Links to possible OKC team logo leaks

Hi. I have no idea if any of these are really the new logos for the NBA’s Oklahoma City team, but below are a few links that people have emailed me.

It’s assumed that the team will be named the Thunder. We’ll find out this week, as the name and logo are finally revealed, officially.

Anyway, check these out. The following links may be the new OKC logos. Or they may be made-up stuff that fans put out there. I have no idea. But click below.

A little basketball with an OKC Thunder logo.

Logo concepts by some guy.

Uniform concepts by some guy.

Lithuania star Ramunas Siskauskas retires from national team reports: Lithuania star Ramunas Siskauskas has decided to retire from the national team. Siskauskas, the Euroleague MVP last season after leading CSKA Moscow to the title, played in his third Olympics this summer in Beijing where the Baltic country suffered a narrow defeat to Spain in the semi-finals before losing in the bronze medal game to Argentina. “I’d made up my mind last year and results in Beijing did not affect my decision,” said Siskauskas, who turns 30 on September 10.

Mario Kasun signs in Turkey reports: Just two days after the player left his previous team, FC Barcelona, Efes Pilsen announced on Friday the addition of big man Mario Kasun (214, 28). Last season, Kasun played 21 Euroleague games with Barca, averaging 9.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in over 17 minutes per game. Kasun made his debut with KK Gorica of the Croatian second division during the 1997-98 season and then signed for KK Zrinjeva until in 2001, he moved to Germany to play with the Cologne 99ers.

Ginobili could miss several months

The San Antonio Express-News (Mike Monroe) reports: Spurs star Manu Ginobili will have surgery next week on his left ankle and heel to repair ligament damage that has hampered his game for many months. Though Ginobili on Thursday told an Argentine newspaper he expected to return to action six to eight weeks after the operation, sources familiar with the procedure say it is much more likely he will be out for two to three months. That makes it unlikely he can be ready for action when the Spurs open the regular season Oct. 29 in a game at the AT&T Center against the Phoenix Suns.

NBA players union suspends agent

The AP reports: The National Basketball Players Association suspended player agent Calvin Andrews for one year Friday for alleged recruiting improprieties regarding former Southern California star O.J. Mayo. The union said its Disciplinary Committee has reserved the right to take further action against Andrews. says: I wonder if this means they found some new information, or if this is entirely a result of the reports back when the OJ Mayo recruiting issue stories first broke.

Howard Schultz drops Sonics suit

The Seattle Times (Percy Allen) reports: Four months into a contentious and costly legal fight against Clay Bennett to return the Sonics to Seattle and restore his battered reputation, Howard Schultz surrendered. The Starbucks CEO filed a motion in U.S. District Court on Friday to drop his lawsuit against Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club, allowing the team to start a new beginning in Oklahoma City in October. Before filing his motion to dismiss, Schultz e-mailed his former ownership group, stating: “Unfortunately, showing that the Bennett Group lied is not enough to turn back the clock and return the Sonics. As a result, I am withdrawing the lawsuit.”

Rumors Talk: Little expected from Iran player

From what little I’ve seen of Hamed Haddadi, the giant Iranian dude who yesterday signed with the Grizzlies, he’s just size. He’ll take up space. The dude is big. He’s a large guy. Also, he adds bulk. And height. He’s got size. Large big-man. In other words, he’s like Allen Iverson.

I don’t expect much from Haddadi. But it’s always fun when a player from a new country enters the league. So, congrats to him and I hope it’s a good experience for him. We’ll see if he gets to stick around. Odds are against it.

Sean Marks, now with the Hornets, can come off the bench and stretch the floor a bit with his face-up jumper for a few minutes per half.

We’ve heard 29 times now that the Oklahoma City team name is probably going to be Thunder. But what if it’s a fake-out? Maybe someone said “Let’s call them ‘Thunder’ for now” when telling Ticketmaster what to list, and when telling some person what page to link to (before removing it).

Yeah, unlikely. They’re probably the Thunder. And I’m actually cool with the name, though it still reminds me more of Arena football than basketball. But that’s because it’s new. In a year or two, it’ll make you think of basketball. Names grow on you that way.

If I was DJ Mbenga, I’d learn how to DJ. Just because chicks who meet him and find out that his abbreviated first name is “DJ” probably ask him if he knows how to rock the turntables. And it would be cool to be able to say yes, I’d think.

What if Warriors coach Don Nelson goes wild and decides Stephen Jackson is the team’s point guard until Monta Ellis, a scoring guard who isn’t really a point guard, comes back. Jackson would probably average 5+ turnovers per game and get angry a lot but I bet the game flow would be fun.

