Ball Don't Lie

OKC Thunder fan nails halfcourt shot for $20,000, continues dynasty (Video)

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

View photo

.

Which Thunder fan will be the next to win $20,000 (Joe Murphy/ Getty).

In the year-plus following the Oklahoma City Thunder's trade of James Harden to the Houston Rockets, the franchise has drawn criticism for not taking the measures necessary to build a perennial championship-quality team. Yet, no matter your opinion of the team's future, there is no argument against Chesapeake Energy Arena's serving as home to at least one current NBA dynasty.

I speak, naturally, of Thunder fans' remarkable ability to win $20,000 off halfcourt shots with shocking regularity. Since the beginning of last March, three Thunder fans have hit these shots to help pay for a wife's cancer treatment, in a manner that compelled Kevin Durant to tackle the shooter, and prior to a rout-clinching run in a playoff game (which couldn't possibly have been a coincidence, because halfcourt shots are magic).

We can now add Cameron Rodriguez to this illustrious list of clutch performers. In the first half of the Thunder's eventual 115-113 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, Rodriguez, donning a backwards hat to ensure a full range of vision, drained his attempt, got a giant hug from team mascot Rumble the Bison, and presumably got angry when he learned the $20,000 prize was a pre-tax figure.

At first glance, this shot is not quite as dramatic as the three examples noted above, if only because it didn't involve a loved one's medical hardship, one of the two best players in basketball, or a playoff win. While the Thunder did eventually win a close game via comeback, their push didn't occur until the fourth quarter. For that matter, the last few possessions of this game were borderline unwatchable, with both teams executing poorly, Russell Westbrook giving the Nuggets a narrow chance of sending the game to overtime with a foul on an inbounds pass well above his and Ty Lawson's head, and several interminable replay reviews pushing fans' attention spans to their limits.

Rodriguez won't care about all that, of course, because he just made a lot of money for a few seconds of work. We should also remember, though, that the accomplishments of a historically great team are not all equally amazing. When a group achieves a large number of positive things, a few are bound to be simply great and not mind-bendingly delightful. Every dynasty needs its Cameron Rodriguezes.

(Video via Beyond the Buzzer)

- - - - - - -

Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL and "Like" BDL on Facebook for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Jokic has 29 as Nuggets stave off Lakers

      Jokic has 29 as Nuggets stave off Lakers

      All the Denver Nuggets needed was a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to find their groove. After snapping a five-game losing streak Thursday with a win over the Indiana Pacers in London, the Nuggets have returned to find home suddenly more … More »

      AP - Sports - 4 hours ago
    • NBA-Highlights of Tuesday's NBA games

      Highlights of National Basketball Association games on Tuesday: Raptors 119, Nets 109 Cory Joseph scored a career-high 33 points in place of a resting Kyle Lowry, leading the Toronto Raptors to a 119-109 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. … More »

      Reuters - 5 hours ago
    • GAME RECAP: Nuggets 127, Lakers 121

      GAME RECAP: Nuggets 127, Lakers 121

      Nikola Jokic finishes with 29 points and 15 rebounds, Will Barton adds 26 and the Nuggets beat the Lakers 127-121. … More »

      NBA.com - 5 hours ago
    • Tuesday's Top Plays

      Tuesday's Top Plays

      Check out the very best from Tuesday's NBA action on the Top 5. … More »

      NBA.com - 5 hours ago
    • Blake Griffin is producing a 'White Men Can't Jump' remake

      Blake Griffin is producing a 'White Men Can't Jump' remake

      Blake Griffin applauds the concept of nostalgia. Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin has made no secret of his desire to appear in a sequel to “Space Jam.” The high-flying forward dabbles in the world of comedy, played Michael Jordan at a … More »

      Ball Don't Lie - 5 hours ago