Friday Bolts – RIP Wayman Tisdale

A report from CBSSports.com says that OU legend Wayman Tisdale has passed away after a long battle with cancer. I can’t tell you how sick I feel to my stomach right now. An absolutely devastating day for all Oklahomans, school colors aside. Rest in Peace No. 23.

Yep, I cried pretty much the whole way through that. The rest of this feels pointless to me right now, but I’ll carry on…

A Q&A with Kevin Durant from Hoop Magazine. I especially like this part: “HOOP: Speaking of flying, we hear Michael Jordan nicknamed you “Flight 35″? Durant: Michael Jordan named me that? That’s the first time I’ve heard that nickname. That’s unbelievable. I didn’t know Michael Jordan even knew who I was.” It just shocks me how down to earth and humble KD is. Most guys probably think, “Of course Michael Jordan knows who I am!” but not KD. My list of reasons that I love him is turning into one of those super-long connected printouts like Doc Brown was running around with in Back to the Future. And growing.

A very interesting Sporcle: Name all the relocated teams. Some of them will kind of surprise you, especially the years it happened. I did better than I thought I would (19 for 26). Kind of amazing how many teams have relocated and how little those teams are hated. (sarcastic cough)

Berry Tramel on what might have been if Sam Presti hadn’t blown up the team: “Ray Allen and Big Baby Davis in Boston Celtic green against Orlando’s Rashard Lewis. All three were Seattle SuperSonics, the Thunder’s ancestors, until novice general manager Sam Presti blew up the roster two summers ago. What would the Thunder look like today had Presti not charted that course? Well, the Sonics/Thunder wouldn’t have checked in with win totals of 20 and 23 the past two seasons. More like 35 and 38, which would have made the inaugural OKC season easier to digest. But the future would not have been as exotic. The Thunder would have a low ceiling. Presti would have been settling.” He’s probably right. And with no Russell Westbrook and no Jeff Green, I’m not sure if I’d love this team quite the way I do. So there’s that too.

A lot of people made note of the Thunder’s low TV ratings this year, but here’s why – we were listening on the radio!: “In its first season as the Thunder’s flagship radio station, WWLS-FM 98.1 and AM 640, showed a 27-percent increase in listeners 12 and older over the previous winter Arbitron ratings book. Citadel operations manager Chris Baker said ratings were up 70 percent from 6:30 to 10:30 weeknights when most of the Thunder games were played.”

Dime is discussing Charles Barkley’s comments about Carmelo being the best “pure scorer” in the league: “Front-running or not, Charles Barkley’s assertion last night that Carmelo Anthony is the best “pure scorer” in the NBA undoubtedly started a few water-cooler arguments this morning. Although everybody has their own definition of the exact term, there’s really only a dozen or so guys who even deserve consideration: Pierce, LeBron, Dirk, Carmelo, Granger, Kobe, D-Wade, Durant, Joe Johnson, T-Mac, B-Roy, Kevin Martin, Tony Parker and Arenas. Assuming everyone’s healthy, of course.” I don’t really get what a “pure scorer” is or how that’s different from just a guy that scores points (does that mean that’s the only thing he does well? That he scores from everywhere? That he just scores points?) but I’ll say Durant. Just because I’m completely biased and I love him in every way.

I am going to attempt to use Twitter more often. I still don’t really “get it” but I think it could be really good for updating with links throughout the day and whatnot. I won’t be telling you when I’m brushing my teeth or anything, but it could be good to update when something is out.

On TrueHoop today, I joined in on a Kobe or LeBron discussion. Read it, mainly for the stuff from the people way smarter than me: “Kobe Bryant entered the NBA just as LeBron James finished fifth grade. In many ways they are exceptionally different. Yet 13 years later, their careers are inextricably intertwined in the minds of basketball fans. They are the two most recent recipients of the NBA’s MVP award, gold-medal winning Team USA teammates and leaders of teams favored to make next month’s NBA Finals.”

Sporting News Today has a Q&A with Steph Curry and he’s see himself like Steve Nash: “Is there another point guard you see in the NBA you’re like? I try to set my own style of play. I think I have  more to offer combo-wise. There’s talk of Steve Nash, maybe – I’m not as quick as he is, but I can shoot like he can, and hopefully I can work on my playmaking ability and making my teammates better like he does and go from there.”

I guess the Knicks just want everybody, don’t they?: “They’ve got options, especially with the possibility of signing (Carlos) Cabezas. It would make sense for the Knicks to go with a point guard here, given the presence of Wilson Chandler on the wing. (Al) Harrington may not return (given his inability to let go of the rim in a pair of losses to the lowly Clippers, I’d expect him in a different uniform), and they could let (Nate) Robinson walk if a preliminary offer is too steep. Brandon Jennings, Eric Maynor and Ty Lawson (if he declares) could all be part of the conversation, as could Louisville’s Earl Clark if the Knicks go for a versatile forward to replace Harrington.”

Chad Ford on Hasheem Thabeet: “Watching Thabeet run up sand dunes or listening to him talk about his journey from Africa to the NBA draft are nice. But at the end of the day, the question is: Can he play? … Thabeet’s workout is fast-paced. He begins with perimeter work — mostly midrange jumpers coming off screens, pick-and-roll jump shots and some set shots. Thabeet showed a soft touch on his shot and excellent follow-through. Although he palmed the ball a little too much, he shot with great accuracy from 15 feet in. I was stunned. Swish after swish was not what I was expecting. He’s not Brad Miller or Mehmet Okur, but when you look at his mechanics and confidence in shooting the ball, I don’t think there’s any question that Thabeet could become a pick-and-pop big man over time. He also looks as though he’s continuing to improve his balance and mobility. Although he’s only a few weeks into the process, Thabeet looks less mechanical running the floor and making moves than he did at UConn. He also showed good form in the post. His footwork still needs improvement, but he scored with both his left and right hand over former NBA big man Sean Rooks.”

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