“This is my fight song/ Take back my life song/ Prove I’m alright song/ My power’s turned on/ Starting right now I’ll be strong/ I’ll play my fight song/ And I don’t really care if nobody else believes/ ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me”
Yes, this is, in fact, the chorus to “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. But to Oklahoma City Thunder fans and to Paul George, this might as well be the anthem for the upcoming season.
We’re familiar with the song and dance. Oklahoma City traded Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for Paul George. We started seeing mental images of Westbrook and George hoisting the Larry O’Brien above their heads in celebration. We also saw the underwhelming season that transpired in 2017-2018. One that ultimately was put to an end as the Utah Jazz defeated the Thunder in 6 games in the first round of the playoffs. Continue reading Paul George: My Fight Song→
On July 2nd it was announced that Nerlens Noel was signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder for 2 years at the veteran minimum. That’s right, the guy that refused to sign a 4 year/$70 million deal with the Mavericks signed for vet min with the Thunder. With Paul George, Jerami Grant, and Ray Felton all re-signing, signing Deonte Burton, drafting and signing Hamidou Diallo, and of course the trade that saw Carmelo Anthony shipped elsewhere in return for Dennis Schröder and Timothé Luwawu Cabarrot… people tend to forget about Nerlens. Well that’s because not many people know a lot about him.
Well as Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton said in the Hip Hop Musical “Hamilton”:
As not only a Thunder fan, but a MASSIVE Kentucky Wildcats fan (#BBN), I am here to shed as much light on the player, and personality that Nerlens Noel is.
On Thursday morning, two-time NBA champion David West announced his retirement from the NBA. West retires from the game as a two-time All Star, with per game averages of 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds. His ability to step out and hit the mid-range jumper, while also being a banger in the post became the archetype for big men in this pace and space era of today’s NBA.
West will likely be remembered for his time with the Indiana Pacers or the Golden State Warriors. But it’s where he started his career that has the most impact for Oklahomans. While Chris Paul was Oklahoma City’s first superstar, West was OKC’s first cult hero. Take the first eight seasons of Russell Westbrook (the ultimate sidekick) and merge those with the no-nonsense play of Nick Collison, and you had David West to a tee. Continue reading Thank you, David West→
Such a short statement in a long complex song. This quote, of course, is from the song “King’s Dead” by possibly the best rapper in the game currently, Kendrick Lamar.
There is something about the way that he begins the phrase.
It’s like he’s saying, “Take all the shots you want, but don’t come at me weak because you have no clue what you’re actually talking about.”
At least, that’s how I take it.
Now I’m not one to curse. Personally, I don’t see the point. But that’s neither here, nor there. So while I agree with what Mr. Lamar is saying, you won’t ever hear me say that statement. Instead, I have actually taken the concept and simplified it so that you know exactly what I’m talking about.Continue reading Miss Me With That Westbrook Slander→
If the Oklahoma City Thunder’s summer could be encapsulated into one word, that word would be “love”. Not that smooshy, Barney-inspired “I love you, you love me” love. No. What the Thunder have shown this offseason is love that is running hand in hand with their maturing nature. This isn’t a bunch of 20-somethings planning how they are going to get laid on a Saturday night. It’s not Thunder U, anymore. The Thunder’s core is past the point where words like love, marriage, and monogamy are just reserved for the 12-year vet at the end of the bench. They are, in a word, getting older.
As fans, we sometimes view athletes as overgrown teenagers with huge allowances. Man-children looking for the next great thrill after the game. A player gets into a bar fight: Oh, that’s just boys being boys. A players ends up with 8 children from 6 different women. Welp, that’s athletes for you. We celebrate the man’s man, living the single, athlete life vicariously through our favorite ball players. Continue reading The Thunder’s Summer of Love→
The Oklahoma City Thunder head into the March 1st buy-out deadline with an empty roster spot and several needs. Before we head any further into this article, there are a few things you might need to know about the buy-out market. First off, no team is acquiring a superstar via the buy-out market. In fact, it’s always questionable whether the player being obtained will even be that much of a difference maker. Buy-out signings are usually veterans the acquiring team hopes will make a small incremental difference in the positive direction for and during a playoff run.
