Welcome to Loud City, an Oklahoma City Thunder community
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @WTLC
Like us to subscribe
The Thunder look to pick up the pieces tonight against Utah. Check out what is going around the league today.
Carmelo Anthony injured his knee earlier this week and has been day-to-day, missing the Knicks' win Wednesday vs. the Pistons. The Knicks announced Thursday night he is out vs. the Thunder Thursday night. He remains day-to-day.
Stoudemire off the bench may not be a terrible idea, as it will truly challenge the OKC bench's ability to put points on the board.
On the other hand, if the only offensive option left for NY is J.R. "the pipe" Smith, this one may be over in a hurry.
The Thunder visit the Big Apple tonight; here is what else is going on around the league.
Today's cruise around the web.
The question remains, was it excessive? Did his action go "beyond the usual, necessary, or proper limit or degree"? Honestly, if the answer to that question is anything other than "yes" for NBA officials Dan Crawford, Kevin Cutler and Derrick Collins then remind me not to accept any dinner invitations from any of them, who clearly have no idea what is usual, necessary or proper. Let's face it, hitting a guy below the belt is not usual; it is not necessary; and it certainly isn't proper. Ever.
Furthermore, he asks this very pertinent question, which I believe makes a strong comparison between the NBA's flagrant foul rules and the arbitrariness of the NFL's excessiveness rules that keep getting them in trouble.
I am frequently baffled by the NBA's decisions regarding flagrant fouls. There is little if any consistency from one to the next, even though the calls are all reviewed by a presumably small subset of eyes in the league office. I would not be surprised if this one is upgraded upon review by the league, but that won't help the Clippers.
Ibaka's play will likely be ruled by the league office. We'll keep you posted as to whether the action warrants further discipline.
We re-invigorate the daily loud links because the season is winding down and there is much going on. We need to stay on top of it all.
Russell Westbrook was sporting his brand new Air Jordan XX8 in last night's win over the Brooklyn Nets. Here are some up-close images of the new model.
Via Ball Don't Lie: "On Monday afternoon, Nike and Jordan Brand released its latest incarnation, the Jordan XX8 (aka 28, for those of you don't recognize both Roman and Arabic numerals in the same construction) at an event in New York City."
Kevin Durant is a household name and sales of his Thunder jersey only trail LeBron James. Russell Westbrook shows up on the radar, selling the 12th most across the league.
Today's links looks around the league at old Thunder players, the effects of the lockout, and some off the court news.
Near the end of the Thunder's loss to the Grizzlies, Kendrick Perkins and Zach Randolph got into an altercation that continued behind the curtain. Here is Randolph's take.
Today's links at how the Thunder rank in the league after the first 10 games.
Kendrick Perkins and Zach Randolph were ejected and reportedly had a confrontation off the court. Teammates downplay the incident.
The two big men reportedly may have had a physical confrontation near the locker rooms Wednesday night.
With enough games in the books to start evaluating off season improvement, we look at how the Thunder have improved (and regressed) over last season.
Today we look at what last night's win means going forward, and behind the scenes at the Thunder's new jerseys debuting tonight.
What we've long suspected has finally become a reality. The Thunder officially announced the world's worst kept secret today, releasing photos of Thunder players modelling the new duds.
Today we look at the buzz surrounding the Thunder's 1-2 start.
In the Thunder's win against the Trail Blazers, Kendrick Perkins left the game early with an ankle injury. His return is up in the air.
Today we look at the buzz surrounding the Thunder after last night's loss the Spurs.
In today's links, we look around to see what the rest of the sporting world is saying about the James Harden trade.
Here are Friday's collection of links.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Bass man Flea wanted a private tour of the Thunder's locker room. OKC said, "I don't think so."
In a move that comes as no surprise, the Thunder have cut their training camp roster to 18, leaving Hollis Thompson, Andy Rautins, Daniel Orton, and DeAndre Liggins to fight for the last roster spot.
