering what could have been.
But with that being said, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder have nothing to hang their heads about.
Three years ago, the Thunder went 23-59. They were the laughing stock of the Northwest Division, the punching bag of the Western Conference.
Fast forward 36 months and they are in a position that 28 other teams would kill to be in—depressed and hurt, yet seasoned and motivated.
It's a long standing rule in the NBA that you have to experience the pain before you can experience the pleasure. The agony always comes before the ecstasy in this game, and you can bet that the Thunder will be better because of the reality check they received Thursday night.
With how talented and poised they are, it's often easy to forgot that none of the Thunder's four best players—Durant, Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka—are old enough to rent a car. These guys are all 22 and 23 years old, but they've experienced the highs and lows of 10-year veterans.
After that first 23-win season in Oklahoma City, they went on to make the playoffs. Then, they made the Western Conference finals. This year they made it all the way to basketball's biggest stage before being sent home for the summer.
Each time, the Thunder lost to the eventual champions, and each time they learned some valuable lessons. This one will hurt much more than those other defeats, but the hunger they gain from it will be far greater.
Although they lost, the Oklahoma City Thunder should be highly encouraged. They already proved that they can accomplish some amazing feats, and with time on their side, bigger and better things are on the horizon.
Through all the tough times, Scott Brooks kept telling his team one thing: they weren't losing, they were learning how to win. Today, those words are more true than ever.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?