What a day yesterday. The relief efforts are on in Oklahoma right now and one thing’s for sure: We’ve been through this kind of thing more than once and bouncing back strong is kind of our thing. We’ll be alright. I just want to say thanks to the amazing weathermen and women in our state though. The death tolls are painful to hear but know without them, they’d be far greater. True lifesavers. A couple things if you want to help: First, donate to the Red Cross. I was going to set up a Daily Thunder contribution thing, but why have a middleman. Just give straight to the people that help most. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 right there on the spot. Or take bottled water, canned goods, diapers, wipes and all sorts of stuff to a drop-off area. It’s a horrible thing, but we Oklahomans shine through this type of stuff. Not a more resilient people in the world than us.
KD tweets: “Praying for the victims of the Tornadoes in OKC these last few days..Everybody stay safe!”
Serge Ibaka: “Again, pray for OKC… Everybody stay safe!”
Nick Collison: “spent much of yesterday watching the news out of Moore. My heart hurts for the people who lost loved ones. Thank you to all who are helping”
James Harden: “Praying for everyone in Oklahoma City. This is crazy!”
Chesapeake Energy reportedly gave a $1 million cash donation last night to the relief efforts.
A few basketball related links:
Andrew Sharp of Grantland: “Does Serge Ibaka become a star if he’s a top-five pick asked to contribute immediately on a bad team? Or to take the most obvious example: Paul George, who suddenly looks like a future NBA superstar. Simmons mentioned last week that the Clippers could’ve kept their pick in ’09 and taken George over Al-Farouq Aminu in 2010, giving them a murderous core for the next decade. But let’s say they still traded the ’09 pick and just drafted Paul George over Aminu. There’s no way George develops fast enough to convince the Clippers to keep him out of the Chris Paul discussion a year later. And in that case, he probably gets traded to New Orleans (just like Aminu), which leaves us wondering … does Paul George become a budding superstar if he’s stuck on a 30-win Hornets team the past two years?”
Darnell Mayberry: “In a draft that appears to be void of a single franchise player and short on can’t-miss stars, the Thunder must either hope the Raptors jump into the top three and try again next year or be prepared to make the best of an imperfect situation. But only with the benefit of hindsight can you question what the Thunder received. When Oklahoma City made the deal, Toronto was coming off a 23-win season. By all accounts, the Raptors were headed for another year near the bottom of the standings. That’s when things started to go awry.”
Chad Ford of ESPN.com on combine winners: “Indiana’s Cody Zeller stopped his slide in the rankings on Friday with a terrific performance in the athletic testing. While NBA teams take the athletic testing with a grain of salt, Zeller’s numbers were hard to ignore. Not only were his numbers terrific for a big man, they were great for a guard. Zeller’s stock dropped, in part, because there were several games in which he really struggled against long, athletic front lines. Seeing how well he performed in Chicago has given pause to NBA scouts and GMs who were ready to write him off.”
Berry Tramel: “OK, now let’s go to an equally important metric — television market. Miami is America’s 16th-biggest TV market. Indy is No. 26. San Antonio is 36th. Memphis is 49th. Among NBA TV markets, the Heat ranks 17th, the Pacers 24th, the Spurs 27th and the Grizzlies 29th. Again, that’s remarkable. None of the final four ranks in the top half of the league in TV market; three of the four rank 24th or worse. And again, the Thunder, which made the NBA Finals a year ago and might have made it again if not for Russell Westbrook’s injury, ranks 41st in American TV markets and 28th in the NBA.”