Archive for the ‘ OKC Thunder Blog ’ Category

The Oklahoma City Thunder have announced its 2017-18 regular-season schedule. The team will start its 10th season on Thursday, Oct. 19, at home versus New York, followed by a road contest at Utah on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Regionally, 70 of the Thunder’s 82 regular-season games will be broadcast on FOX Sports Oklahoma, which reaches viewers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. All games can be heard via the Thunder Radio Network, led by flagship station WWLS-The Sports Animal (98.1 FM) in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City is scheduled to appear on national television at least 36 times during the 2017-18 season. ABC will feature the Thunder on six occasions, TNT 12 times and ESPN nine times. NBA TV will also feature the Thunder on at least nine occasions during the regular season.

The Thunder will play 19 home weekend dates comprised of 10 Fridays, one Saturday and eight Sundays. Six of the eight Sunday contests will be played at 6 p.m., while the Thunder contest versus the 76ers on Jan. 28 will start at 5 p.m. and its Feb. 4 matchup with the L.A. Lakers commencing at 1 p.m.

As previously announced, Oklahoma City will play on Christmas Day for the eighth straight season and third consecutive at home when it welcomes Houston to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday, Dec. 25. For the 10th time, the Thunder will be at home on the final night of the year when Dallas visits Oklahoma City on Sunday, Dec. 31. The Thunder will host the Kings in a 2 p.m. matinee on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 15.

The Thunder month-by-month breakdown includes seven games in October (three home, four road), 13 games in November (six home, seven road), 17 games in December (11 home, six away), 14 games in January (six home, eight road), 12 games in February (five home, seven road), 14 games in March (eight home, six road) and five games in April (two home, three road).

Oklahoma City’s schedule includes six three-game road trips, with three lasting five days away from home. The club will also compete in seven one-game and eight two-game trips, including its first-ever contest in Mexico City versus Brooklyn on Thursday, Dec. 7. The game counts as a home game for the Nets.

The Thunder will compete in 14 back-to-back sets during the 2017-18 season, consisting of four road/road, five home/road and five road/home back-to-backs.

Patrick Patterson undergoes knee surgery

Patrick Patterson undergoes knee surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure today on his left knee, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

The proactive procedure was performed by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California. Patterson will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks.

This past season, Patterson appeared in 65 games with Toronto averaging 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.6 minutes per game.

Thunder sign Daniel Hamilton to two-way contract

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed guard Daniel Hamilton to a two-way contract.

Hamilton spent the 2016-17 season with the Oklahoma City Blue, appearing in 49 games (47 starts) and averaging 14.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 31.2 minutes per game. His rebounds led all qualifying rookie guards in the G League.

The California native led the Blue with 15 double-doubles and added the team’s only triple-double of the season, the fifth in team history.

“Daniel has shown significant strides in his development since entering our program,” said Presti. “We are thrilled that he will receive the first two-way contract in Thunder history as we expect him to spend time with both teams this season as he continues to evolve as a player.”

Hamilton competed with the Thunder in the 2017 Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League, where he started four games and averaged 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and an Orlando Summer League-high 6.8 assists in 31.0 minutes per game.

Hamilton was drafted No. 56 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft after spending two seasons at the University of Connecticut. In his time at UConn, he was named American Athletic Conference (AAC) Rookie of the Year, an AAC All-Conference Second Teamer and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 AAC Championship.

Starting in the 2017-18 season, each team is allowed two players on two-way contracts, in addition to the standard 15 players on the roster. Players on two-way contracts spend most of the season in the NBA G League, but can be called up to their NBA team for a maximum of 45 days.

Andre Roberson working on body and mind

Here’s the Norman Transcript with the latest on a key member of the OKC Thunder:

Andre Roberson working on body and mind

Now, Roberson has turned his mind and his body into his top two offseason priorities.

He can maintain more consistent shooting form if he is less tired at the end of games. And maybe more importantly, the rest of his game can remain unaffected when he’s missing free throws once the mind gets right.

“This don’t have nothing to do with nobody else but myself,” he said. “I’m the only one out there shooting those free throws. I got to go out there, put myself in fatigue situations or do a couple sets of pushups before a go [practice] a free throw…And then try to knock it down.”

Still, it’s not like 42 percent free-throw shooting during last year’s regular season was an anomaly. Roberson made only 24 percent of his 3-pointers last year, the third-worst percentage of anyone who’s taken as many attempts in a single season.

Thunder sign rookie Terrance Ferguson

thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed rookie guard Terrance Ferguson.

