Darnell Mayberry on Brandon Jennings: “But it’s Jennings’ pioneering path to the NBA that has been the biggest shock regarding his success. Last year, Jennings became the first player to bypass college and play professional overseas as a result of the NBA’s age limit, which took effect in 2006 and shut off high school players from jumping directly to the NBA.”
Former voice of the Sonics, Kevin Calabro is calling tonight’s game: “Kevin Calabro, the voice of the Seattle SuperSonics for 21 seasons, will revisit his former franchise when he calls the Thunder’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks at 8:30 tonight on ESPN. Jon Barry will be the analyst. The flex telecast replaces the originally scheduled Phoenix at Minnesota game.”
I’m a day late, but I’m thankful for the Thunder because OU sucks in both sports. Sad. But hey, OKC is 8-7 and on national TV! RISE TOGETHER.
A couple good notes from Susan Bible: ”While recognizing that it’s a “great opportunity for our fans to be on ESPN,” Brooks is thinking more along the lines of just playing consistently Friday night. Simply put, he sees the game as another opportunity to go out and play good basketball … About the ESPN coverage, Sefolosha said “we’re probably not going to think about it too much.” The late 8:30 pm tip has just one meaning to him: a “longer nap … Admitting it may sound “corny,” Brooks said the players have a lot of pride playing in Oklahoma City.”
NBA.com taking a deeper look at Bucks-Thunder: “Who ever thought that the Bucks and Thunder would have a combined 16-12 record at this point in the season? They’re two of the feel-good surprises of the first month, and they’re led by two of the brightest young stars in the league.
Just in case you’re wondering, I’m going to be That Guy tonight. I’m going to the game, but I’m also DVRing it just because I want to see Oklahoma City on national TV. I can’t help myself. It’s too cool.
A nice story about the Thunder’s Thanksgiving service: ”One of the highlights of the late afternoon was a little girl who dribbled a ball in front of Thunder forward Serge Ibaka. She stunned onlookers when she calmly lofted a shot over Ibaka’s outstretched arms and scored a basket from the top of the circle. Ibaka and his teammates clapped and cheered. “This is what it’s all about,” Presti said. “Seeing those reactions, making these children feel a little better.” Then as basketballs were still flying toward the baskets Thunder mascot Rumble the Bison made his grand entrance and the children abandoned Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Ibaka and all the others. There was a hugfest with Rumble and for at least a little while, these children with no where to go, finally felt at home.”
A big long feature from Chris Silva on Serge Ibaka. A great read: ”He’s fond of Bricktown, bowling and the Olive Garden Restaurant. He just learned how to drive, recently settled into a place he will call home, started English classes and obtained his Social Security Number. And lest we forget, he’s here to play basketball for a living. For Serge Ibaka, it’s another year on another continent, although this time he’s hoping Oklahoma City will be his final stop for the foreseeable future. He left a good impression on Sunday against the Lakers, when Ibaka recorded 11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in his first extended minutes of the season. Blessed with raw athletic talent, brute strength, extreme versatility and a quick wit, Ibaka has found himself yet again in transition. And that’s a good thing. Consider this: in the past four years, he has lived through a civil war, been separated from his family, moved to Spain, learned a new language and culture, been drafted into the NBA and moved to Oklahoma City. All by the age of 19.”
The 66ers kick their season off tonight as well. I’m anxious to see what Byron Mullens does. Or at least read about it tomorrow.