Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the few teams in the NBA that can pack its stadium for home games during both losing and winning seasons. So how did a team that’s only been known as the Oklahoma City Thunder for 12 years secure such a loyal fan base? You’re about to learn everything there is to know about the new Oklahoma City Thunder, including the history of the team, the arenas the team has played in, and the logo changes during the years.
The Beginning Years
Before the Oklahoma City Thunder existed, they were the SuperSonics, a professional basketball team based out of Seattle, Washington in 1967. The team was established with the help of Los Angeles businessmen by the names of Eugene V. Klein and Sam Schulman, who also happened to be owners of the San Diego Chargers down in California. The name “SuperSonics” came from a potential plane design by airplane manufacturer, Boeing.
Under the leadership of head coach Al Bianchi, the SuperSonics claimed their first victory as a team during their third game of the 1967 season. Though the team ended the season with a dismal 23-59 record with the help of Walt Hazzard, the team would come to fill the roster with the likes of Lenny Wilkens and Bob Rule. Both would go on to score over 20 points per game and would both see playing time in the 1970 NBA All-Star Game.
With the help of new head coach Bill Russell, the SuperSonics were able to secure their first playoff slot during the 1975 season. The coaching staff was then twice upheaved during the next few seasons, eventually settling on former SuperSonics player Lenny Wilkens as the head coach for the team. The team won what would be the team’s only NBA Championship in the 1979 season against the Washington Bullets.
As the Seattle SuperSonics, the team frequently shifted from one logo to another.
1967 - 1969
In the team’s first year (1967), the Sonics rocked a green jersey with white lettering. The jersey had “Sonics” scrawled in cursive lettering, with the line from the “S” extending below the team’s name in the shape of a lightning bolt. The letters and numbers were a deep green with gold borders, colors that were also seen near the arm holes.
1969 - 1971
In 1969, the Sonics kept their green jersey design, but added yellow around the lettering. In this version, Seattle is in cursive while the team name was added to the underline.
1972 - 1975
By 1972, the Sonics jersey took on more of a retro feel. This jersey kept the mostly green theme, but changed the font to be more modern and vintage.
1975 - 1978
This 1975 jersey was simple, with “SONICS” written in plain yellow letters. The numbers were bordered with white, and a yellow accent around the arm holes.
1978 - 1986
In 1978, the Sonics opted for a dark green jersey. A horizontal block went through the middle of the jersey, with “Seattle” written in large letters in the white block. The white portion was bordered by a gold strip, the player number was in huge gold characters at the bottom of the jersey, and yellow accents went around the jersey.
1986 - 1995
In 1986, Seattle slightly changed their jerseys. This iteration had “SONICS” instead of “SEATTLE” in the white horizontal block over the chest.
1995 - 2001
In 1995, the Sonics stuck with the green, but changed the design of the jersey. “SONICS” was added at an angle in white letters with 3D borders for a more modern feel. A basketball, followed by a red line showing movement, was the centerpiece of the jersey.
2001 - 2008
In 2001, the Sonics kept the theme of green and yellow, but added a lot more white. “SEATTLE” was written in a neat font at the center in yellow and gold, surrounded by a curved white portion. The player number was added in a green shade, and all green portions of the jersey were outlined with gold.
2008 - Today
Since becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team has only had one jersey.
This jersey was created in 2008 during the team’s inaugural season in Oklahoma City and simply uses the name “Thunder” in blue font on a white jersey with orange highlights. Yet, the team has also had Christmas versions of the jersey for each year from 2012 to 2016 as well as alternate jerseys.