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Free Agency Leads To Reflection For Thunder Fans

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

The concept of free agency is one strictly designed for business. Every year in every major sports league, players swap teams for a litany of different reason, with the most prominent of course being more money.

Currently, the NBA is in the midst of a very hectic and crazy free agent period. Rumors swirl everyday about where players will end up as well as what teams are involved in trades and which ones are not.

The winners are obviously the players, who get to choose what team they want to play for, and an exorbitant amount of money that team gets to pay them. The fans are split as far as winners and losers go.

One on hand, you have the fans of the team star player A just left. They're the losers in this business because their star just left town because they wanted a few more bucks in their pockets. Think St. Louis when Albert Pujols left last season. (Yes, I know that's baseball, but you get the picture.)

On the other hand, you have the fans of the team star player A decided to play for. They're ecstatic because they just got a big-time player that could take their franchise to the next level. Think Miami last season when LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.

The Oklahoma City Thunder haven't made any big moves in free agency this year, but the moves they have made have made it clear they will not be re-signing the three free agents from this past season's roster: Derek Fisher, Nazr Mohammed and Royal Ivey.

This particular situation brings in a different kind of reaction from the normal free agency fallout. It's sad to see these three go, especially Ivey, who went from strictly a bench-warmer to a player that actually contributed at times throughout the regular season as the Thunder made a run through the Western Conference.

Although it's sad, there are no bitter feelings from fans toward the three players. They're leaving OKC not because they're looking for more money, but because the organization decided it was time to move in a different direction.

The Thunder wouldn't be the organization it is today if it were not for these three players, particularly Fisher and Mohammed. They provided a young team of NBA infants with invaluable wisdom and experience that comes from a combined 36 years in the league and six NBA championships.

Their on-court contributions didn't register much more than a blip on the radar, but off the court, it would be impossible to adequately describe.

For Ivey, his two years in OKC have come to a close. He was a player that put it all on the line every time he came on the court. His hustle and tenacity pushed his teammates to do the exact same and become the best team they could be.

These three won't be back with the Thunder next season, but their impact will remain long past this past season. Sometimes free agency causes heartbreak, and other times pure jubilation. But in this case, free agency has caused Thunder fans to pause, and think about the impact three players have had on a franchise.

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