Quick note for all those that have asked: The weekly podcast isn’t set for a day. It’s just going to come sometime throughout the week. I apologize for not having at a time you can expect, but with interview times needing to be flexible and such, it makes it difficult. So it’s coming, sometime.
Jeff Green, Serge Ibaka and James Harden will be at the Red Pin Bowling Lounge Friday night at 7 p.m.
Sports Illustrated’s preview is out. Here are some highlights: Brooks is a solid, even-keeled personality, and as a coach he’s competitive to the point where he’s not going to let his team feel it can give in just because he may feel undermanned. He’s the right guy because it isn’t a this-year type of team, so now they have a young coach who can grow with that, sort of like the way Nate McMillan has grown with Portland. The team definitely improved when he became coach.
BallerBlogger previews the Thunder: “Just to let you know, the ceiling for Kevin Durant has officially been removed. Nothing would surprise me now. If he averages 40 points a game sometime in the next 5 years, I wouldn’t be shocked at all (yes, I know 40 is a lot of points). When you talk about 6′9″ guys who take on the kind of load Durant did last year and shoot as well as he did, it’s Durant and Larry Bird…and that’s it. That’s the list. With his height, length, and absurdly quick release, there’s really no stopping Durant when he decides to shoot. As a pure scorer, there’s no one in the league like him, and there’s actually a pretty good chance he’ll lead the league in scoring this year, and do it efficiently.”
Mick Cornett talking about Oklahoma City’s financial situation, which includes the Thunder.
Scott Brooks got upset with his team after yesterday’s practice: “Thunder coach Scott Brooks is about as upbeat a coach as you will see. He’s constantly encouraging players and prefers to talk about a player’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. That’s why Brooks’ late-practice, high-volume lecture to his team Wednesday afternoon at the end of practice was eye opening. After players half-heartedly completed what’s supposed to be a fast-paced, 100-pass, spacing, ball movement drill, Brooks screamed some unprintable words and then told his team that he and his assistant coaches, all in their 40s and 50s, could go at that speed.”
ESPN’s expert predictions for the Thunder are out. The consensus is 11th in the West, with the highest being ninth and the lowest being 13th.
The NBA will fine players for standing this season and Kevin Durant says that rule will be tough to adhere to: “People behind us pay good money to see the game,” Durant said. “But on our end, it’s exciting to see a teammate dunk or make a big shot. It’s tough for us, especially for this team. Your reaction is to jump up and cheer them on.”
The NBA has a new ad out anticipating the season and it features Kevin Durant.
Russell Westbrook says this picture is what wins you games.
SLAM previewing the Kings, and there isn’t a high endorsement for Dez Mason: “Matt Caputo and I went to an Oklahoma City Thunder practice last February. We were there to watch Kevin Durant shoot three-pointers over various teammates we’d recognized from games we’d watch on TV or (usually) players whose names we’d glanced over in a boxscore once. But we were struggling on one player. There was a guy in a corner, lightly jogging, who we thought was maybe Michael Sweetney. Or, potentially, a condominium. Maybe this man was several houses. We didn’t know if it was fat or muscle. We thought there was a good chance it was muscle. He could probably only work out his upper-body. He had a kneebrace on that was the size of Canada. But we were blanking. We didn’t know any 15th-man centers with knee injuries on this team. Number 34? Who was number 34? It was Desmond Mason, who had bruised his femur and tibia a couple of weeks before and was learning once again how to move around correctly. That was a couple of months ago. Or, wait, maybe I should say: It was Desmond Mason, the starting small forward for your 2009 Sacramento Kings!”
Speaking of swag, check out this picture of Serge Ibaka. Ladies, you may be all a twitter after it. (h/t Dai)
Six days now. Six days.