The NBA Oklahoma City Thunder team play in the Western Conference’s Northwest Division as part of the National Basketball Association. Their home games are played in Oklahoma City at Oklahoma City Arena.
The Thunder are the former Seattle SuperSonics. The franchise relocated to Oklahoma following a dispute between Seattle, Washington lawmakers and the owner Clay Bennett. The SuperSonics made 22 NBA playoff appearances, won six division titles and the NBA Championship in 1979. As the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team first qualified for the playoffs following the 2009-10 season.
The Seattle SuperSonics first were established in 1967. They played in back-to-back NBA Finals versus the Washington Bullets and won in 1979 for their only championship. During the early 1990s, Seattle was a consistent title contender. The team was led by head coach George Karl and notable players such as Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Nate McMillan. From 1991 through 1998, the SuperSonics were in the playoffs every year. In 1995-96, Seattle won 64 games and made their third NBA Finals, but lost to the Chicago Bulls.
Due to the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Hornets played most of their home games in Oklahoma City during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons, proving that the city could support professional basketball. A group of investors from Oklahoma City bought the SuperSonics in 2006 for $350 million and following a settlement between the ownership and Seattle’s city government, the team was moved to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.