Basketball Prospectus’s season preview book is out and… I honestly don’t have words to describe it. It’s essential for any NBA fan. (And it’s got a small contribution from yours truly, so that part is obviously a must-read.) We’re lucky because you can actually preview the Thunder’s player comments.
The Thunder has partnered with Race for the Cure. Per a press release: “The Oklahoma City Thunder will have a significant presence in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this Saturday in Bricktown. The 2009 NBA Mascot of the Year, Rumble the Bison, and members of the Thunder Girls will participate in the opening ceremonies of the race at Bricktown Ballpark., scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m. More than 11,000 people have registered for the race, and 40 of those have Thunder ties. Front office staff from both the business and basketball departments will be participating, as well as family members of players and coaches.”
Kevin Durant on the replacement refs: “They did their best,” Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant said. “I think they tried to make every call. They talked to us and made us feel like we had some input and weren’t scared to talk to us. I think they did a good job and called some good calls. But nobody’s perfect.”
Ziller, while looking at Eric Gordon, had this to say about Russell Westbrook: “Russell Westbrook had the distinction of being rather inefficient while taking up a bunch of possessions; call it the “Modern McGrady” role (though Westbrook is an insane defender).”
Nenad Krstic is trying to get back to form: ”Richard Jefferson considered him the NBA’s best big-man shooter not named Dirk Nowitzki. After facing him in a playoff series, Pat Riley said, “If he gets much better, he’s going to be one of the better players in this league.” And Jason Kidd called him the best big man he had ever played with. In 2006, that was the trajectory of Nenad Krstic’s career. But a serious knee injury three days before Christmas altered his future, a major reason the 7-foot center from Serbia is now on the Thunder’s roster.”
A leathery Tim Leglar and Mike Yam take a look at the Thunder’s upcoming season:
The Thunder’s hired TWO people to handle sideline reporting duties this year. Veteran sportscaster Tom Werme will work 17 Wednesday night games, home and away, on KSBI-52, Thunder TV. Former OU basketball player Elissa Walker Campbell will work about 25 home games for Fox Sports Oklahoma. Also, Morning Animal Mike Steely will now host Air Thunder.
The film SonicsGate premiers tonight in Seattle. Our favorite columnist Steve Kelley previews it: ”But beginning tonight and Saturday night, Seattle will have that opportunity. Before they release their documentary “Sonicsgate” free on the Internet, the people behind the movie are offering two public screenings. Tonight’s sold-out show will be screened at SIFF Cinema. The movie will be shown again Saturday night at Pacific Place. Some tickets still remain for Saturday. Both screenings begin at 8 p.m. This is the chance we’ve needed to discuss what happened and what went wrong in the final whirlwind season of 2007-08.”
Rumble and the Thunder Caravan will be at Pauls Valley’s Toy and Action Figure Museum Saturday celebrating the release of Where the Wild Things Are.