Archive for the ‘ OKC Thunder Blog ’ Category

It’s always fun to hear which exact adjectives NBA stars use when discussing other stars. Here’s Kobe Bryant discussing Russell Westbrook, as reported by ESPN Los Angeles:

Kobe says Westbrook plays with rage, aggression

Recently, Kobe Bryant said there’s only one other active NBA player whose intensity matches his own: Russell Westbrook.

“He just plays with a rage that’s not very common,” the Los Angeles Lakers star guard said of Westbrook this week. “He just plays with a lot of aggression.”

The two will face off Friday (ESPN, 7:30 PT) when the Lakers (8-17) host Oklahoma City Thunder (12-14) at Staples Center.

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting fun futuristic dreaming type stuff:

Plenty of time awaits before the 2016 offseason strikes. Plenty of circumstances could determine how the free agency sweepstakes play out.

But with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant becoming a free agent in 2016, consider him as the Lakers’ top player they will pursue.

“That’s safe to say,” said a league source familiar with the Lakers’ thought process.

So with the Lakers having their sights on Durant in 2016, has Kobe Bryant made an early free agency pitch?

“No, I think we know each other pretty well,” Bryant said on Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I don’t think it’s a discussion that you have in terms of coming here. But I think it’s more of an understanding how to play with each other.”

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who after an early-season injury has taken things to another level in 2014-15:

During this recent streak of unbelievable MVP-level games — a career-high nine straight of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists — it’s Westbrook’s finesse and improved touch around the rim that’s vaulted his kamikaze style to the next level. He’s playing with a controlled chaos that’s so rare. He’s darting to the rim with that same breakneck speed, but routinely maneuvering around the basket with a smoothness we’re not used to and tossing in feathery layups with either hand. His shot selection has always been criticized. His efficiency has always been used as an argument against him. But that’s not a crutch his biggest skeptics can lean on right now. Westbrook, again, was economical with his usage on Tuesday night: 20 shots, 11 makes, 32 points (to go along with his usual seven assists, six rebounds and four steals). In his career, Westbrook is a 43 percent shooter. But this season, he’s currently at 49.5 percent. Some would suggest he’s due for a regression to the norm. But others would view this as a different, improved Westbrook — the kind of dynamic yet efficient player who can make a legit case as the league’s best player.

OKC Thunder recall Grant Jerrett and Mitch McGary from D-League

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled forwards Grant Jerrett and Mitch McGary from the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jerrett has appeared in four games (four starts) for the Blue this season, averaging 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assist in 21.0 minutes per game.

McGary has played in six games (six starts) with the Blue this year, averaging 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.50 steals, and 1.33 blocks in 25.5 minutes per contest.

Thunder recall Mitch McGary from D-League

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled forward Mitch McGary from the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

During his most recent assignment, McGary appeared in two games (two starts) for the Blue, averaging 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.00 steal, and 1.00 block in 26.5 minutes. Overall, the rookie forward has appeared in four games (four starts) with the Blue this season, averaging 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.25 steals in 23.8 minutes per game.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned forward Mitch McGary to the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

McGary, the 21st overall selection of the 2014 NBA Draft, has yet to appear in a regular season game for the Thunder.

OKC Thunder are finally healthy

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting some good news about the OKC Thunder. That their players are healthy enough to stand up, jump, move around and many other things that are useful when playing pro basketball:

OKC Thunder are finally healthy

For the first time this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder has its entire roster healthy.

Each of the team’s 15 players participated in Wednesday’s practice, resulting in a packed set of adjacent courts inside the team’s training center, a scene that hasn’t been seen all season.

“It’s great that we have our entire roster able to participate in practice and have the chance to play in games,” said coach Scott Brooks.

Perry Jones, who has been sidelined since Nov. 4 with a knee contusion, became the last player to rejoin the team. His right knee will continue to be monitored but he is now available to play in games. Jones has appeared in only five games this season but was showing promise before sustaining his injury. He scored a career-high 32 points in a three-point road loss to the Clippers on Oct. 30 and had a 20-point performance two nights later at Denver.

Kevin Durant should return soon for OKC

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on OKC Thunder star Kevin Durant, who should make his return from injury in the very near future:

Kevin Durant should return soon for OKC

Scott Brooks stopped and thought about the question before answering.

“Any lineup changes?” the coach was asked Monday.

Brooks began with an “Um” before proceeding with a pregnant pause that left all in attendance at the end of the Thunder’s practice wondering if this would be the moment he announced Kevin Durant is back.

“No,” Brooks then said, finally. “Nothing as of yet.”

The “as of yet” part left Durant’s timetable up to interpretation, and it’s looking and sounding more and more like the reigning MVP is extremely close to making his season debut, perhaps as early as Tuesday at New Orleans.

Thunder waive Sebastian Telfair

Oklahoma City Thunder waive Sebastian Telfair

Thunder waive Sebastian Telfair

The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guard Sebastian Telfair, announced Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Telfair appeared in 16 games (one start) with the Thunder this season, and averaged 8.4 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game.

The OKC Thunder roster now stands at 15 players, the league maximum.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled forward Grant Jerrett from the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jerrett has not appeared in a game for Oklahoma City this season while recovering from offseason surgery on his left ankle.

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on injured OKC Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who continues to rack up endorsement deals:

Another endorsement deal for Kevin Durant

On Thursday, Kevin Durant — who has more endorsement deals than any other NBA player — signed on with fast food drive-in chain Sonic to be its first-ever athlete ambassador.

