Oklahoma City Thunder’s players barking postgame celebration meaning and origin explained

Oklahoma City Thunder’s players barking postgame celebration meaning and origin explained

Have a look at the meaning of the Oklahoma City Thunder players’ barking celebration

Minutes after the Thunder clinched their first playoff victory in nearly 4 years, MVP hopeful Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stood surrounded by 6 of his teammates while he gave his postgame interview to Stephanie Ready.

In a post-match statement, Ready said to Gilgeous-Alexander, “I know why they’re all here. Go for it.” At her cue, the six players encircled him began barking like dogs before heading off the court.

Oklahoma City Thunder’s players barking postgame celebration meaning and origin 

While it’s not uncommon for teams to make on-court interviews a group celebration, the Thunder’s barking has become a trademark as they climbed to the top of the Western Conference.

Now the video of the Thunder’s barking is swirling across social media platforms leaving fans confused as they search for the meaning behind this action. So, here in this article, we will provide you with all the necessary details that enthusiasts need to know about.

Meaning & Origin behind Thunder’s Barking


According to media reports, the barking tradition of Thunder’s seems to have started in late January.

Nick Gallo, known for his walk-off interviews during Thunder broadcasts, recalled a game in Minnesota where Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and Jaylin Williams interrupted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s post-game interview, acting as hype men but without barking.

Just a few nights later, during Aaron Wiggins’ post-game interview, the same trio crashed the scene again. This time, they began barking halfway through, sparking a new tradition.


As the origin story indicates, Jalen “J-Dub” Williams and Jaylin “Jay Will” Williams are the pioneers of this trend. When asked by reporters how it all started, Jaylin Williams replied: “I honestly don’t know. Me and [Jalen Williams], we just do a lot of random stuff and one day, it just happened to be barking.”

The barking quickly became a staple of post-game celebrations for the Thunder, turning into a sort of initiation for team members.


Memorable Barking Moments

Among the more memorable interviews were the first barks from Gordon Hayward, who joined the team at the trade deadline, and from Bismack Biyombo, a midseason acquisition who needed some coaxing from Holmgren to embrace the tradition.

After Oklahoma City’s regular-season finale, the team managed to get a few barks out of Gallo himself. Lu Dort, who often joins in these post-game antics, explained, “We go out there to compete and be tough, and [the barking] is just a way to remind ourselves to stay strong.”

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