For the Thunder, their recent buy-out signings over the past few seasons have been Norris Cole, Nazr Mohammed, Caron Butler, and Derek Fisher. These were veterans that weren’t necessarily useless, but also weren’t game changers moving forward. Fisher filled a role as a back-up point guard during the Finals run of 2012. Butler was important in the first round series against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2014, but his importance decreased with each successive series. Mohammed was more of a locker room/veteran presence during Durant’s final season in Oklahoma City. And last season, Cole was brought in be a better option at back-up point guard than Semaj Christon, but neither totally worked out. Continue reading Sales Rack Shopping: The Thunder and the buy-out market→
With the All-Star weekend in Los Angeles ending, I think it’s quite apropos to look at the Western Conference standings as we head into the unofficial second half of the season and see a giant traffic jam. Eight teams are within 4.5 games of each other, with the bottom two teams in that mix likely ending up as lottery teams instead of playoff teams.
This has always been the major difference between the Western Conference and Eastern Conference over the past decade. The East is top heavy (usually just one or two teams – many of those teams usually involving some guy named LeBron James), while the West has a lot more depth, team-wise. It hasn’t been rare over the past decade for the eighth seed in the East to be at or below .500, while the West eighth seed has to win at least 45 games to get in. While that disparity seems to be improving, there is still a visible gap between the two conferences. Continue reading Scoreboard Watching: The Traffic Jam→
Am I a homer? Heck yeah. I’m a fan of the team I write about. It’s not a difficult concept. I like to write about things I’m familiar with. I know basketball, but more specifically, I know Thunder basketball. So I write about it.
Predictions are always a difficult thing when it comes to sports. They are usually made with the caveat that a ton of variables remain static. Things such as injuries, front office moves, suspensions, chemistry can’t be taken into account.
When you look at these 20 predictions, know two things: 1) They are likely going to favor the Oklahoma City Thunder in some form or fashion. And 2) Because I know a little about basketball, I’ll never make a prediction so outlandish that it won’t have a chance of coming true. Without further ado, here are the predictions:
20. Josh Huestis will play over 750 minutes this season for the Thunder.
In his first two seasons, Huestis played a grand total of 86 minutes for the Thunder. But the third year forward looks determined to get some minutes this year, and his play in the preseason may warrant some looks. While 750 minutes may seem like a lot, that’s just 9.2 minutes per game over 82 games. I think Huestis will be a full-time NBA player this year and will get enough playing time to reach that minutes mark. Continue reading 20 Thunder-centric predictions for the season→
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s preseason came to a close on Tuesday with a road win over the Denver Nuggets. The Thunder finished the preseason 3-1, losing only to the Houston Rockets in their first preseason game. Also of note in that game was the fact Russell Westbrook did not play.
In the games where all the starters played, the Thunder went undefeated, ushering the era of the Thunder’s Big 3. When it comes to the preseason though, each team has a different objective for what they want to garner out of these practice games. For the Thunder, it was clear they wanted to build chemistry between Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. And they wanted to see what they had in a couple of their young guys.
There’s not a lot that can be extrapolated from four games. The Thunder likely won’t win 75% of their games this season. And the Big 3 likely won’t average just 21 minutes a game. With that said, there were some takeaways I noticed from this past week. Some are positive. Others are worrisome. Here are five takeaways from this preseason. Continue reading Five Takeaways From the Preseason→
There’s an understandable euphoria for the Oklahoma City Thunder heading into this season. The front office has accumulated a wealth of talent at the top of the rotation. For the first time in its history, the Thunder have put together a Big 3 where all the players involved are in their prime. But like every other team in the league, the Thunder will still have their weaknesses. Here’s a look at 3 possible Achilles heel’s for the Thunder’s Big 3.
There are a ton of positives to having a Big 3. In the case of the Thunder, Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony each have similar characteristics that will help the Thunder improve upon their many weaknesses from last season, especially on the offensive end of the floor. All three have been go-to scorers throughout their careers and all three have been asked to be the leaders of their teams.
But now they are together. And that can have unintended consequences in terms of chemistry and fit. As we’ve seen with the Miami Big 3, there are growing pains in putting together such a talented collective. Even Golden State had its hiccups throughout the season last year. It would be foolish to think this trio would be any different. Continue reading Three Possible Issues for the Thunder’s Big 3→