Reader Dylan sent along this amusing anecdote: “Fun fact: On NBA2k10, Hasheem Thabeet is a 57 overall. Taylor Griffin is a 62.” Your second overall pick everyone!
Somewhat interesting for all you wealthy Thunder fans: “The Ford Center, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, today announced Levy Restaurants as its new premium dining and hospitality partner. The partnership includes management and operation of foodservice in premium areas including the club level bars and restaurants, suite level including the new terrace suites and lounges, courtside club and new bunker suites on the lower level.”
Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld lays out his annual 50 predictions: “1. Kevin Durant will crack the top three in scoring this season … 24. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who won only 23 games last season, will improve upon that total by 15 or more wins in 2009-10.”
Thunder players and coaches visited classrooms at a MWC elementary school.
Darnell Mayberry had a Q&A with KD: “Q: Can you gain momentum if you play well in preseason or does it not matter? A: It’s important for us to not take steps back. That’s the only thing is to always get better, whoever’s on the floor. I don’t think you can gain momentum because in preseason teams aren’t playing their regular five throughout the whole game. The bigger name players don’t play that much. But it does give us a little confidence going into the season. But I think we have to do our best by coming in here and practicing and working hard and also translating it to the games.”
Byron Mullens will likely guard Hasheem Thabeet tonight and Nick Collison was teaching the young rookie: “Veteran forward Nick Collison pulled rookie center Byron Mullens aside over the weekend and gave the 24th overall pick a crash course in defending the paint. The lesson wasn’t complicated. In fact it was one of the most fundamental rules of post defense. Collison schooled Mullens about the NBA’s hand-checking rules in the post, teaching the rookie that a forearm to the back of an offensive player is allowed but an extended arm with an open palm is a foul. “That’s something I didn’t know until he told me,” Mullens said.”
Greg Oden is tired of the Durant talk: “Perhaps it’s because the Portland Trail Blazers once drafted Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan. Perhaps it’s because Kevin Durant, whom the Blazers passed up to take Greg Oden, is having hands-down the better career so far. Perhaps it’s the injuries that have plagued Oden throughout his college and pro career. Whatever the case, Blazers center Greg Oden is already tired of hearing about how he was taken over Durant in the draft two seasons ago. “All I know is that I am on a playoff team, and we weren’t a playoff team before I played that season,” Oden told 95.5 The Fan in Portland recently. “That’s what I like to tell myself. I like it here, I have great teammates, they should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, but they didn’t. They got me and I am here and I am working hard. Whatever everyone says, they can say it because I am not worried anymore.”
The Thunder is oddly missing from this list of potentially surprising teams that includes the Clippers, the Kings and the Timberwolves.
Three weeks. 21 days. 513 hours. 30,780 minutes. Oh yes. Soon enough.