It’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, which is awesome. It’s the dog days of the NBA offseason and it’s approximately 142 degrees in Oklahoma right now.
Let’s compare notable members of the Thunder family to sharks.
Kevin Durant: Porbeagle shark
I know, that was pretty predictable. When you saw where this column was going, you instantly thought, “Kevin Durant is JUST like a porbeagle shark.” Or maybe not.
While most sharks prefer more glamorous and warmer climates, the porbeagle shark is home in the quieter, cool waters further away from the coast. He can heat up all on his own. Porbeagles’ tendency to seemingly play, tossing around bits of debris in groups of up to 20, is like Durant’s propensity to play basketball all the time. They just enjoy being sharks, like he just enjoys playing basketball.
Russell Westbrook: Shortfin mako shark
Don’t blink, or you might miss the shortfin mako shark. It’s the fastest shark in the sea and was once clocked at more than 40 mph. The great leapers can soar up to 20 feet (which would easily clear Lamar Odom). They are aggressive and are constantly attack. Shortfin makos sometimes knash at fishermen after they’ve been released, mirroring Westbrook’s ability to make opponents pay if they lose focus for even a fleeting moment.
Serge Ibaka: Tiger shark
Two phrases in the Tiger shark’s profile on the Shark Week website say it all: “a lean, mean eating machine” with force akin to a “power saw.” You don’t want to mess with the tiger shark. They show surprising range and are particularly dangerous to people who encroach on their territory.
Pau Gasol: Goblin shark
I know he’s not in the Thunder family, but someone has to be compared to the ugliest shark in the world.
Sam Presti: Great white shark
Did you know researchers found a great white with three dolphins in its stomach? Talk about stockpiling assets. The great white is so good at what it does (in this case, being freaking huge, vicious, nimble and having nasty teeth) that it can do pretty much whatever it wants in its own environment. Presti does the same by staying flexible and not making mistakes, giving him a veritable smorgasbord of tasty options when lesser general managers have to make a deal to save their skin.
Eric Maynor: Smooth dogfish shark
The smooth dogfish shark is one of the smaller species. It has to be more of an opportunistic hunter, like Maynor uses his time wisely when spelling Westbrook at the point. Smooth dogfish do most of their hunting among the less threatening types of prey, similar to Maynor deploying his refined game mostly against other teams’ second stringers.
Jeff Green: Atlantic sharpnose shark
The Atlantic sharpnose changes depths along with the seasons, much like Green adapts game-to-game by doing whatever is needed to win. Often accused of not producing when he doesn’t fill up the stat sheet, Green finds a way to fit in by contributing whatever he can from his multifaceted game to try and eke out a win. Sometimes is scoring 20 points, sometimes it’s grabbing eight boards and two steals, but not usually all of that on the same night.
Nenad Krstic: Basking shark
Despite its massive size, the basking shark feasts on small prey. It’s not unlike Krstic’s tendency to not be found amongst the other big men on the court, but shooting jumpers out in the open. The basking shark is also slow and lumbering, and Krstic is surely the least fleet of foot on the Thunder.
Morris Peterson: Greenland shark
We haven’t seen him in a Thunder uniform yet, but I think Peterson will be most like the greenland shark. It’s often inactive.