Cub Buenning of SLAM on Serge Ibaka, who is their 43rd best player: “But it was Ibaka who has been the most important “other” alongside KD and Russ. It was Ibaka who made their up-tempo offensive attack flow when he was able to knock down the open 16-footer. It was Ibaka who gave the Thunder even a shred of defensive backbone and an active presence on the offensive glass. It was Ibaka who gave this team of slashing, athletic dynamos that “other” dimension. It wasn’t Harden. Harden was the backcourt compliment on the wing to Durant and on-the-ball to Westbrook. The 6-10, 235-pounder was the tough rebound in traffic. Ibaka was the intimidation. He was the grit on a team that preferred to do far more running and gunning than setting up in the half-court and grinding out possessions.”
Interesting note from Darnell Mayberry: “I learned something interesting today. The NBA doesn’t allow roman numerals on jerseys. Never has, apparently. Might not be news to some of you — especially if you followed the Robert Griffin III situation with his NFL jersey. But I never had a reason to pay attention. Even though PJIII has a strong preference to be called Perry Jones III, his jersey will just say Jones. But as PJIII said today, at least he was able to get the number three, which kind of helps the situation.”
It looks like Russell Westbrook might be headed to Jordan Brand, and not Adidas.
Jenni Carlson: “To answer your first question, my feeling is that he won’t re-sign with the Thunder. I just think the money is too far apart for them to do a deal. On your second question, I’m not sure why he decided to sound such a positive note during Thunder media day earlier this week. It wasn’t something he NEEDED to do. Maybe that means he’s more hopeful than most of us. But here’s the truth: even if he ultimately goes somewhere else, angering Thunder fans won’t matter a bit. He will be gone. He will have a big contract. The hurt feelings of Thunder fans will be the least of his worries.
Alternate jersey buzz: This mock-up popped up on a message board recently, taking some of the previous found things and putting them together as a uniform. Then this image showed up of KD in NBA 2K13 in what appears to be that same mock-up. However, people can make their own 2K uniform patches so they might’ve used the first thing as a template. Plus, I feel like the new uniforms will say “OKC” on them and not “Thunder.”
Hasheem Thabeet tweets: “DOPENESS.”
Russell Westbrook on the tear-away Foot Locker commercial: “It was fun,” Westbrook said. “It took eight hours to do, but it was fun. The hardest stuff was (James) pulling the clothes off. Every time he’d pull it off, it’d take like 30 minutes to put back on. So if James messed up a line, he’d have to put (the clothes) back on.”
ESPN.com with a big five-part series on the D-League. Chad Ford: “After exploring a number of different options, the Warriors decided that the only real way to turn a D-League team into a true farm team was to completely own the team and eventually move it close to home. At the time, only four teams, the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets, owned their D-League teams. All are showing various forms of success with it. The Warriors intend to take their sole ownership even further.”