Trades in professional sports are bittersweet while they usually upgrade teams in one way or another, they often result in teary goodbyes to beloved players.
Or in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s case, the end of a dynamic dancing duo unlike any other.
In a package that will surely benefit both sides, the Thunder sent young point guard Cameron Payne to Chicago ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Oklahoma City gets a pair of solid shooters in return, but fans will no longer have access to the entertainment spectacle that is Payne and Russell Westbook’s pregame dancing.
The Thunder just traded Cameron Payne. That means no more of this from him & Russell Westbrook. It’s a sad day for basketball… pic.twitter.com/g03bYumuyu
Aaron Dodson (@aardodson) February 23, 2017
The duo self-proclaimed “Swagdaddies,” Payne told ESPNlast year has been rolling out the slick moves for a couple seasons now.
“The way y’all see it is just how it is,” Payne said. “It’s just something we do. We come out and try to make the game as fun as possible so we come out loose, and be ready to play.”
SportsManias (@Sportsmanias) February 23, 2017
Fans were quick to recognize that a Thunder team sans Payne leaves Westbrook without a dance partner.
Worst part of this bulls-thunder trade is no more pre game cameron payne, Russell westbrook dances
Matthew Heppner (@matthewheppner) February 23, 2017
r.i.p. Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne’s lit dances before games
alek nieves (@alekisdaddy) February 23, 2017
Jazz Johnson (@JazzJohnson10) February 23, 2017
It’s a sad moment indeed. Let’s take a look at some of the duo’s best boogies.
Here’s the same one, with “Crying Jordan” appropriately placed on Payne’s head, to truly emphasize the tragic end of this wonderful era.
R.I.P. to the Russell Westbrook/Cameron Payne dances. You’ll be missed!
TotalProSports.com (@TotalProSports) February 23, 2017
Westbrook may be alone on the dance floor, but he’s got some help on the court with Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott joining the Thunder. Maybe that will be enough for Oklahoma City to finally win a championship after playoff losses ended six of its last seven seasons.
An NBA Finals ring would definitely be something to dance about.