Zach Lowe of SI looks at the best and worst courts in the league: “Worst: Oklahoma City: The only court in the league that has a blank interior paint, the edges of the paint in one color (yellow) and the half of the circle above the foul line in a different color (Thunder blue). Doesn’t work, perhaps because the shade of blue Oklahoma City uses isn’t deep enough to go well with a bright yellow. The center-court logo is a weird triangular thing that doesn’t scream anything in particular to me. The baseline is nice, though. Build on that.”
Let me throw in my thought on it: Totally agree with Zach. I’ve never liked the Thunder’s court. I hate the use of yellow. OKC has like 14 different team colors so it’s odd to me that they picked yellow as the secondary color to go with the blue. I feel like the Thunder’s court is just so bland. There’s nothing classic about it, nothing interesting. It’s probably my least favorite thing about the franchise.
SI counts down games of the year: “The highest-scoring game of the 2009-2010 season ended in dramatic and controversial fashion. First, Deron Williams’ jumper with 1.1 seconds left in overtime gave host Utah a one-point lead; then, the Jazz’s C.J. Miles blocked Kevin Durant’s three-pointer on a play on which the Thunder pleaded for a foul call, to no avail. (The next day, the NBA said Miles should’ve been called for a foul, which would’ve sent Durant, a 90 percent free-throw shooter, to the line for three shots.) Williams finished with 42 points, 10 assists and one turnover, teammate Carlos Boozer collected 28 points and 15 rebounds and Durant had 45 points in a game Boozer described as an ‘instant classic.'”
CBS Sports is counting down the stories of the year and I wrote about No. 3, “The Decision.”
Ian Thompson of SI with the top NBA stories: “Breakout of Kevin Durant. At 21, he became the youngest scoring champion (30.1 points per game) in league history while driving the young and heretofore hopeless Thunder to 50 wins — more than Durant had totaled over his previous two seasons in Oklahoma City and his team’s previous home of Seattle. Then he led a young USA team to its first FIBA World Championship gold medal in 16 years while breaking the American tournament scoring record in the absence of 2008 Olympians Bryant, James and Wade. When Durant quietly signed an extension to remain with Oklahoma City (his only credible option with the 2011 lockout looming), he was cast as the anti-LeBron as well as the main challenger to James’ two-year lock as league MVP.”
Also, I wrote the lead for ESPN’s Daily Dime today. Kind of a weird day.
Video of Serge Ibaka’s perfect outlet block to James Harden:
Rob Mahoney, writing for the New York Times: “There’s no guarantee that Oklahoma City will be primed for the postseason, but the Thunder are still better situated at this point in the season than they were last year, and the projections for Durant are just as optimistic. Oklahoma City hasn’t seized the Western Conference by the throat, but its slow climb to high ground could nonetheless put a talented, improved Thunder team in a dangerous position at season’s end.”
Darnell Mayberry with a good note: “Tonight’s game was the 14 sellout in 17 games. I’ve been telling co-workers this over the past few days. I don’t think we (we being this market) fully appreciate how impressive the fans are here. The house is packed every night. There are not a lot of NBA teams that are filling up the building on a nightly basis like this.”
Jason Terry with a nice compliment: “Dallas is No. 1, and OKC is a close second as far as the best fans in the NBA. It’s unbelievable. They’re here early. They stay late. They’re cheering. They’re just unbelievable. And it’s great to know that in a small market like this you have die-hard fans. They’re some of the best.”
KD writing about Christmas: “I remember one year I was in fifth or sixth grade, and my mom told us she couldn’t afford to have Christmas for us. My brother was crying all morning. We liked getting up in the mornings and opening up gifts and when she told us that, throughout the whole day I realized that we couldn’t have a Christmas. So my grandma picked us up and took us to the movies to kind of cheer us up a little bit. And while we were at the movies my mom was getting everything together and wrapping gifts over my aunt’s house because we lived in an apartment. When she walked in the door I thought we were just going to have dinner, but I saw all these gifts under the tree for me and my brother and my mom kind of surprised us and caught us off guard and I was instantly happy.”
Not a DT Shirt, but Tree and Leaf has a new Oklahoma shirt that’s outstanding. For those asking, re-stocking will come soon. Christmas was kind of, uh, busy.