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The Raiders Dysfunctional Companion: The OKC Thunder

December 3, 2008

Throughout the 2008 football season and much of the 2000's, the Oakland Raiders have taken their spot as America's most dysfunctional professional sports franchise. To be frank, there isn't a team that can even hold a candle to the malfunctional practices that are occuring in Alameda. But if we had to name the most dysfunctional team for the NBA, what team would it be?

It would be real easy to say the Knicks, but since Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni took control of the franchise everything seems to working in their favor. Walsh got rid of Isaiah and a big chunk of terrible contracts. The last piece to be let go of is Starbury, which seems to be right around the corner. So most of the reprehensible figures have already left the Big Apple for new cities or are on the verge of leaving the city. D'Antoni is doing his part by getting the team to play as one, which is also the reason Stephon is looking for a buyout and referring to himself as a victim of war.

The Pacers also come to mind when thinking of dysfunctional franchises, but they too have bid adieu to their list of drama starters. Stephen Jackson, and the rest of the Club Rio Trio has been disbanded. Jermaine O'Neal and Ron Artest, of the Palace melee are balling elsewhere. So it seems as anyone on the team that was fond of guns, or would throw down at the drop of a cup are long gone from Indy. Well all but one of those guys is long gone, but Jamaal Tinsley is less of a risk when apart from his former teammates.

Since the Pacers and Knicks have both rited their ships for greener and drama-free pastures, what team could it be? How about the Oklahoma City Thunder? They certainly fit the bill. Evil owner. Check. City left in the dust. Check. Shady backroom dealings. Check. Good coaches fired for no reason. Check. Seriously John Wooden couldn't win with that team. Clay Bennett weasled his way out of a city that loved the Sonics for a city that loved the Hornets. Figuring OKC residents would fill the seats to watch anything with an NBA logo attached to it.

For the meantime they are correct in their assumptions, the Thunder are selling about 94% of their tickets. Which is a big boost when considering they only averaged 13,500 last season in Seattle and are selling about 19,000 this season. Also pretty good when considering the economic crisis. However the Thunder are currently 2-16, second to last in the league in scoring (They can thank Charlotte for not being last), and allow the fifth highest PPG average to its opposition. So I ask how long can you expect fans to keep up their excitement over a last place team that routinely gets blown out? Unlike the fans in Seatlle they have no attachment to this team.They have no reason to keep coming back.

So for the terrible way they left Seattle and the despicable product they are putting on the floor, I hereby name the Oklahoma City Thunder as the NBA's most dysfunctional franchise. Congratulations Al, you now have some company.

What are your thoughts? Do you think there is a more dysfunctional organization in the NBA? Let us know in the comment section.

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