Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, digging into the archives to indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, reflections on big announcements from years gone by, and other flashback content.
The relocation of the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City and their subsequent re-branding to the Thunder happened quite quickly during the offseason of 2008. On top of outrage and contempt, not only from Sonics fans but a lot of NBA fans in general, the rushed move also resulted in logos and jerseys that most people didn’t particularly care for. Disdain and animosity towards the Oklahoma City Thunder seemingly persists to this day, even after the team lost to the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals.
As you might imagine, the hectic relocation led to a late reveal of the Thunder’s designs, which ultimately had an impact on NBA Live 09. Because the official unveiling happened so late in the production cycle of NBA Live 09, EA Sports were forced to use placeholder branding for the Thunder, rather than their real logos, jerseys, and colours…at least initially. In the intro video for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 09, there’s even a clip of Kevin Durant wearing a Seattle SuperSonics jersey.
It was an unusual situation, so let’s take a look back…way back…