A new week is upon us, and the Thunder starting 5 are finally on the court together.
Dirk Nowitzki has reportedly undergone arthroscopic knee surgery. The Mavericks subsequently issued a statement that the 34 year old star will be able to resume "basketball activities" within 6 weeks.
Mike Prada reports:
If Nowitzki misses the full six weeks, he would return on December 1 and be out of action for 16 games. The Mavericks have a relatively soft early schedule -- they have eight games against playoff teams from a year ago, but only three are against teams that advanced past the first round -- so they could tread water until Nowitzki returns...
The Mavericks' best hope is that they play above their heads defensively for the first month of the season and get just enough offense to be around .500 by the time Nowitzki comes back. That'll be a tall order, though, even against an easy schedule. If the Mavericks can't accomplish that goal, they may cede their playoff spot to another up-and-coming squad.
Few teams rely on one player to carry them the way that Dallas does. In fact, almost every other playoff caliber team can probably absorb an injury to its best player and not be hindered too greatly. However, in the West where there will likely be 6-8 teams vying for 4 playoff spots, Dirk missing nearly a quarter of the season may put Dallas in a hole too great to overcome.
Also, "basketball activities" is intentionally ambiguous. Does that mean that Dirk will not be able to even practice for those 6 weeks? Will he need another 3-4 just to get back into game shape?
Unfortunately for the Mavs, their 2012-13 season's playoff hopes may be in jeopardy before a single regular season game is played.
Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy and editor-in-chief of Grantland, has signed on to join the ESPN pregame crew, where he will be working along side Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon, and Jalen Rose.
Here is today's collection of links about the Thunder and the NBA.
The Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star Kevin Love has reportedly suffered a broken hand and is expected to be out for the next 6 to 8 weeks. His injury will cause him to miss the remainder of the preseason and possibly the entire first month of the regular season.
During a Wednesday morning workout before practice, Love broke the third and fourth metacarpals on his shooting hand, the team said. It's a crushing blow to the Timberwolves, who already will be without star point guard Ricky Rubio for what is expected to be at least the first six weeks of the regular season while he recovers from a torn ACL in his left knee.
The Timberwolves open the regular season at home against Sacramento on Nov. 2.
Here are a smattering of links for you to peruse today while thinking about the Bobcats juggernaut that comes to OKC.
Here is today's collection of stories involving the Thunder.
The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry sat down with Russell Westbrook and took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his renewed relationship with Nike and their subdivision, Jordan Brand.
Here are a few questions taken from Mayberry's interview, but we encourage you to read the whole thing:
Q: You’re an extremely loyal guy. What made you feel like it was time for a change?
A: I just felt it was a good opportunity for me and the Jordan Brand. They have a great staff over there that supports their players and I thought it was a good spot for me.
Q: For a while there were whispers that you had joined adidas. Was there anything to those rumors, and how close were you to signing with adidas?
A: Nah, I don’t know where that came from. I guess somebody just kind of made that up. They were an option, but they weren’t nowhere close.
Q: Does Michael Jordan still handpick the players he wants to represent his brand?
A: Yes. I think so. To my knowledge, I think he wants guys that relate to the brand. I don’t think they want too many guys. But they want guys that relate to the brand.
Q: What’s your all-time favorite Jordan’s?
A: The 11s, the Space Jams. (I like) the patent leather. They come in a variety of different colors and they’re comfortable. They’re one of the best ones, I think.
Q: What has been your reaction to fans and media that showed so much interest in which shoe company you would endorse?
A: It was crazy. I didn’t know too many people paid attention to that type of stuff, especially when people sign new shoe deals. But I had a lot of attention on it. I didn’t know a lot of people paid that much attention to it, to tell you the truth. It kind of surprised me.
Here are today's roundup of links to help you get ready for tonight's 2nd preseason game vs the Jazz.
Russell Westbrook finally signed with Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, for a multiyear agreement.
