After spending seven seasons at the Oklahoma City Thunder, Steven Adams has become somewhat of a cult hero at the franchise.
Steven Adams controls the ball against the Boston Celtics.
The news of the Kiwi basketball player’s departure from the team has sparked many fans and former teammates to say thank you and reminisce on the 27-year-old’s career.
Selected as the 12th overall pick of the 2013 draft, Adams immediately made himself at home in Oklahoma, establishing himself as a selfless, no-nonsense role player.
His off the court persona also added to his likability in the league and the 6’11” centre was often responsible for some hilarious post-match interviews with his typical Kiwi sense of humour and stoicism.
Adams arrived as a fresh faced 20-year-old, however he quickly shed the boyish appearance for his trademark beard and long hair, leading one OKC fan page to call Adams the ‘Glowup King’.
Adams former team mate Kendrick Perkins praised the Pelicans and their executive vice president, David Griffin, for the trade.
“The Pelicans landing Steven Adams is a GREAT pick up!!! I see you shining Griff. Carry the hell on…,”Perkins said.
Although Adams departure from Oklahoma is imminent, his likeness will still remain.
In 2016 Kiwi street artist Graham Hoete traveled to Oklahoma’s Bricktown district to create a large Steven Adams mural, and now that the star centre is leaving, some fans are calling for the mural to stay.
Oklahoma based sports reporter Nate Feken said on Twitter: “All stars are always going to connect to a market’s fans. Steven Adams are a bit rarer — when people just love a guy for who he is & the feeling is mutual.
“Here’s hoping the mural of him in Bricktown always stays…,” he added.