#ThunderRank – A look at the top 17 players for the Thunder and how their seasons might shake out Player Summary When the Oklahoma City Thunder first signed Anthony Morrow two seasons ago, many Keep reading »
Sam Presti talked. Keep reading »
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After the jump, more player interviews: Keep Reading…
It’s Oklahoma City Thunder media day. The official start of the 2016-17 season. A season of new beginnings. No more Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. No more Dion (we’ll miss you, Dion). But we still got Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison. We still have the ‘Stache Bros. We have a new guy named Victor. We have the offspring of a basketball legend (Domantas Sabonis). And we have a dancing back-up point guard that is coming off of foot surgery. All this will make for an interesting season, but when its all over, we’ll look back to this day. Not July 4th. Not August 4th. But, today.
As for today, there are several ways in which you can kind of follow the happenings of today.
Daily Thunder’s Facebook page – We’ll have several Lives showing some player interviews.
Follow Daily Thunder’s Instagram page at dt_thunderup – We’ll have videos and pictures there.
And of course, you can always catch the latest on the happenings of the Oklahoma City Thunder here at Daily Thunder. Make sure you stay tuned for a recap of the day.
Kelly Dwyer of BDL: “The Oklahoma City Thunder lost out on the same Kevin Durant Sweepstakes that they seemed to be comfortably in front of heading into the offseason, and because 7-foot former MVPs that can drop 30 in their sleep aren’t usually awaiting your attention on the waiver wire, the Thunder found it rather difficult to replace Durant’s production in the summer that followed KD’s decision. Into the vacuum, yet again, steps Westbrook. He’s been here before, adroitly subbing for Durant’s MVP-styled play during an injury-soaked 2014-15 turn that saw Russell run up his own list of knockout triple-double numbers – a habit that stuck with him deep into 2015-16, even with Durant around. Worse for Thunder fans but more enticing for those bent on selecting Westbrook No. 1 overall in their fantasy league draft was the initial start to OKC’s offseason.”
Erik Horne: “But the Thunder rescinded its qualifying offer to Waiters, making Alex Abrines’ arrival from Spain possible. In August, the team traded two second-round picks in 2017 for Denver big man Joffrey Lauvergne who, along with Abrines, was a second-rounder in 2013. What does five players from one draft say about the Thunder? General manager Sam Presti initially claimed he didn’t know, but followed with what amounted to a rundown of the Thunder’s roster construction since arriving in Oklahoma City.” Keep Reading…
#ThunderRank – A look at the top 17 players for the Thunder and how their seasons might shake out
When the Oklahoma City Thunder first signed Anthony Morrow two seasons ago, many thought he was the missing piece they needed to help space the floor for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Someone that would causes defenses to play “pick your poison” between giving up two points or three points. Unfortunately, we sometimes tend to forget there are two sides to a basketball court, and Morrow, was not very good at the defensive side of things.
For someone who is a career 42.5% 3-point shooter, there had to be a reason why he had been on 5 teams in his first 7 seasons before joining the Thunder. In this shooting-starved league, someone with Morrow’s prowess would definitely be coveted. In addition, he’s also one of the best chemistry/locker room guys in the league. But then he joins your team and you slowly figure out why he’s been so expendable. He’s a one-trick pony, and a surprisingly nonathletic one at that. And in an NBA that values versatility, having someone that is only great at one thing, but poor in many other things can be a detriment to the team. Keep Reading…
Chris Ballard of SI.com with a great profile of Robert Swift: “Every heroin addict’s story is different, but in at least one regard they’re all the same. No one sets out to be a junkie. Swift is sure he can control it, snorting the drug only once a week at first so he won’t get hooked, and then just as a way to counterbalance the rush and jitters from the meth and cocaine he’s begun taking. And he never shoots up. Too dangerous. His chosen trio of drugs acts in synergy to produce both a glorious, sustained high—and a greatly increased risk of fatal overdose. The heroin acts as a sedative, as do the beers Swift is still pounding, bringing his breathing rate perilously low during his stupors.”
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com: “Then an interesting thing happened: Coaches stopped explicitly resting players. Perhaps fearing league-office sanctions, the DNP-Rest practice plummeted to 19 in 2012-13, dropping to a quarter of what it was in 2011-12, the lockout-shortened season that featured numerous back-to-back-to-backs. Ever since that 2012-13 season, though, the practice of sitting healthy players has become commonplace, rising 668 percent over the next three seasons. The champion Cleveland Cavaliers were among six teams in the NBA whose healthy scratches rose into the double-digits during the 2015-16 seasons. In 2014-15, there had been only two such teams: the Spurs and the Hawks, led by Pop disciple Mike Budenholzer.” Keep Reading…
Sam Presti spoke with the local media for roughly 35 minutes on Wednesday, his annual preseason availability to set the stage for media day (Friday) and training camp (Saturday).
Not too much interesting material to take from it, but if you’re looking for news, the two main items were a) Cameron Payne is cleared for 5-on-5 play and b) Mitch McGary’s future looks very uncertain in Oklahoma City.
Said Presti of McGary, “I’m disappointed in the fact that he’s in that situation. We’re not privy to the NBA’s program, so I don’t have a whole lot of information. All I can say to you is that I’m disappointed. Then from there, I don’t think I have to expand past that.” Presti did say McGary would be with the team for training camp, though.
Other than that, here are the highlights: Keep Reading…
Kevin Love on The Players Tribune: “Russ and I ended up being roommates on the road. I think we had an immediate bond because we had common goals coming out of high school. We’d lie around our hotel room talking about making it to the NBA. Sometimes Russ could be a stubborn roommate. We butted heads because we were competitive about everything. We competed at video games. We played hundreds of hands of a card game called “13.” (I still maintain that I’m up by one point.) We showed up to the gym early (he was somehow always there before me) to lift, study film and get in some extra shooting. We were even competitive over the temperature of the room. You know the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Vivica’s character is sick in bed and Larry keeps adjusting the thermostat? That was me and Russ.”
Erik Horne: “Before arriving at Gonzaga University in 2014, Sabonis was already equipped with two distinct advantages over your typical college freshman entering Division I basketball. First, being the son of Basketball Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, a 7-foot-3 Lithuanian legend who played seven seasons in the NBA for Portland, doesn’t hurt. But another critical factor in Domantas’ development was Spanish club Unicaja Malaga. When the elder Sabonis retired from the NBA, he moved his family to Malaga, Spain, where Domantas grew up around beaches, warm weather and basketball. It was there where Domantas was exposed to the professional hoops culture, a career path he was on before college hoops crossed his mind.” Keep Reading…