Here are today's roundup of links to give you an update to all the goings-on around the NBA.
Kevin Durant is entering his sixth year in the league. He's the runner up to the league MVP (it went to his summer workout buddy), he won an MVP at last season's All-Star game, he reached a new level of consistency and performance in the playoffs, and...he's not done yet.
The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry gets Durant to talk about about his preparation for the upcoming season and how this year he expects to be better than the last:
"I’m just more focused and locked in on what we have to do," Durant explained. "Me being a leader on this team — most of our veteran guys are gone and we’re adding younger guys — I know what it takes for us to be a good team in this league and I know what I have to do to help this team grow. So I’m just excited around this time."
Durant strives to be a more vocal leader, but credits his teammates for making it an easy job:
"We have a lot of different personalities on this team, and you’ve got to talk to guys a certain way. I’ve known all these guys for three or four years. It’s just a matter of me speaking up and telling them what I see, and these guys listen. So it’s perfect having a great group of players that listen to each other and want to get better. So it’s making my job easier."
Durant knows that once you get near the pinnacle it becomes more and more difficult to make substantive jumps in performance, but he understands the areas where he must continue to grow:
"I just want to raise it up a little bit more. I think I got another level I can go to. It’s not easy. It’s easier said than done. I just got to be well-conditioned to go out there and give it my all on both ends of the floor night in and night out, and I’ve got to be willing to sacrifice a wide open shot maybe for a better shot or maybe a dunk for my teammates. So I got to just continue to watch film and see where I can get better and continue to keep improving on the defensive end."
Magic Johnson previously spoke about his expectation for both the Thunder and the Lakers this season. In those comments, he still favored the Thunder, despite the Lakers' massive overhaul, bringing in both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
Kevin Durant responds:
"I’m just trying to focus on one day at a time...That (winning the title) is so far down the line. It’s easy for guys outside the circle looking in to think that far down the line. But us, we’re just taking it one day at a time. Of course we want to get there. Of course that’s every team’s goal, especially ours. But we know it’s going to take a process. We can’t get bored with it. We’ve just got to take it a day at a time, see where we’re at."
"I don’t look at the word ‘disappointment’ as part of it...We’re no different that any other team in this league. We work hard to put ourselves in a position to win a championship and we feel like we’ve done that throughout the years and last year we came close. We definitely are going to give every effort and energy toward winning the championship, but we don’t talk about it. We don’t put it on the chalkboard or in halftime speeches. We just talk about doing what we have to do to get better and win games, and I think we’ve done a good job as an organization of putting ourselves in a position of competing for championships."
Magic Johnson recently spoke as a keynote speaker at the Champions of Health gala at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Afterward, he fielded a few questions and not surprisingly, his Lakers came up.
From Darnell Mayberry at The Oklahoman:
"I would say that the Lakers have to beat the Thunder. The Thunder has something over the Lakers that the Lakers don’t have right now and that’s being a team. They’ve done it before. And the Lakers, as they are assembled, have not played with each other. And that’s going to be the goal of the Lakers. Can they become a team? When the chips are down, one thing that’s great about the Thunder is they know where they’re going for a shot. ‘I’m going to look for Kevin (Durant) first.’ Then Russell (Westbrook) and James (Harden) decides who has it going and then they’ll look for their shot. I’m talking about in the last two minutes. Two minutes and down, when the game is in the balance. They have a sense of knowing each other."
Magic followed up by paying this high compliment to the Thunder:
"The one thing that I do appreciate and love about the Thunder is they play hard and they play well together and they play good defense. So I think that the Lakers have to get that. And the Thunder will show the Lakers that they’re not going away. They’re going to be here for a long time."
Remember how Isiah Thomas once famously uttered to Bill Simmons, "the secret to basketball is that it's not about basketball?" Magic just reiterated it here, and in the process underscored the main advantage that the young Thunder now have over the veteran Laker squad.