Dear Paul George,
June 30th, 2017 was a big day for all of us, especially you. We can’t imagine the emotions and thoughts swirling in your head as you were traded from your first NBA home. Indiana was a place you went to war with for several years. It was where you grew up as an NBA player and we are sure that it will always hold a special place in your heart. Your departure a year ago wasn’t the surprising thing however, but the place you came to. OKC?!?! It came out of nowhere. Oklahoma isn’t on anyone’s radar as a typical place to visit, let alone live. So as an NBA superstar we assume you had some mixed emotions. Since that day, the narrative has clearly been you would leave us for the greener pastures and brighter lights of LA. You would fulfill your dream of becoming a Laker and forget about those Thunder fans who were merely spectators on a short trip. We were excited to have you here, but even we knew it was only a matter of time seeing as we have had our hearts broken by star players before. We dared not get our hopes up in the event you decided to leave. We wouldn’t have held it against you either. You see, Oklahomans know our state isn’t glamorous, we know it lacks luster and has its many flaws, but instead of shrinking behind it, we embrace it. We make it our own and we stand proudly for what our state represents. The Thunder embody this spirit. The team has always been more than just an NBA franchise to us. The Thunder put us on the map. We felt a sense of importance here in Oklahoma we hadn’t felt before. We remember back to our first playoff win in our history against the Lakers when people flooded the streets with joy. Traffic was at a standstill, cars were honking and fans were running up to random people giving hugs and waving their rally towels. The fandom here is one of raw authenticity. You saw that.
Flash forward to June 30th, 2018. Just minutes before the free agency period officially began we got the big news. You CHOSE us. You chose OKC over LA. You chose Russ. You chose this organization. You chose this city. You chose our state. We wouldn’t be left behind in free agency again this year. We wouldn’t be facing another summer agonizing over the future. You chose to stake your claim for the prime of your career in a place everyone said you wouldn’t be able to get out of fast enough. Thank you PG. Thank you for making Oklahoma feel just as giant as California. Thank you for wanting to take on the spirit of this state and go to battle on the hardwood 82 times a year and more with “Oklahoma City” on your chest.
This state can’t express its gratitude in any way but one. That way is in the 18,203 OKC faithful who will pour into the Peake time and time again to help will you to victory. We know nothing is guaranteed, but we do know this. You gave yourself and this state a shot at something truly special and for that we once again say thank you.
Sincerely, Thunder Nation