Matt Moore (CBS Sports) looks at how the new superteams are playing this preseason: “The biggest question for OKC has been whether Anthony will adapt and do the little things, if he’ll move the ball, or if he’ll just be the same player he was in New York. If you want to know what a great version of Anthony looks like, watch him defend in the transition post vs. Anthony Davis, snag the board, run the break and make quick decisions, leading to a secondary assist”
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” A simple exchange in what was basically a blowout in February, set the stage for what we’ve seen this offseason from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder could not do anything when Kevin Durant left them on July 4th, 2016. By the time he made his decision, most of the top notch free agents were already off the board. Instead, the Thunder strategized from that point forward and hoped opportunities would arise from a turbulent NBA landscape. And arise they did.
The summer of 2016 basically set the stage for what happened in Oklahoma City this offseason. When every team was infused with an extra 20 million, moves were made that were almost immediately regretted once the ink dried on those contracts. Finding an extra $20 million in your team’s salary cap is like finding $1000 in between your couch cushions. Some people will make wise decisions with that extra money. But others will treat it like house money and YOLO the hell out of it. Many teams made bad decisions that summer that eventually led to their salary caps being tied up for the next 2-4 seasons. Continue reading “I’m coming!” – The two words that galvanized a franchise.→
Several Thunder players were in attendance as the organization put together a visit to the zoo: “The caped players made their next stop at Aquaticus, which showcases more than 1,500 marine life creatures from around the world. Piper emerged from the waters to wave hello at her tall guests setting the tone for a mutual admiration society. During the rendezvous, hearts melted and cheers erupted when each player took turns hugging the affable sea lion. Piper and the players officially cemented their friendship with each wet embrace.”
Several other Thunder players went to the fair to get their cheat meal on: “After all, it was the right day of the week for his socks, a true “Taco Tuesday”. But as his teammate Andre Roberson made a bee-line for the deep fried oreos upon arrival at the State Fair, Patterson eye was drawn to a different delicacy – the donut burger. It’s not the healthiest option at the Fair, though there’s not much competition in that department. After an intense voluntary workout at the practice facility, however, Patterson and his teammates Roberson, Jerami Grant and Doug McDermott all deserved a fun cheat meal and afternoon of games out on the west side of town.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 21 September 2017→
Kevin Durant initially had reservations after signing with the Warriors (a little on the NSFW side language-wise): “Take this story about the days after Durant decided to sign with the Warriors, a time when he was feeling the full brunt of the Internet’s fury about his perceived betrayal of Oklahoma. He and Kleiman were in China for a weeklong tour of the country sponsored by Nike Basketball, and the flak he was taking from people in Oklahoma City who had once professed deep affection for him was overwhelming. “To have so many people just say, ‘F$%# you,’ that really does it to you,” Durant tells me, still clearly anguished. “Because I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for…. And for those people that I know and love and trust to turn their back on me after I was fully invested in them, it was just…more than I could take. I was upset.”
Steven Adams and Kyle Singler hosted a fitness clinic at a local Oklahoma City middle school: “Delivering the message of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, the Thunder front court tandem tipped off the season’s first Thunder Fit Clinic, presented by Homeland. Feeding off the day’s excitement, Adams barked instructions intoning the cadence of a drill sergeant with a touch of playfulness as his motivated young cohort try to conquer the agility ladder at the cardio station.”
Fred Katz (Norman Transcript) writes about the importance of involuntary workouts for Thunder players: “These NBA involuntary workouts aren’t the same. Coaches are there. Players are around. People may call them “involuntary,” but they are without a doubt necessary. And the Thunder’s are mostly indistinguishable from the workouts you’d see if you walked into training camp. “We do a great job of keeping things consistent and predictable in that way,” Thunder forward Kyle Singler said. “It’s as demanding as a practice would be, which is great. I love that about the team. It’s a business mentally. We go in there for work, and we get our work done.”