Archive for the ‘ OKC Thunder Blog ’ Category

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.”

Mitch McGary injures foot, out six weeks

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that rookie forward Mitch McGary underwent an evaluation today that confirmed he suffered a fracture in his left second metatarsal (foot) during last night’s preseason game at Denver. He is expected to miss approximately six weeks.

McGary, the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, finished the game with 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor, to go along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 36 minutes of action.

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that its NBA Development League team will be called the Blue. The team will play the majority of its home games at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City, with four games to be held inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. The season begins on Friday, Nov. 14, when the Blue hosts the Maine Red Claws.

“Blue is one of our primary Thunder colors, but it has become more than just a color for us. It has come to represent the passion, loyalty and unity of our fans and our community in their support for our team. Our players wear it proudly on their uniforms, our fans sport Thunder blue shirts, Thunder blue flags fly across Oklahoma and our statewide Blue Alliance fan groups show their connection to our team and what it stands for,” said Brian Byrnes, Thunder senior vice president of Sales and Marketing.

“It is only fitting that our development team, which is such an integral part of our organization, be called the Blue to represent the cohesion it has with the Thunder. We think this new name accurately reflects the enhanced unity between the two teams, which are now geographically and philosophically aligned in Oklahoma City and focused on development.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder finished last season with a 59-23 record — the second best winning percentage in the entire league. Enjoy this video showcasing some of their top highlights:

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook averaged 21.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game last season. Enjoy this video showcasing some of his top highlights:

Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers

Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired a trade exception and a 2015 protected second round draft pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for center Hasheem Thabeet and cash considerations, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

The Thunder will have one year from today to utilize the trade exception.

The Oklahoma City Thunder named Mark Daigneault as the head coach of its D-League team, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

The Thunder are moving the Tulsa 66ers to OKC, and it’s possible that the team’s nickname may change.

“Mark has placed a high value on development throughout his career and we feel that he is well aligned with the goals of our organization,” said Presti. “His experience at Florida under Coach Donovan has provided him the platform to apply his intelligence and relationship skills to help strengthen the program. We are excited about Mark joining the organization and continuing his professional growth.”

Daigneault joins the Thunder organization after spending the past four years working under Billy Donovan at the University of Florida where he most recently held the position of Assistant to the Head Coach. Last season, the Gators became the first SEC team to go 18-0 in conference play, and during Daigneault’s four years at Florida, the program posted a 120-30 record (.800) while advancing to the Elite Eight each season.

“Mark has been a valuable member of our staff the past four seasons, and I’m very happy to see him get this opportunity with a great organization,” said University of Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan. “We all wish him the best of luck and know he’ll do a tremendous job.”

Prior to arriving at Florida, the Leominster, Mass. native spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Holy Cross.

“I have had a great deal of respect for the Thunder organization throughout my career, and I’m excited to immerse myself in the culture there, and focus on the continued development of the program,” said Daigneault. “The University of Florida, Coach Donovan, the Florida basketball staff and players that I had the privilege of working with contributed to my personal and professional growth, and for that I am grateful as I embark on this opportunity with the Thunder organization.”

A 2007 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Daigneault served as a student manager with the Huskies under Jim Calhoun from 2003-07.

Daigneault, who holds a master’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Florida, will replace Darko Rajakovic as head coach of the Thunder’s D-League affiliate. Amongst multiple front office members and coaches who have been called up from its D-League affiliate, Rajakovic was the third straight head coach of the Thunder’s D-League affiliate to make the move to an NBA bench, after he accepted an assistant coaching position on Scott Brooks’ staff last month.

Team USA moves on without Kevin Durant

Team USA moves on without Kevin Durant

While Kevin Durant takes a step back, the U.S. national team is moving forward.

Durant stunned the Americans when he decided to withdraw after practicing with the team during its first week of training camp. Now that they’ve had time to get over the surprise, they aren’t dwelling on it.

“I’m through talking about Kevin,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday after the Americans practiced for the upcoming Basketball World Cup.

“We’re done with that. We’re on to this group. What a coach does, a coach coaches who he has, not who he doesn’t have. You’re married, you’re with that woman, you’re not thinking about who you dated.”

Durant pulled out Aug. 7, shortly after the Americans finished working out in Las Vegas, where a year earlier he announced his plans to play for the team this summer.

– Associated Press

Here’s ESPN.com reporting Kevin Durant’s reaction to news from earlier in July that LeBron James was taking his talented back to the Cleveland Cavaliers:

kevin durant

Kevin Durant made a point not to ask his friend LeBron James any questions. He gets enough of those already. And besides, James answered just about every question of him with the letter he penned in Sports Illustrated which explained his decision to leave the Miami Heat and come home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But Durant did reach out to congratulate James soon after he announced his decision.

“I thought it was well-thought-out. It was classy. It was a great move to do it as a letter,” Durant said Tuesday, after a training camp session with USA Basketball. “That was pretty cool. It’s funny seeing guys think about more than just basketball for once. He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that. So many guys get criticized for making the decision that’s best for them instead of what’s best for everybody else. He’s a guy that did that. You gotta respect that. I applauded him, I texted him and told him congratulations on the decision and told him I was happy for him. As a fan of the game, it’s going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland.”

Here’s stuff.co.nz via the Oklahoman reporting on young Thunder big-man Steven Adams:

Steven Adams discusses representing his country in the U.S.

New Zealand native and Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams takes being a role model seriously.

Along with some of New Zealand’s other famous athletes, Adams spoke to a group of elite young athetes in Auckland, New Zealand, on Tuesday at the Powerade Breakthrough Academy. Adams isn’t one to mince words, and wasn’t shy about the responsibility he has to represent his home country.

“For me once I go out there to America I’m pretty much representing all of New Zealand because most people haven’t met New Zealand people, so I have to take that into consideration. If I’m like a d—, then they’re like New Zealand guys are d—-,” Adams said. “If you’ve just got a normal Kiwi attitude then they’re fine with it. That’s one of the key things.”

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