Thunder look like champions

Unlike some Big Threes, OKC's young trio has prioritized winning over lifestyle

Updated: June 7, 2012, 12:23 AM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN the Magazine
Kevin DurantRonald Martinez/Getty ImagesDurant and teammates Westbrook and Harden have put egos aside and prioritized winning.

Two years ago, we all knew a "Big Three" was about to take the NBA by storm. They had a once-ballyhooed high school phenom who indeed proved to be as good as advertised once he reached the NBA, a late bloomer who was stunningly explosive and productive, and arguably the best third option in the league. They were going to win not one, not two championships but several. They would become a dynasty; perhaps unlike any we'd seen before.

Two years ago, we all thought that Big Three would reside in Miami, in the persons of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But we were looking for dominance in all the wrong places.

Instead, the league's best Big Three is in Oklahoma City, where that once-ballyhooed phenom Kevin Durant, the late bloomer Russell Westbrook and the incredible third option James Harden are on the verge of doing something that's never been done in the history of the NBA. If the Oklahoma City Thunder win the championship this season, they will become the first team ever to win a title with its top four scorers all under the age of 24.

And they are doing it the old-fashioned way: They bucked the latest trend that has players conspiring to team up together in posh cities, as if having a 40-inch vertical or a wicked jump shot automatically makes one a deft general manager.