Daily Debate: The Thunder are becoming one of the most disappointing teams ever

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

What lies ahead in free agency for Thunder's Kevin Durant?

In just a few days -- barring an unlikely Cleveland Cavaliers comeback -- we'll all witness history. The Golden State Warriors will become not only back-to-back champions, but earn the definitive title of "best team ever," capping a 73-9 regular season with an NBA title.

Many have said it's been inevitable. They lost nine out of 82 in the regular season, what makes you think they could possibly lose four out of seven? And now, the Warriors seem like they'll be proving that notion correct.

Except one thing: They probably should've been eliminated last month.

Though it was obviously a tall task, the Oklahoma City Thunder had a Western Conference Finals victory over the Dubs lined up perfectly. Yes, Golden State may be the most talented and versatile team the league has ever seen -- but OKC was the one team that had a real shot at them. There was the explosiveness to penetrate, then length to defend and the star power to close out games. They did it all, except finish. The Thunder failed to win any of the three games of the series and were sent packing despite once holding a 3-1 lead.

It was the latest in a series of disappointments for the Thunder that have subdued their greatness through this entire decade.

SEE ALSO: Forbes reveals the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world

The team tasted greatness in the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12, when they reached the NBA Finals, but lost to the Miami Heat. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both just 23 -- and role players James Harden and Serge Ibaka both 22 -- the team simply wasn't ready.

Little did the franchise know, that would -- to date -- be the closest this nucleus would get to a title.

Subsequent seasons were spoiled by injuries to Russell Westbrook (2013) and Kevin Durant (2015), while their 2014 season ended at the hands of the eventual champion Spurs.

It all built up to this past season, where both Durant and Westbrook -- in the primes of their careers -- were finally entering a season with full health. The only question that remained was whether or not the stars would buy in to what first-year coach Billy Donovan was selling. And that question was answered in the affirmative early on.

In a season that posed the biggest mountain to climb, this Thunder team had the peak in its sight, then crumbled as it was about to plant its flag. Despite employing arguably two of the 30-40 best players in NBA history, the Thunder still haven't realistically sniffed a championship.

And depending on how this offseason plays out, they may never reach the top of that mountain.

- By John Dorn

Follow AOL Sports on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

See the best photos of the NBA Playoffs

28 PHOTOS
Best of the NBA playoffs
See Gallery
Daily Debate: The Thunder are becoming one of the most disappointing teams ever
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, foreground, hugs Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry after Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Monday, May 30, 2016. The Warriors won 96-88. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) drives to the basket as Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant defends during the second half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 120-111. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry waits for a interview as confetti comes down after a 118-91 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after being hit in the face by teammate Tristan Thompson #13 during the first half against the Toronto Raptors in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 21, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 11: DeMarre Carroll #5 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball and is fouled by Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat in the first half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 11, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker during the first half in Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 11: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket in the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) drives past Golden State Warriors' Harrison Barnes, bottom left, and Shaun Livingston (34) during the second half in Game 1 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 118-106. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Miami Heat's Joe Johnson (2) tries to block a shot-attempt by Toronto Raptors' Bismack Biyombo (8) during the first half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals, Friday, May 13, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 29: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates during the 101-83 win over the Toronto Raptors in game six of the 2016 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets' Courtney Lee (1) passes the ball to a teammate as Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) defends during the second half in Game 6 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, April 29, 2016. The Heat won 97-90. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller flies over fans as he chases a loose ball during the first half in Game 5 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers scores on a dunk in a 108-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) drives past Houston Rockets' Trevor Ariza, bottom left, and Dwight Howard, top left, during the first half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 114-81. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee, left, and forward Al-Farouq Aminu, right, during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 25, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard, center, battles for control of the ball with Golden State Warriors' Ian Clark, left, and Marreese Speights during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 24, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) and Toronto Raptors' Bismack Biyombo (8) battle for a loose ball during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff basketball series Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Indianapolis. Indiana won 100-83. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Miami Heat's Goran Dragic, right, pleads to referee Mike Callahan, left, after being called for his third foul during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series against the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, April 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 26: Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks battles under the basket against Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: Norman Powell #24 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball late in the second half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on April 26, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket on DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter of Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center on April 23, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers won the game 96-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 22: Jonas Jerebko #8 of the Boston Celtics and Evan Turner #11 react after a foul was called against Turner during the fourth quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden on April 22, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Hawks 111-103. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 18: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets is guarded by Draymond Green #23, Andrew Bogut #12 and Leandro Barbosa #19 of the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 18, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 16: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers goes up to shoot against Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 17:Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs battles JaMychal Green #0 of the Memphis Grizzlies for a rebound in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 17, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) reacts after scoring against the Houston Rockets during the first half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

People are Reading