Ferguson (6-7, 184), was drafted by Oklahoma City with the 21st overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, after spending last season with the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League. He averaged 4.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game and scored in double figures four times, including a season-high 13 points twice.

According to the Oklahoman, “as the 21st pick in the draft, Ferguson is guaranteed a rookie-scale salary for his first two seasons, with team options on his third and fourth years. He can make as much as 120 percent of the rookie-scale salary or as little as 80 percent. ”

The Tulsa, Okla. native, has been a member of gold-medal winning teams in three different FIBA events, going 19-0 in major competitions during his career. Ferguson averaged 7.1 points on 40.0 percent (48-of-120) shooting from the field and 33.3 percent (24-of-72) shooting from beyond the arc, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.4 minutes per game.

As a high schooler, he spent three seasons at Prime Prep Academy and played his senior season at Advanced Prep International, both based in Dallas, Texas. He played for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit, scoring 21 points in 15 minutes. At the 2016 McDonald’s All-American Game, he recorded 10 points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.

Thunder sign Dakari Johnson

The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed center Dakari Johnson, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

During the 2016-17 G League season, Johnson played in 49 games (all starts), leading the Oklahoma City Blue to its first Southwest Division title, as he averaged a team-leading 18.5 points per game (13th in the league) and 7.9 rebounds in 29.0 minutes. He set career highs in points, assists (2.3), blocks (1.27) and field goal percentage (.557) in the regular season.

“Dakari is the latest Thunder player to have benefitted from his commitment to his development plan with the Blue,” said Presti. “As a result, he showed tremendous growth on both ends of the floor over the past two seasons and is ready to embark on his NBA career more prepared. Dakari adds to the core of young talent on our roster that we feel is an important tenet to our ability to sustain our success as we enter into a decade of Thunder basketball.”

The center was named Performer of the Week twice and was named the Player of the Month for November this past season. Johnson became the first player in franchise history to be named to the All-NBA G League First Team and was selected to the G League All Star Game.

Johnson’s assists ranked first among all centers in the G League last season and he contributed a career-high 13 double-doubles while scoring in double figures 45 times.

Originally selected No. 48 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, the University of Kentucky standout spent two full seasons with the Blue, appearing in 99 games (96 starts), and tallying 15.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.21 blocks in 28.3 minutes.

Big changes to Thunder starting lineup

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on the Thunder, who need to rely quite so much on Russell Westbrook now with Paul George on board. As for the bench, Raymond Felton is joining the squad:

The Thunder starting lineup has undergone a massive change. Out: Victor Oladipo, Taj Gibson. In: Paul George and likely Patrick Patterson.

The Thunder bench, not so much. Let’s see. Down the stretch of last season and in the playoffs, OKC’s bench was Semaj Christon (or Norris Cole) at point guard, Enes Kanter at center, Doug McDermott and Alex Abrines on the wings, and either Jerami Grant or Domantas Sabonis at power forward. Sabonis is out, but Grant is still here. So the only difference is at point guard.

Can Raymond Felton make that much difference?

Well, it’s a definite upgrade, at least offensively.

Pacers trade Paul George to Thunder

Pacers trade Paul George to Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder has acquired forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo and forward Domantas Sabonis, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today.

George, (6-9, 220), averaged a career-high 23.7 points on a career-best 46.1 percent (622-of-1348 FG) shooting from the field and 39.3 percent (195-of-496 3FG) from long distance, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.59 steals and 35.9 minutes in 75 games (all starts) with Indiana during the 2016-17 season.

“We are excited to welcome Paul George to the Thunder family and the Oklahoma City community,” said Presti. “Paul is a tremendous fit for our organization on and off the floor. He represents all the positive traits of an elite competitor, and we have long admired his relentless pursuit to improve and his ability to impact on-court success. His skill set is dynamic and at the forefront of the evolution of the game, yet he combines this with traditional and historical values and will. We are fortunate to have an incredibly unique player wear the Thunder Blue and know he will help us as we continue to build the legacy of the Thunder in real time.”

The four-time All-Star owns career averages of 18.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.65 steals and 32.8 minutes in 448 games (400 starts) over seven seasons with the Pacers. He was the winner of the 2012-13 Most Improved Player Award, has earned All-NBA Third Team honors three times and has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team once and All-Defensive Second Team twice.

Selected 10th overall by Indiana in the 2010 NBA Draft, George guided the Pacers to the playoffs in each of the six seasons in which he appeared in 60 or more games and he helped lead Indiana to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals in 2012-13 and 2013-14. George owns career playoff averages of 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.72 steals in 43.0 minutes in 65 games (all starts).

