Best: Oklahoma City Thunder (Seattle Supersonics) — Gary Payton
Is Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook the greatest Thunder player of all time? It doesn’t matter, because Oklahoma City’s franchise records include those of the Seattle Super Sonics, and Gary Payton did far more for this franchise than either one of them.
The Glove was one of the best guard defenders in NBA history, making nine All Defense teams and winning one Defensive Player of the Year. He made nine All Star Games and was the heart of one of the league’s most exciting franchises throughout the 90s. Westbrook recently replaced him as the franchise scoring leader, and he’ll catch him in assists in a year or two, but Payton remains the standard for now.
Oklahoma City Thunder (Seattle Supersonics) — Olden Polynice
The Seattle Super Sonics (remember them?) traded the fifth pick in the 1987 draft to move down a few slots and select center Olden Polynice. True to his name, Olden was Poly-Nice enough NBA player, a 15-year veteran that bounced around the league, but it’s the guy the Sonics missed out on that hurt.
That’s because Seattle traded away the rights to Scottie Pippen, who might otherwise have played the 90s next to Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. Can you imagine?