The above is editor Jeff Lenchiner’s totally unedited, off the top of the head responses to some recent NBA rumors stories.

Rockets trade Patrick Ewing Jr to Knicks editor Jeff Lenchiner says: Pat Ewing Jr. is a decent defender, but I haven’t seen that the rest of his game is on a pro level, yet. Unless he has other skills I don’t know about, he’ll have to fight hard to prove himself to the whole league, including the Knicks. And, here’s the news:

The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that forward Patrick Ewing, Jr. has been acquired from Houston for the draft rights to center Frederic Weis.

“Patrick Ewing will have an opportunity here to compete for a spot on our roster,” Walsh said. “He is a solid defensive player and a very good athlete.”

Ewing, Jr., 6-8, 240-pounds, was originally drafted by Sacramento in the 2008 NBA Draft as the 43rd overall selection. Traded to the Rockets on Aug. 14 as part of a multi-player deal, the 24-year-old Boston native played his first two collegiate seasons at Indiana University before transferring to Georgetown. As a senior with the Hoyas during the 2007-08 season, Ewing averaged 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 34 games, winning the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award.

“Coming to the Knicks, and hopefully being able to contribute, means a lot to me. It has always been my dream to play for this team,” Ewing, Jr. said. “My goal is to show the coaches that I can play and do all that I can to help the team win some games.”

Ewing is the eldest child of Knicks legend, Patrick Ewing, who will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a week from today. Ewing played for New York from 1985 through 2000 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in virtually every category, including points (23,665), rebounds (10,759), blocked shots (2,758) and games played (1,039). On Feb. 28, 2003, his jersey No. 33 was lifted to the rafters of Madison Square Garden.

Weis was New York’s first-round draft choice (15th overall) in 1999.

Grizzlies sign Hamed Haddadi

The Memphis Grizzlies signed free-agent center Hamed Haddadi pronounced (ha-MED ha-DAHD-dee), who led all 2008 Olympians in rebounding and blocks, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Ahvaz, Iran native recently participated in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, where he was the only player to average a double-double (16.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks) in Olympic competition while playing five games for the Iranian National Team.

The 7-2, 254-pound center had his best performance came against eventual bronze medal winner Argentina when he had a team-high 21 points and game-high 16 rebounds on Aug. 16.

“We are pleased to sign Hamed,” said Wallace. “He is a young center who was very productive as a rebounder, shotblocker and scorer at the Rocky Mountain Revue Summer League in Salt Lake City, Utah, the 2008 Olympics and the FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament in Nanjing, China prior to the Olympics. Our coaching staff is eager to begin working with Hamed.”

Haddadi, who is slated to become the first Iranian to play in the NBA, poured in 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Lebanon in the 2007 FIBA Asian Championship in Japan, helping Iran clinch its first Olympic basketball berth since 1948.

The 23-year-old, who was not selected in the 2004 NBA Draft, recently averaged 14.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 25.5 minutes in two games for the Iranian team against NBA competition at the 2008 Rocky Mountain Revue.

Haddadi, who spent the 2007-08 season playing for Saba Battery BC in the Iranian Super League, will join former Grizzlies Jake Tsakalidis and Cezary Trybanski as the tallest players in franchise history. He is also the second Grizzlies player to appear in the 2008 Olympics, joining center Marc Gasol, who captured a silver medal with the Spanish National Team.

Hornets sign Sean Marks

Jeff says: Sean Marks basically hangs out, waves a towel, says hi to his teammates, maybe plays a few minutes, tosses an outside shot or two up, tells some jokes, etc. And now the Hornets have acquired his services. Here’s the news release:

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed free agent forward/center Sean Marks. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

“We are excited for Sean to join our team,” said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower. “He is a veteran leader, who has been on winning teams and will be a great addition to our frontcourt.”

Marks (6-10, 250) is a nine-year NBA veteran with career averages of 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game. He has played with four different teams—Toronto, Miami, San Antonio and Phoenix. When he made his debut as a rookie on March 16, 1999 with the Raptors, he became the first native of New Zealand to play in the NBA.

Most recently with the Suns, Marks played in 19 games during the 2007-08 season, shooting 53.5% (23-of-43) from the field and averaging 3.1 points per contest. He scored in 13 of 19 appearances, including a season-high 16 points and career-high 13 rebounds in the Suns’ season finale Apr. 16 against Portland.

A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Marks played at California, appearing in 86 career games. As a senior, he averaged 9.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 26 contests.