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- The Oklahoman ran an extreme amount of coverage Sunday (bravo) with predictions, previews, feature stories, pictures and player “getting to know yous.” Excellent stuff. Mike Baldwin says OKC will win 32 games and the Hornets will win the NBA title. I can’t disagree. I have OKC winning 30.
- Darnell Mayberry answers five questions about the upcoming season: “How will Oklahoma City play off the court? The Washington Post’s and ESPN’s Michael Wilbon called Oklahoma City the Green Bay of the NBA when the Hornets played here for two seasons. But Hall of Famer Charles Barkley called the state a vast wasteland.”
- The 2005 Hornets v. the 2008 Thunder: “Chris Paul vs. Earl Watson. Advantage: Hornets. Paul entered the league as one of the best point guards.”
- READ THIS. Please, read this. It’s an excellent, in-depth feature about Clay Bennett, the acquistion and transformation of the Thunder and other things by the New York Times. The most interesting thing being that Bennett originally tried to buy the Hornets. Amazing. “Convinced that the city was ready to go national, Bennett tried to buy the Hornets and keep them in Oklahoma. According to a letter Shinn subsequently wrote to Stern, Stern recommended that he sell. “You pressed me to sell the team,” Shinn wrote. “You even told me that owners were asking you, ‘What’s wrong with George – why doesn’t he sell his team[?]’ ” Shinn’s response made it clear that he, too, coveted the new territory. “We need to immediately begin laying the foundation for what I believe will be great relationships in Oklahoma City,” he wrote. “I believe there are several options that we have, none of which involve returning to New Orleans.”
- Marc Stein’s new power rankings. OKC is dead last: “Might be misleading to say that Kevin Durant and Co. have nothing to play for in their maiden season in Oklahoma City. You have to figure they’ve got a shot to be crowned Most Raucously Supported Bad Team in NBA history.”
- A little diddy from Sports Business Journal: “Inside a posh Oklahoma City dining club, where local power brokers gather to cut deals and filet mignon, hang photographs of the city’s business elite. Look closely and you’ll find a picture of Clay Bennett, the NBA’s newest, and perhaps most retrospective owner, wearing a pair of thick-framed glasses dating back more than a few years.”
- Joe from Thunderguru has more terrific insight for us, as recaps the preseason: “The numbers are in, the preseason games are over. The Thunder faithful are now in a holding pattern waiting for the games that count to begin. I’m going to use this article to hand out grades for the preseason. This will be part 1 where I will cover the “starters”. These five are not so much the true lineup starters, as much as they are the top 5 statistical contributors. Coach understandably did much lineup shuffling due to injuries. Part 2 in the near future will cover the rest of the team. Also notice a glossary of terms at the bottom of the post.”