Another excellent feature from the NYT about OKC’s three “students”: “Westbrook, a second-year guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, walked in late to a history class this summer at U.C.L.A. As the N.B.A. opens its preseason, Westbrook was among about 45 players — 10 percent of the league — who had traded gym bags for backpacks in the off-season. “The teacher just called my name out: ‘Hey, Mr. Westbrook. Nice to see you. Nice for you to show up,’ ” Westbrook said. “I had to walk all the way to the front and sit on the stage in front of the whole class the whole time. For two hours. I couldn’t go to sleep, couldn’t do nothing. For two hours.”
HoopsWorld nominates the likely Rookie of the Year candidates: “Harden comes to the Thunder after a standout career at Arizona State and should slide right in as the starting shooting guard in Oklahoma City. On a team with several proven scorers at the NBA level (Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and Nenad Krstic to name a few), Harden won’t be anything more than the fourth option on most nights but his feel for the game and ability to catch and shoot should translate into immediate dividends for the Thunder. While he likely won’t wow anyone with eye-popping numbers, Harden should have a solid rookie campaign.”
And we will all respond by saying how “he’s like a little kid out there!” and that “he has so much love for the game!”: “not sure if Im a Favre fan but that highlight where he threw the pass then sprinted to hit the 49er LB was awesome … im now motivated to hit Russ with an outlet this season then sprint down the court and just lay out the opposing pg.” (@nickcollison4)
A lot of people have emailed and asked about tomorrow night’s preseason game being on TV. I have no clue. It’s not on my listing, but for some reason, it just seems like it should be. Hopefully, we can find an Internet stream.
Scott Brooks on Serge Ibaka: “Raw players can’t run, can’t jump and can’t shoot,” Brooks said. “They’re just tall and have potential. I’ve been cut because we’ve had raw players on the team that they were trying to develop. Serge is a talented guy that brings it. And he plays with a lot of effort … I know that he’s young, and he’s only been around the NBA for four months. But I’ve been around players that I would say are raw, and I would not consider Serge raw. I consider him a very athletic bright guy that wants to get better, and I see improvements.”
Aubrey McClendon has sold some 171 acres of shoreline on Lake Michigan and dunes in Saugatuck for $23.2 million.
The NBA’s general manager survey is out and Oklahoma City got 13.8 percent of the vote and finished third for “Which Team Will Be Most Improved?” Kind of surprisingly though, James Harden didn’t finish in the top five in ROY voting.
About 2,000 people showed up for the open practice last night and here’s some video from it.