Doug McDermott joins the unfortunate list of Thunder players who’ve changed their number to No. 3. It’s a long list and the list isn’t good.
It’s the same number he wore his rookie year in Chicago, before changing to No. 11 last season. That number is taken by Enes Kanter.
McDermott who was No. 25 last season took over No. 3 while many Thunder fans, who still own real estate on Waiters Island, thought the number would be retired forever. There were other players who never panned out or were just down right frustrating in a Thunder uniform.
McDermott, 25, averaged 9.0 points on 37 percent from three last season. His minutes dwindled and the frustrated mounted for him. However, he is still considered a key piece in the Thunder’s rotation going forward. Oklahoma City has the former Creighton star signed through this season.
Let’s take a look on how those who wore No. 3 did for the Thunder:
White spent three seasons in Oklahoma City, amounting to a grand total of 186 points in 451 minutes. He appeared in only 19 games his first two seasons, mainly due to injuries. So, he’s essentially an after thought. Fun trivia question answer for you: Oklahoma City had three players drafted in the 2008 NBA Draft. Two of the players were Serge Ibaka (No. 24) and Russell Westbrook (No. 4), who was the third? DJ White (No. 29).
On the same day DJ White was traded to Charlotte for Nazr Mohammed, Nate Robinson was acquired with Kendrick Perkins in the Thunder famous trade that changed the face of the organization.
Robinson only appeared in four games in the regular season and his stats were abysmal. Fans chanted his name but his production did not meet the demand. Following the 2010-11 season, Robinson was essentially told not to show up to training camp and the Thunder would be releasing him. They eventually did and his legacy would be over in a Thunder uniform.
When Robinson was released he signed with the Warriors a month later.
The number would remain idle until Perry Jones decided he would desecrate the number by changing from No. 8 to No. 3 in 2013. In his two seasons while wearing No. 3, Jones put up some of his best numbers in his career. That’s not very hard as his only three seasons in the NBA were with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In two of his three seasons, including one of the years wearing No. 3, Jones was picked as the worst Thunder player. He also was voted the third and sixth worst Thunder player of all-time.
Jones was traded in July of 2015 and was waived by the Celtics before even playing a minute.
Waiters spent a little over a season in Bricktown. During his time, he shed his selfish demeanor and became a true teammate. He’s shown that in Miami. Most Thunder fans love the guy. When Waiters changed from No. 23 to No. 3, the transformation was essentially complete.
He was efficient. He was consistent. Most of all, he was an all around good teammate for the Thunder. He was vital in their playoff run to the Western Conference Finals. His games against the Spurs go down as some of the best in Thunder history.
It is a shame the Thunder and Waiters had a falling out, as Waiters accused the Thunder of toying with him with the Durant signing. Despite his bad words about the Thunder, most agree and still have property on Waiters Island.
The Sabonis prodigy never really formed for the Thunder. The son of Arvidas Sabonis, the former Portland Trail Blazers never really could find his confidence as the season went along. He shot the three well but towards the end of the first part of the year, the Thunder knew they had issues. They made the move to rent Taj Gibson and the writing was on the wall for Sabonis.
Sabonis was acquired on draft night with Victor Oladipo from the Orlando Magic for the rights to Serge Ibaka. Oklahoma City’s rebuilding process began with this trade. At the time they didn’t know it but it had began.
The Thunder traded Sabonis and Victor Oladipo for Paul George, another rental in June. So, his time with the Thunder was short lived, despite being a lottery selection.
History shows No. 3 is not a lucky number. Only Waiters had a good season while wearing the number and the odds of McDermott, who’s coming off a subpar seasons since being traded is against him. He’ll need to show he’s worth the minutes he wants. He’ll have to fight across the curse of three.
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