The Fresno State product was a member of the 2016 U.S. Men’s National Team which took Gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. He appeared in all eight games (two starts) and averaged 11.3 points (fourth on team), 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.50 steals (first on team).

“We feel very strongly about the potential Victor and Domantas bring to our team and what they mean for the future of the franchise,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. “Both are highly competitive, highly skilled and both are winners. That is why both were lottery picks, that is why we sought them out to be part of this deal.”

Victor Oladipo was drafted by the Orlando Magic as the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. As a rookie with the Magic, he was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie First Team and was twice named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month (December and February). He played three seasons with the Magic before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in June 2016. In his four seasons in the NBA, the 6-4, 210-pound guard has career averages of 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Oladipo played collegiately at Indiana University for three years with averages of 10.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Domantas Sabonis was drafted with the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, also by the Orlando Magic, before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder later that evening as part of the same trade that sent Oladipo to the Thunder. As a rookie with the Thunder, Sabonis played in 81 games (66 starts) and averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He played collegiately at Gonzaga for two years with averages of 13.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

“As for the trade, it was difficult both on a personal and professional level,” said Pritchard. “Everyone here knows what Paul meant to this franchise; he was both a tremendous human being as well as player here for seven years. We thank Paul and his family for their contributions to the Pacers and wish him well.”

Russell Westbrook wins 2016-17 NBA MVP award

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was named the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2016-17 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, it was announced this evening during the first-ever NBA Awards Show.

Westbrook earned MVP honors after joining Oscar Roberson as the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook registered a league-best 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds (10th in the NBA), 10.4 assists (third in the NBA) and 1.63 steals in 34.6 minutes per game.

During the 2016-17 season, Westbrook established a new NBA record with 42 triple-doubles (Oklahoma City went 33-9 in those games) as he helped lead the Thunder to a spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.

The six-time All-Star and two-time All-Star game MVP recorded triple-doubles in seven consecutive games on two separate occasions this past season (11/25-12/9 and 3/22-4/4), to become the first player in NBA history to accomplish the feat. He was named Western Conference Player of the Month for November and February and earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors four times.

In winning his second scoring title in three seasons, Westbrook paced the NBA in games with at least 20 points (72), 30 points (44), 40 points (18) and 50 points (four).

Last month Westbrook was named to the All-NBA First Team for a second consecutive season after receiving 99 First Team votes (498 total points).

The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Andre Roberson named to NBA All-Defensive Second Team

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Second Team, it was announced today by the NBA.

In 79 games (all starts) this past season, Roberson averaged 6.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.19 steals and 1.00 block in 30.1 minutes per contest. His 1.00 block and 5.1 rebounds per game ranked third and 12th, respectively among perimeter players.

With Roberson on the floor this past season, the Thunder posted a 106.3 defensive rating, which would have ranked fifth best in the NBA. Oklahoma City’s defensive rating was 4.6 points per 100 possessions better when Roberson was on the floor.

According to ESPN’s Defensive RPM metric, Roberson ranked first among shooting guards with a DRPM of 2.64. DRPM estimates a player’s impact on team defense, measured in points allowed per 100 defensive possessions.

Thunder sign Norris Cole

Thunder sign Norris Cole

The Oklahoma City Thunder signed guard Norris Cole, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Cole (6-2, 175), a two-time NBA Champion, owns career averages 7.1 points, 2.8 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 22.7 minutes in 347 games (60 starts) over five seasons with Miami and New Orleans. The 28th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, he most recently played with the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association.

bulls trade taj gibson

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has acquired guards Cameron Payne and Anthony Morrow (MORE-roe), and center/forward Joffrey Lauvergne (LA-vern) from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for forwards Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round draft pick.

In his second year in the NBA, Payne (6-3, 185) is averaging 5.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 20 games played after missing 35 due to a right foot fracture and two to a D-League assignment with the Oklahoma City Blue. He has scored in double figures twice this season. In 77 career contests (one start), Payne holds averages of 5.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 13.2 minutes played. He has career shooting averages of .385 from the field, .319 from long range and .821 from the foul line.

In his ninth NBA season, Morrow (6-5, 210) has appeared in 40 games (seven starts) and is posting averages of 5.8 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 15.7 minutes per game. He is shooting .387 from the field, .294 from three and .885 from the line for the year. He has eight games with double-digit scoring, and a season high of 21 points vs. Detroit on Nov. 26. In 555 career contests (142 starts), Morrow is averaging 9.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 22.0 minutes. For his career, Morrow is shooting .447 overall, .417 from distance (5th among active players) and .878 from the stripe. In 2008-09, his three-point percentage of .467 ranked first in the league, and he has had five total seasons where his three-point percentage has ranked in the top 10.

