Meet me. My TrueHoop question and answer is up and hopefully you’re not as surprised as Daniel that I don’t look totally “dweeby”: “It’s been a tough first year for the Thunder. Honeymoon aside, how are you coping? Oklahoma City fans are in a strange place right now. With the team playing so much better in 2009, it’s almost like we don’t even notice the 13-41 record. The brightness of the future is blinding us from seeing our current state. Which is a great thing. It’s much more fun to think of what could be rather than what is.”
Thabo hurt Earl Watson in practice yesterday. I knew this was a good pick-up for the Thunder: “One of two players acquired by the Thunder at the trade deadline, Sefolosha split open the area around Watson’s right eyebrow with an elbow as he drove to the basket during practice Monday. Watson had to leave the court and get three stitches before returning in a grey hooded sweatshirt and a bandage over his eyebrow.” NOTE: A few of my favorite comments from Thunder fans: “A great move by Presti, that’s why he’s a genius,” and “I’ll pick up his jersey when they make one,” and my favorite, “If Watson even misses one game because of this I will personally bear Thabo’s children.”
So Tyson Chandler played for the Hornets last night and had 15 and 10 in 31 minutes. We’re cool… we’re totally cool.
SI.com’s power rankings: “The Thunder surrendered 100, 140 and 133 points in losses to the Hornets, Suns and Warriors, respectively last week. Too bad there wasn’t a defensive-minded center like, say, Tyson Chandler available at the trade deadline.” Zing.
Bleacher Report on KD: “Besides of his great acumen on the 94 foot hardwood, Durant has used his popularity within Oklahoma City and has availed himself for numerous community involvement events. These events include a Durant sneaker giveaway at the local Boys and Girls club of Oklahoma City and a charity food drive. “People see me as a basketball player; however I have definite interests outside the game,” Durant said. “It thrills me just as much seeing a smile on a young person’s face as it done when I throw down a tomahawk dunk at the Ford Center.”
Hornets247 on their game last night: ”We probably don’t win this game without Tyson Chandler. In his first game back from injury, and only a few days removed from that whole rescinded trade debacle, Chandler came up huge for the Hornets against the Kings. It took him less than three minutes to hook up with Chris Paul for a Crescent City Connection, and him picking and rolling with CP made all the difference down the stretch. It wasn’t a flawless performance by Tyson by any means — check his five turnovers and a botched alley oop in the first quarter — but he gave us much more than could be reasonably be expected of a guy who hadn’t played in over a month. His final numbers: 15 points (5-of-6 FGs) and 10 boards in 32 minutes of action.”
This is the type of stuff that makes me love KD: “Kevin Durant said he grew up admiring Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant’s basketball abilities. But the Thunder forward was taken aback when Bryant offered to help him in any way he could when Durant went to USA Basketball camp soon after he was drafted in 2007. “He was the first guy to say something to me,” Durant said. “He kind of took me under his wing a little bit. I can’t thank him enough for that. It was just fun being around him.” Durant just didn’t have the courage to take Bryant up on his offer and ask the star guard for advice. “I was a little nervous,” Durant said. “It was Kobe Bryant, and I was a young rookie. I just couldn’t talk to him.”
FreeDarko on KD: “I’m running out of superlatives for Durant, and I don’t want FD to turn into am unreflective parody of itself. But I find it critical that, for a player whose on-court demeanor is unflappable calm masking a yes, MJ-esque need to win, the element of drama is absolutely key. So far, every major event in his career has been a surprise, a shock, a sudden leap: the explosion at UT, sudden maturation late last season, All-Star numbers in run-up to the snub, absolute rule over the Rookie/Challenge game, comeback in HORSE (not important in itself, but helped make ASW his, itself a truly amazing narrative development), and now the freakish production since the break. You could blandly cast this as “Durant keeps getting better,” but the reason I dare invoke MJ is that for KD, he’s got that emergency gear that kicks in whenever failure or rejection starts to peak out from behind the corners.”
I’m glad there’s people out there like this. Otherwise life might be too enjoyable: “Although the NBA has fallen silent in Seattle, a fans’ lawsuit seeking more than $7 million in damages from the owners of the former Sonics franchise continues to resonate in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Richard Jones … But the bottom line for the fans — Robert Brotherson, Patrick Sheehy and Carolyn Bechtel — is that Jones left open the door for a jury to decide whether all 1,200 or so individuals and businesses who renewed their season tickets for the Sonics’ final season in KeyArena are entitled to damages because the Professional Basketball Club didn’t allow them the opportunity to renew their tickets at the same guaranteed price for the following two years.”