Hello, Monday. Don’t be mean. Let’s Thunder Up with some DTR.
ESPN’s Royce Young looks at the Thunder selection of Terrance Ferguson: “If he had gone to college, maybe Ferguson would have caught more attention and shot up draft boards. He certainly wasn’t that impressive in the NBL, averaging just 4.6 points on 38 percent shooting while playing only 15.2 minutes per game. But Ferguson’s size, length, athleticism and speed made him an attractive prospect, especially to Oklahoma City. The Thunder prioritize certain qualities in players, such as size at their position, and Ferguson checked a lot of boxes.”
Fred Katz looks at what could be an amazing night for the Thunder on Monday: “Monday night will be Russell Westbrook’s on the surface. One of the league’s brightest stars will likely be named the NBA’s 62nd Most Valuable Player at the first ever NBA Awards Show, held Monday evening in New York. And though MVP is any sport’s most prestigious individual award, the accomplishment won’t be all about Westbrook. And he almost surely won’t think of it that way, either. It will be the Oklahoma City Thunder’s, too.”
Jenni Carlson on what we should expect from Westbrook’s speech if he wins the MVP: “Count me in the group that can’t wait to hear it. I know that might be unexpected from someone in the media. We are privy, after all, to a constant stream of clipped answers and curt responses from Westbrook. He is way more likely to avoid eye contact with us than he is to give us a good answer to a question. But that’s Westbrook in basketball mode. Cyborg Russ. Once the season starts, Westbrook sees anyone who isn’t part of his team as an adversary. Doesn’t matter if they wear a jersey or wield a tape recorder. Russ wants no part of them.”
Erik Horne looks at the man behind the ‘Why Not?’ motto: “Imagine being Russell Westbrook growing up in inner city Los Angeles and surrounded by doubters. This wasn’t Westbrook the Most Valuable Player to-be, or the statuesque 6-foot-3 superstar in Thunder colors. Think of the undersized, under-recruited kid with less than a handful of Division-I offers. Think of the parents who worked to keep their sons away from gang violence, to negate hate with hope.”
Brett Dawson looks at the factors that contributed to Westbrook’s probable MVP season: “At Monday’s NBA Awards show, Westbrook likely will be named the league’s MVP, and the way Billy Donovan sees it, the historic 2016-17 season that got him there owes a lot to 2014-15, when a Thunder team decimated by injury relied so heavily on Westbrook, then fell just short of the postseason.”
Erik Horne looks at Ferguson’s maturity: “Ferguson wanted as many people as possible to be able to experience his special moment. “I know in New York, I probably would have invited my mom, my sister, not everybody because you don’t get that many tickets,” Ferguson told The Oklahoman on Saturday. “But to have it in Dallas I could invite 25, 30 people, close family. “It’s all for us.”
Oklahoma City Thunder majority owner Clay Bennett is looking at the issues of jail overcrowding and jail conditions: “In 2015, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce convened the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Task Force, in response to overcrowding and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into conditions at the jail. Led by Clay Bennett, chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the task force is comprised of business community members, law enforcement leaders and officials from the city, county and state. To examine the issues of jail overcrowding and the criminal justice system, the chamber spent $250,000 on a contract with the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit research group noted for working with American cities on criminal justice policy.”