In his third season in the NBA, Lauvergne (6-11, 220) is averaging 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists across 50 games this year while shooting .455 from the field, .346 from three and .638 from the charity stripe. He’s scored in double figures eight times with a season high of 17 points on Feb. 13 at Washington, which tied Russell Westbrook for the Thunder high in that game. In 133 career appearances (16 starts), Lauvergne is posting averages of 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists in 15.4 minutes played. He is shooting .480 from the field, .293 from distance and .755 from the line for his career. Lauvergne will be the fourth international player on the Bulls roster.

Gibson was selected by the Bulls with the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He is averaging 11.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.91 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game this season and is shooting .521 from the field, .167 from three and .714 from the line.

In 562 career contests (229 starts) with Chicago, Gibson held averages of 9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.24 blocks and shot .495 from the field and .694 from the stripe. Gibson ranks in the top-10 of several Bulls franchise leader categories, including games played (10th), offensive rebounds (sixth), defensive rebounds (ninth) and blocks (fifth). Gibson also appeared in 56 playoff games (seven starts) for the Bulls and averaged 8.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.16 blocks while shooting .499 overall and .691 at the free-throw line.

In his third season, McDermott is averaging 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist and 24.5 minutes in 44 games. McDermott is shooting .445 from the field, .376 from long range and .881 at the line. For his career, McDermott is posting averages of 8.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists and 20.2 minutes across 161 games (eight starts). He is shooting .445 overall, .399 from three and .849 from the foul line. In three career playoff games for Chicago, McDermott averaged 1.7 points in 3.3 minutes of action.

Dakari Johnson of the Oklahoma City Blue today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 30, through Sunday, Feb 5.

Johnson (7-0, Kentucky) led Oklahoma City to a 2-1 week, averaging 24.3 points on 60.9 percent shooting to go with 10.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists. On Jan. 31, he notched a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-115 overtime victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Johnson scored the first four points of overtime to help secure the win, which moved Oklahoma City into first place in the Southwest Division. On Feb. 4, he logged his 10th double-double of the season with 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 106-86 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Johnson is averaging 18.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals on the season. This is the second Performer of the Week award for Johnson, who was the 48th pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Hollis Thompson, Canton’s Quinn Cook, Delaware’s Shawn Long, Fort Wayne’s Ben Bentil, Grand Rapids’ Jordan Crawford, Greensboro’s Cheick Diallo (on assignment by the New Orleans Pelicans), Los Angeles’ David Nwaba, Northern Arizona’s Elijah Millsap, Raptors 905’s Brady Heslip, Rio Grande Valley’s Darius Morris, Sioux Falls’ Keith Benson, Westchester’s Von Wafer and Windy City’s Denzel Valentine.

Enes Kanter injured, out after arm surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter underwent successful surgery today to repair a fractured right ulna (in his right forearm), it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Kanter sustained the injury during last night’s 109-98 victory over Dallas. During a timeout, he expressed his frustration by hitting a chair. The result? A fractured forearm. 

This season, the sixth-year center has recorded 12 double-doubles and is averaging 14.4 points on .563 percent shooting from the floor, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 21.6 minutes in 47 games.

Kanter has come off the bench every game this season for OKC, but he’s still one of their most important players. He’s third on the team in both points and rebounds per game. 

He will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks at which time a further update will be provided.

Enes Kanter punches chair, breaks arm

The OKC Thunder (now 28-19, 6th best record in Western conference) bring center Enes Kanter (zero starts in 47 games this season) off the bench, but he’s still one of the team’s key players. Kanter’s 14.4 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game both rank 3rd on the squad. But a quick showing of frustration will reportedly keep Kanter out of action for the near future. Here’s the Oklahoman:

Enes Kanter punches chair, breaks arm

The Thunder survived January. The same cannot be said of Enes Kanter.

A night of frustration ended in victory for the Thunder, who rode Russell Westbrook’s late flurry to a 109-98 victory over a makeshift Dallas team. But Kanter’s night ended earlier, in the second quarter, when the valuable sixth man suffered a fractured arm when he slammed it on the back of a chair in frustration.

That means the Thunder almost surely goes into February – and remaining January road games at Cleveland and San Antonio – without the scorer and rebounder who makes the Thunder bench bearable at times.

Russell Westbrook gets amazingly fast triple-double

Jim Tucker was popping champagne Saturday night, and not just because it was New Year’s Eve. The 1950s NBAer cult-famous for owning the title of “fastest man to record a triple-double in an NBA game” can rest easy after Oklahoma City’s 114-88 demolition of the L.A. Clippers.

