Wednesday Thunderbolts

  • I just couldn’t let this go (caution: heavy cursing inside and turn your speakers down). An awesome, awesome (and by awesome, you know what I mean) YouTube rant about the new Thunder jerseys. Holy cow, it’s good. Better (or should I say worse?) rant – the eruption of Mount Gundy, Lee Elia’s head exploding or MadThad0890’s on the Thunder? And in case you were thinking about doing it, save your time: I counted – he said Thunder 46 times.
  • Speaking of Mike Gundy, Jenni Carlson of the Oklahoman on the team growing together: “The franchise and the face are going to grow up together. ‘For him to come here early in his career … ,’ Thunder point guard Earl Watson said, ’20 years from now, 30 years from now, you think of the Thunder being in Oklahoma City, you’re going to have to think of Kevin Durant.’ This is a youngster who has not only the ability but also the personality to be a superstar. Look at what happened a year ago. He played for a dreadful team but still won the NBA Rookie of the Year. He landed on the West Coast but still emerged a marketing darling.”
  • He put it up yesterday, but there was a lot going on with the unis. Be sure to check out Part 7: Power Forward, of Joe’s Thunder position-by-position breakdown. “[Head coach P.J. Carlesimo] essentially started some combination of [Kurt] Thomas, [Nick] Collison and [Chris] Wilcox at the PF and Center spot on most nights, interspersed with a few shots of Robert Swift before injuries and Johan Petro. In the end, Kurt Thomas was mercifully traded to a contender before the deadline, Wilcox got hurt and Nick Collison proved why he is one of the most underrated front court players in the game today. The big men for the Thunder this coming season will be the same crew less Kurt Thomas but with the addition of first round pick D.J. White and Joe Smith, both are also Power Forwards. As a whole, the Power Forward position was the second most effective and efficient position for us. Shooting guard was slightly better.”
  • ESPN the Magazine’s Chad Nielsen on Serge Ibaka’s impressive dunking: “I didn’t drive to Zaragoza at 170 km/hr to backseat-judge a dunk competition. I came for one reason. (Okay, two reasons. After a week fighting traffic and soccer club bureaucracies in Barcelona, I was stoked to rent a Citroen C5 and hit the road. But it took 45 minutes to rent the car and Zaragoza was about 60km further than I was led to believe. So I had to rush a bit.) No, I came to see the kind of hops that legends are made of—legends like Serge Ibaka.”
  • Joe Smith, Man on the Move via Ball Don’t Lie: “Joe Smith is an Oklahoma City Thunder, now; but if you’d forgotten that he’d been traded to the team over the summer, you’re forgiven. He kind of flies low on the radar. Hell, I had to look the trade up. It was a three-way deal. However, if you failed to assume that Smith had been traded during the offseason, you’re still on the hook. After all, the man’s been in the league since 1995, he’s played for nine teams, and two of the nine twice. So 11 teams, really, and all pretty much with the same haircut. Same jumper, too. Always there, always the same.”
  • John Klein of The Tulsa World: “Yet, just like the team, the questions on media day eventually got down to what will be most important in a couple of years. What type of team will this be? When can the Thunder realistically expect to be competitive in the NBA? For the first couple of years, that won’t matter. Folks are going to jam the place excitedly. In 2-3 years, they may want to see some wins.”