First and foremost, a giant happy birthday to my older brother who is 28 today. And congrats on starting the fantasy season 1-0. Drew Brees was a wise pick my friend.
The UFC comes to Oklahoma City tonight and Sherdog had this to say in its preview: “Oklahoma City, a home to both good in mega-baller Kevin Durant and pure evil in Garth Brooks, will play host to its first UFC card since Yeltsin’s booze-fueled heyday.” For once someone nationally recognized the Thunder instead of college football or weather. Moving on up people!
More on the Durant/Wale… thing: “After the concert, Wale’s making a short trip up New York Avenue to Love, where he’ll join Suitland native and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant for a joint and sure-to-be-lavish birthday party. Neither is actually celebrating his big day — Wale turned 25 last Friday, Durant hits 21 on the 29th — but it’s still a party, with an open bar from 10 to 11 and free admission until midnight when you grab a pass from Love’s site.”
You’ve got to love this. KD, Westbrook and James Harden and the rest of the bunch were up early getting some work in: “Up about to run these hills wit @jhard13 , @russwest44 and the rest of the team.”
FanHouse’s tip-off timer hits 41 today: “When Clay Bennett trucked his Sonics off to Oklahoma City in the summer of 2008, it was unprecedented. That an NBA team moved wasn’t new — that happens, unfortunately. But no team had ever left behind such a legacy. The Sonics left after 41 years in Seattle.”
Dime has five first time All-Stars: “Kevin Durant (25.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 apg): If KD puts up similar stats and his team is winning more than last year, he should be a lock. With his swiss army knife-type versatility, Durant is on the brink of being a special player in the league. Plus he is playing with one of the league’s most exciting young cores. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was voted in by the fans.”
Steve Aschburner looks at the issues that could shape this season: ”The Class of 2007 – Portland’s Greg Oden spotted Kevin Durant 80 pages last fall. That was the difference from where Oden would have appeared in the official NBA Register (pg. 159, between O’Bryant and Okur) and where his entry actually ran (pg. 239), back there in the “Promising Newcomers” section. Oden was a rookie again because he missed all of 2007-08 because knee surgery. Now he’s back after a second straight injury-hampered season — a season in which Durant put even more distance between them as a budding NBA star. The Oklahoma City swingman boosted his numbers pretty much across the board (from 20.3 points to 25.3, 4.4 rebounds to 6.5, 43 percent shooting to 47.6, 28.8 percent from three-point range to 42.2). He got to the line more than all but nine others (524 attempts). He’ll be an All-Star once the Thunder start winning about half their games, and some suggest he might crash that James-Bryant-Wade party in talks of NBA supremacy. In other words, Durant fast is making the 2007 draft look like a bad coin flip on Portland’s part. Unlike some critics, I’m not going to invoke the name Sam Bowie (oops, too late). But Oden is two years behind in development and impact and, while that’s no biggie at age 21, it is getting late kind of early in this assessment.”
Chris Silva with a huge feature on KD: ”There actually was a time this summer when basketball wasn’t the only thing in Durant’s universe, even if it was for just a few days. The Thunder basketball office and Durant’s family had been encouraging him to go take a vacation. Really, how many people need to be talked into taking a vacation? Durant, apparently, is one of them. But at least it worked. Durant and the family traveled to the Bahamas, where he said he swam with dolphins, snorkeled and even fit his 6-10 frame down a few water slides.”
You know what they’re calling the Thunder Dunk Team this year? The Thunder Bolts. Not sayin’, just sayin’.