Russell Westbrook forced him to wait nearly until 2017, though.

Westbrook finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists in the win. And more impressively, the rebound he pulled down with under a minute to go in the second quarter gave him a triple-double for the game. He had played only 18 minutes, 42 seconds at that point, about a minute off Tucker’s record for the quickest triple-double ever.

“He really played an incredible floor game,” coach Billy Donovan said. “And I thought he did an incredible job, not even necessarily having to rely on his scoring, but he did a great job in terms of setting everybody else up.”

Tucker went for 12 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists on Feb. 20, 1955.

Norman Transcript

Quick Take: Westbrook is having one of the best seasons in modern basketball history. He’s a basketball wrecking crew, and a must-watch player every night. And one of the top stories of the season.

Bench steps up for Thunder vs Heat

Bench steps up for Thunder vs Heat

Russell Westbrook isn’t the only man playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder won at the Miami Heat on Friday. And even though Westbrook was sitting with another triple-double, his league-leading 15th of the season, by the third quarter, the Thunder didn’t necessarily ache for every one of his numbers. And that’s a concept which was foreign to OKC basketball fans a week ago.

The Thunder got off to a 22-point lead by the second quarter Tuesday and maintained a double-digit advantage for the rest of the game, cruising to a 106-94 victory over the injury-laden, 10-22 Heat. And even as Westbrook finished his magnificent 29-point, 17-rebound, 11-assist night, even if the Thunder were plus-12 with him on the floor, his sovereignty wasn’t the story. For another evening, the stability came from a part of the team which has been criticized for much of the season: The bench.

“It’s great to see those guys continue to get better,” coach Billy Donovan said. “They’re developing a chemistry and a bond. They’re making each other better.”

– Norman Transcript

Quick Take: No matter how great one player is, basketball is a team game. Nobody can do it alone. And really, the same can be said for life itself. But, also basketball.

Russell Westbrook dishes career-high 22 assists

Russell Westbrook could have taken a 3-pointer, but he stutter-stopped and drove left. The slight hesitation and a screen from Steven Adams was enough to provide a mismatch Westbrook identified immediately.

When he picked up his dribble, the 7-foot Adams was on the weak side towering over Westbrook’s initial defender, 6-5 P.J. Tucker. Westbrook saw it and lofted a perfectly-weighted pass over Tucker to Adams for an easy layup.

It was one of a gamut of brilliant passes from Westbrook, as the assists reached double digits before the points or rebounds in his league-leading 13th triple-double.

In the Thunder’s 114-101 win, Westbrook finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 22 assists.

Oklahoman

Quick Take: Victor Oladipo was out, so Westbrook had to do even more than usual. His production is incredible. Westbrook is doing things few players in the modern era of pro basketball are capable of doing.

Oklahoma City Blue center Dakari Johnson today was named the NBA Development League Player of the Month for games played in November. The honor, the first of the 2016-17 season, is also the first of Johnson’s NBA D-League career.

Johnson (7-0, Kentucky) led Oklahoma City to a 6-3 record behind averages of 19.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 blocked shots (tied for fourth in the NBA D-League). He scored at least 20 points in six games and tallied four point-rebound double-doubles.

On Nov. 26, he recorded 20 points (on 7-for-11 shooting from the field) to go with six rebounds and a career-high five blocks in a 107-104 victory over the Canton Charge. Johnson closed the month by scoring a career-high 28 points, grabbing a season-high-tying 11 rebounds and handing out a season-high five assists in a 117-108 loss to the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Nov. 29.

Other players who received consideration for the monthly award were Austin’s Patricio Garino, Fort Wayne’s Julyan Stone, Grand Rapids’ Ray McCallum and Kevin Murphy, Los Angeles’ Justin Harper, Maine’s Jalen Jones, Westchester’s Chasson Randle and Windy City’s Spencer Dinwiddie.

A lot of people in the national celebrity spotlight aren’t looking to discuss politics or election results. Here’s the Norman Transcript reporting on Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook:

Russell Westbrook not looking to discuss election results

Russell Westbrook wasn’t getting in line next to the supporters of President-elect Donald Trump after the GOP nominee won the presidency Tuesday night.

“I didn’t vote for Trump. I can tell you that much,” Westbrook said. “That’s all I’m gonna say.”

A reporter followed up, asking another election-related question. Westbrook didn’t budge.

“I just told you, I didn’t vote for Trump,” he said. “I would prefer not to elaborate on it, but I didn’t vote for him.”

– Oklahoman

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