“Everything that Kevin pitches comes from an authentic point of view,” said Michael Yormark, president and chief of branding and strategy for Roc Nation, Jay Z’s agency that represents Durant. “When it comes to grab-and-go food, KD’s a Sonic guy.”

Durant hinted at his newest partnership on Wednesday via Twitter, saying “getting excited to announce my newest partner … the name is gonna be familiar.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned forward Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

During the 2013-14 season with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, Jerrett appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per contest. He is yet to appear in a game as a member of the Thunder.

The Thunder secured the rights to Jerrett on draft night after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled forward Grant Jerrett from the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jerrett has not appeared in a game for Oklahoma City this season while recovering from offseason surgery on his left ankle.

Thunder assign Grant Jerrett to D-League

Thunder assign Grant Jerrett to D-League

The Oklahoma City Thunder have assigned forward Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

During the 2013-14 season with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, Jerrett appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per contest. He is yet to appear in a game as a member of the Thunder.

The Thunder secured the rights to Jerrett on draft night after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Russell Westbrook health update: Surgery on hand complete

Russell Westbrook health update: Surgery on hand complete

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook underwent successful surgery today to address a fracture in the second metacarpal in his right hand, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Thomas Graham with Thunder medical personnel present at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Westbrook will be re-evaluated in four weeks, at which time a further update will be provided.

The three-time All-Star scored 38 points to go along with six assists in Wednesday’s opener against the Portland Trail Blazers, before sustaining the injury in the first half of Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 2014-15 Oklahoman City Thunder season is off to an injury-filled start. With star forward Kevin Durant already out, pressure was on the shoulders of super-energetic star guard Russell Westbrook to carry much of the load. But now Westbrook is hurt too, with a real injury that could keep him out for some time. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

The early indication is that Russell Westbrook could miss four to six weeks after fracturing the second metacarpal in his right hand Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

It could keep the Thunder’s electric point guard sidelined through mid-December and add him to an already ridiculously long list of injured Oklahoma City players who are expected to miss the season’s first month.

The projected recovery time would cost Westbrook 15 games on the low end and as many as 21 contests. He would rejoin the lineup between Nov. 28 and Dec. 12.

Westbrook is scheduled to undergo further tests Friday in Oklahoma City.

Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that the team has waived guard Michael Jenkins, forwards Richard Solomon and Talib Zanna, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jenkins appeared in all seven preseason games for the Thunder and averaged 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 17.5 minutes.

Solomon saw action in three preseason contests and recorded averages of 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.9 minutes.

Zanna played in seven preseason games for Oklahoma City and averaged 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 17.4 minutes.

Oklahoma City’s roster now stands at 15.

NBA observers have had plenty of time to watch Kevin Durant lead the Oklahoma City Thunder while Russell Westbrook was out healing. But now the situation has reversed, and although it’s still just NBA preseason all eyed in OKC and beyond are glued on Westbrook as he deals with even more responsibility than ever. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

In the Thunder’s 117-107 preseason victory over the Grizzlies on Tuesday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, that connection offered a peek into the burgeoning chemistry between Westbrook and Adams. But more importantly, it was a much-anticipated glimpse of how exactly Westbrook might captain this short-handed squad as it awaits the return of scoring phenom Kevin Durant.

Westbrook scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting and dished a game-high 12 assists in 26 minutes. Six of those assists went to Adams, who again strengthened his case for the starting center position after assembling his third straight stellar performance, this time a 22-point, six-rebound, one-block effort.

When the Grizzlies began taking control, building a double-digit lead in the second quarter, it was Westbrook who took over and put a stop to it, not by hoisting shots but with pinpoint passes.

Here’s the Washington Post reporting on the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Russell Westbrook has never really had the chance to be appreciated on his own merit, away from Kevin Durant or as a part of some talented ensemble cast on Team USA or at all-star games. For that reason, his accomplishments – and there are many – are overlooked or undervalued, giving Westbrook a desperate desire to make people take notice, either with ferocious play or eccentric clothing.

Westbrook’s contributions are treasured immensely by the Oklahoma City Thunder and especially Durant, who chose to make his stubborn, snappy, pit bull of a point guard the final teammate mentioned during that memorable, tear-inducing most valuable player speech. Durant expressed his love for Westbrook because he respects the passion, endless energy and relentless spirit to give the Thunder everything else the four-time scoring champion can’t.

While Durant has typically been the rudder of the Thunder’s steady, glorious warship, navigating the team through dangerous waters, Westbrook has been the fiery cannon to push back all other threats. But now that Durant is going to be sidelined for at least six weeks with a broken right foot, Westbrook will now have the chance to assume both roles in an effort to keep the Thunder afloat in the highly competitive Western Conference. He could also possibly earn the respect – at least among casual fans – that often gets drowned out by complaints about his shot selection, sometimes erratic play and unwillingness to just get out of Durant’s way.

We’re just about a week through NBA preseason and already a major injury has struck the league.

The Oklahoma City Thunder released the following statement on behalf of Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding forward Kevin Durant:

“After practice yesterday, Kevin made us aware of discomfort in his right foot. We proceeded to perform the necessary imagining studies to determine the cause of his discomfort. At this stage, Kevin has been diagnosed with a Jones fracture. Traditional treatment of this injury requires a surgical procedure and recent NBA cases have resulted in a return to play in 6-8 weeks. We are in the process of collaboratively evaluating the most appropriate next steps with Kevin, his representatives, and Thunder medical personnel. Until a course of action is determined, we are unable to provide a timeline specific to Kevin’s case.”

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