Loud Links: 11/2/10

Good morning Thunder fans. It's as cold as Daequan Cook's shooting outside this morning, so it must mean that basketball season is in full effect.


Getting ready to bounce back from that dissapointing Jazz loss with tomorrow's matchup against the 0-4 L.A. Clippers. But enough about that, follow the break for some more Loud Links goodness.

Kevin Durant takes part in "Chain of Adventure" series with Degree Men, Bear Grylls - from kevindurant35.com
Each iconic athlete was chosen for the role because of their "no compromises" approach to the game and ability to push beyond their limits no matter the challenge – on and off the field. Each was also a self-proclaimed Bear Grylls fan, which adds to the excitement of the program.

"My job is all about adventure whether I’m in the arctic, the desert, or free falling at 10,000 feet. I always embrace the challenges the same way: keep calm, keep focused, and never ever give up. But these athletes will be taking it to the next level," said Grylls.

Kevin Durant has been appearing in a lot more ad spots lately, and this one in particular caught my eye. Now, I'm not any particular fan of the Degree line of products, and my familiarity with Bear Grylls extends to Internet jokes and loud exclamations of "DID HE JUST EAT THAT?"

So, besides having a reputation of hauling Will Ferrell through the artic and eating bug larvae the size of my forearm in a camera closeup bordering on obscene, Grylls will be answering "Challenges" from not only our own KD, but also stars such as New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, with supervision by retired hockey legend Mark Messier (whose original team, the Edmonton Oilers, is the parent of OKC's new minor league team, the Oklahoma City Barons.)

KD's challenge? To have Grylls "alley-oop" by jumping off a cliff and catching a helicopter. How did he do? Well...

 

Damn.

Aldrich is accustomed to scary birthdays -from newsok.com
It had to be the most impressive dunk of Aldrich’s life. Sure, there was a nice two-handed follow slam he had his freshman season at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., but that was against the Ohio Bobcats. This was against the Utah Jazz.

Twenty seconds later, Aldrich collected his first NBA steal. Things calmed down considerably after that. Aldrich finished with five points and two rebounds in 10:51 of playing time.

Aldrich, who turned 22 on the Halloween night loss to the Jazz, certainly made a statement with his performance that night, showcasing his potential and what he can bring to the floor with some more development.

I can't say any more than what was said in Spencer Pan's excellent article about Aldrich, but I like the take the Thunder Rumblings crew over at newsok.com took on the rookie.

Plus, I also live with two people who both also have Halloween birthdays, so I found that a little creepy.

Reading Time Outs Kick Off Thunder Reading Challenge - from nba.com
"It’s another incentive to get the children to read," [Arthur Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher Cherry Reilly] said. "Reading is so important and it’s just a struggle to show the students how important it is, and this is something that gets them excited. It’s something they can relate to.

So yesterday, after likely catching the red-eye back from Utah, Aldrich joined D.J. White and Royal Ivey in visiting local elementary schools to kick off the Thunder Reading Challenge. Aldrich and White went to Arthur Elementary in OKC, with Ivey going to Winding Creek Elementary in Moore.

The challenge, which had about 9,000 student participants last season, is a competition to see what classes and schools can log the most minutes reading.

Tulsa 66ers add 8 players in draft -from nba.com
"We are extremely pleased with the outcome of tonight’s D-League Draft," said Thunder Director of Minor League Operations and Basketball Technology Paul Rivers. "We are excited to add these individuals to our development program in Tulsa and look forward to the start of training camp next week."

In last night's D-League draft, the Tulsa 66ers made eight picks to go along with recent signees from the Thunder training camp roster (Jerome Dyson, Tweety Carter and Elijah Millsap).

The 66ers signed Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds, Kentucky forward Perry Stevenson, Baylor center Josh Lomers, St. Francis (PA) guard Devin Sweetney, Virginia guard/forward Mamadi Diane, who played in Spain for CB Penas Huesca last season, Alabama State guard Brandon Brooks, Oklahoma City University forward Marlon Jones and  Holy Family (PA) guard Michael Sturns, who played last season with the Japanese league team Rizing Fukuoka.

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