We are all familiar with the definition, and have experienced the feeling.
Especially if you’re an Oklahoma City Thunder fan.
We felt it when we lost 4 straight games to the Miami Heat after winning game 1 of the NBA Finals.
When James Harden was traded away.
How about when Patrick Beverly shot off like a freaking cannon at an unsuspecting Russell Westbrook’s kneecap.
Or when Kevin Durant transformed into a snake.
How about when Andre Roberson went up for a lob and went out on a stretcher against the Detroit Pistons.
Even still, when the Utah Jazz series happened.
When Damian Lillard took a bad shot.
Remember when we were awoken at 3 AM (EST) to Woj bombs indicating that Paul George was traded.
Lastly. when another went off about a week later indicating the definition of our franchise, our team, our culture…. Russell Westbrook was traded away.
No, Thunder fans are no stranger to pain. It haunts our dreams, consumes our thoughts, and always seems to reveal it’s ugly head when things are finally turning around for us.
And yet, we have learned to appreciate it for what is it. Just like the old saying goes; “No pain, no gain.” Through every trial, and tribulation of torment, anguish, and pain…. there was a glimmer of hope. A light at the end the tunnel. Something to gain.
OKC’s lone final appearance against the Heat helped cement them in the ranks of the decades elites.
The James Harden trade brought back Center Steven Adams, whose on court play pales into comparison for his locker room and community impact.
OKC disposed of Houston despite Russ’s injury.
Kevin Durant leaving unlocked a level of play from Russ we have never seen in the NBA before.
Andre Roberson continues to mentor and coach the young wings in OKC defensive tips, reads, and tendencies.
The Utah series forced Sam Presti’s hand to get better depth at the point guard and center position in the form of Dennis Schröder and Nerlens Noel.
Dame’s shot ended what one could describe as running in circles in terms of our franchise direction.
The Paul George trade granted us a young budding superstar in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. An offensive juggernaut and apparent philanthropist in Danilo Gallinari. And a “record setting” amount of draft picks. 7 to be precise.
The Russell Westbrook trade may have hurt more than any of these events, but even it begot a few more draft picks. Then Chris Paul, who started his career in OKC, was seen as a rival to OKC in his Clipper/Rockets days, has taken the role of leader and has done more than anyone could ever ask for for this franchise.
While some pain is more significant than others, so is the gain. But it’s still gain. Its still positive. It’s still growth. It’s still a step in the right direction.
So even now, as we face a league wide shutdown. A shutdown that was spearheaded in none other than Oklahoma City nonetheless. There is something to be gained.
Whether it’s as significant as getting to spend more time with your family, or as slight as the feeling of hope that this will come to pass. There is something to be gained.
The world is in a crazy position right now, the type that we haven’t experienced in our lifetime. There are a lot of people in pain. Yes their pain is much more significant, but we too suffer pain. Pain as we ache to see Chris Paul dominate Father Time like he dominates in the clutch. Furthermore pain as we are sore with the longing to see yet another wrong footed, off handed, floating scoop SGA layup through traffic. Also, pain as we experience withdrawal from watching this team grow, develop, and thrive together. Just remember what we know all too well.
No pain, no gain.