Kevin Durant was answering some fan questions on Twitter last night and here are a few good ones: “do u think you will be labeled as on of the greatest wen u retire?(idk thas da plan tho) … If there was one thing you could change about the NBA, what would it be?(nothing) … if u weren’t a bball player what would u be doing now and where?(I have no clue,didn’t have a 2nd option) … If the NBA said u couldnt wear #35 anymore what number would u choose?(42) … If you could choose one: gold medal or NBA champ ?(tuff question!!! Idk gimme sum time to think) … who was your idol growing up?(Vince Carter) … wen OKC make the playoffs ima drive there from NJ, can u hook me up wit 3 tix???(of course) … whats the hardest place to play in the NBA?(Utah, they say anything to u lol) … Odds of you sending me an autographed jersey?!( wats ur location).”
John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune apologizes to Oklahoma City: ”Which is my way of saying: I’m sorry, Oklahoma City. When the SuperSonics relocated to the American Heartland after 40 years in Seattle, I put the place down with all the knee-jerk stereotypes. You know, a dusty, boring, smelly cowtown in the middle of nowhere, full of tobacco-spitting hicks unworthy of appreciating any sporting event that didn’t include ropes and horses. This is nonsense. Oklahoma City is an agreeably thriving metropolis more than capable of supporting an NBA franchise. Because it’s difficult to escape for a weekend in the mountains, or a day trip to the ocean, the Oklahoma fan’s affection only figures to intensify for a basketball team mired in Year Four of a rebuilding project that’s produced minimal improvement.”
Michael Wilbon on OKC: “Oklahoma City probably isn’t ready to even make the playoffs yet, but there are some nights a team featuring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, will just take out one of the Big Five, or even the second-tier teams like the Trail Blazers, Raptors, Mavericks, Bulls or, yes, the Wizards.”
The Houston Chroncile predicts OKC in the playoffs with a 46-36 record: “If there’s natural progression at work, then it’s reasonable to expect an improvement to a .500 record or maybe better, which could be good enough for a playoff berth.”
No kidding around for Russell Westbrook in pickup: But it was those pickup games that might be what ultimately turns the Thunder’s second-year point guard into a legitimate floor leader. “I didn’t play around with that,” Westbrook said. “I tried to make good decisions and make the best pass. I didn’t try to force anything, just make the simple play.”
The Oklahoman’s full Thunder preview is up and out. Read, read, read. Pretty good stuff.
A good quote from Ryan Bowen on the Thunder’s work ethic: “How hard we’ve worked in camp, I’ve been really impressed with that,” Bowen said. “Usually by the second or third week I’m really standing out in practice because the guys’ energy levels go down. That’s when I can kind of show what I can do. But it didn’t happen. I couldn’t get the signature days because everyone was working so hard.”
Jenni Carlson writes about OKC’s fans: ”Surely Thunder fans can make the Ford Center atmosphere even better. “This may sound corny, but I don’t think they can improve,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “What they did last year — sticking with us when we were on the bad start — our players appreciate that.”
I have to say, these Rumble Acts of Kindness are kind of cool. Today the big furry fella is on the Kilpatrick Turnpike paying people’s tolls for them. What a nice surprise that would be early in the morning during your commute.
The top 10 plays from the preseason. KD checks in at No. 10.
Sports Illustrated has the most intruiging rookies and James Harden is No. 4: “Harden has been battling Thabo Sefolosha for the starting job at shooting guard. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Harden will give the Thunder some much-needed scoring punch at that position.”
Scott Brooks got two votes for Coach of the Year by ESPN’s pool of expert.
A new Thunder TV spot. If you weren’t a fan of the last one, well, don’t watch.
Now two days. TWO DAYS. AND THEN WE PLAY BASKETBALL. YESYESYES.