Jan. 9, 2020 – The team wore the City Edition uniform for the first time. This was no ordinary game. Russell Westbrook was returning to Oklahoma City for the first time since requesting a trade to the Houston Rockets and the world was watching, many learning more about the story of the Oklahoma City bombing and the city’s resilience.
The charcoal jerseys swarmed the Rockets, 113-92.
“It was special for us. We all mentioned it before we got out there, ‘We’ve got to make everybody proud,’ ” Thunder guard Dennis Schröder said. “It’s historic and we just tried to make the best game possible, go out there and compete for the people who were here when it happened. It was good for the city.”
March 6, 2020 – It was “First Responders Night” at Madison Square Garden, a chance for both the New York Knicks and the Thunder to honor those who, 25 years ago, dropped everything, left their families and spent weeks serving the people of Oklahoma City.
Watkins exchanged jerseys with Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial, in a pre-game ceremony that included Gov. Keating, his wife Cathy and Thunder legend Nick Collison, among others.
For the Memorial, its partnership with the Thunder has helped to drive the story of the bombing forward into a new era that consists of an entire generation was born after the horrible event.
“It’s a partnership that’s invaluable to us because it keeps our story relevant and in the minds of people who may not take the time to learn it otherwise,” Watkins said. “(The Thunder and the Memorial) are both unifiers to the community. They both bring people together. The Memorial is in the past, but we want to live in the future and the Thunder is about today and the future.”