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Loud Links: Oklahoma City Thunder News for October 4, 2009

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Loud Links returns for the first time since our hiatus, and this time we're going to do things a little bit differently. Instead of it being your evening news source (Which let's face it, by the time we posted ours, you more than likely had already found a link dump somewhere else), we're going to make Loud Links the 4am post so you can get up to speed quickly on all the most recent Thunder news and events from the previous day, before you start out on your own day. During the season this will include links to game recaps, feedback, and any other post game team or player news that you are going to want to read. More than likely this post will be followed up by original content of our own later in the morning. I believe this new format will allow Thunder fans to catch up any news, scores, and events they might have missed so that when they read our new post later that morning, they won't be lost or wondering what we are talking about, not to mention they won't have to listen to the office know-it-all blathering endlessly about how much more knowledge he has on the Thunder than you do. But enough about how the format has changed, lets get on with the return of Loud Links!

In Today's edition of Loud Links Kevin Durant is, strangely enough, achieving celebrity status while at the same time managing to hide in plain site, even going to the movies without being recognized. Beloved and former Thunder player Desmond Mason gets a 1 year deal with the Sacramento Kings. Hoopsworld made a stop in Edmond to take a peek at Thunder Training camp and gives some impressions along with another article about head Coach Scott Brooks, who believes in his players. You can get a sneak peek of your own on Monday evening if you head down to Midwest City High School for an open to the public practice. Nenad Krstic puts in his two cents about the Marcin Gortat to Oklahoma City Rumors. USA Today thinks the Thunder have found some solid ground for their second season in Oklahoma City while the Oklahoman hits on a number of topics from Training Camp. And Finally, if you are curious as to how Thunder players spent their summers, we've got you covered as well. So click the mouse and make the jump to find out more on all of these topics, and let the discussion ensue.

The Thunder’s Rising Star, Still in Hiding -
Durant is one of the N.B.A.’s fastest-rising figures in a league in which a player’s star power often develops before his maturity. Yet the 6-foot-9-inch Durant, last season’s sixth-leading scorer, hides here in plain sight. Many predict Durant to evolve further this season, and yet he attends movies without being recognized. He parks and enters the team’s training center, previously a skating rink, in the front instead of beyond layers of security. A run to the grocery store is usually the same as it is for a soccer mom.

The Canadian Press: Thunder's Durant gaining celebrity status
"We feel like clearly his best basketball is ahead of him, but throughout his development as a basketball player the characteristics that he walked in the door with the day he was drafted - such as humility, work ethic and being a good teammate - those things continue to remain consistent even with his growth and development as a player."

Desmond Mason signs deal with Kings - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Free-agent swingman Desmond Mason signed a one-year contract with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday. Mason flew to Sacramento to meet with Kings officials and take a physical on Wednesday. The Kings announced the deal after getting the results of the physical Thursday. His deal is not guaranteed and will pay him the league minimum of $1.18 million. - National Basketball Association news

HOOPSWORLD Makes a stop in Edmond to Check out the Thunder
Yesterday HOOPSWORLD stopped at Thunder Training Camp in Edmond, OK. The place was absolutely buzzing with trainers working with groups of players on a variety of drills up and down the court. Kevin Durant and Byron Mullens were spotted in a hot competition at the free-throw line – the first one to reach a score of 21 won. Durant won….and we didn't see him miss a single shot.

Scott Brooks: 'I Believe in Our Guys' - HOOPSWORLD
One thing is for sure, this camp is totally unlike last years' camp, not only because of the new defensive focus, but because the team is now settled in Oklahoma City. "There's no doubt that it's a completely different training camp for all of us. Last season, making the transition in July, that's hard," Brooks revealed. "This time of the year, I was still figuring out where do I get medicine for my kids that are sick? Our players are no different, they have to get their kids in school, they have to turn on the cable. All the things we had to worry about last season, we're just focusing on basketball this year. It is definitely different. I feel like there's definitely a comfort level amongst the city. We know how to get around now."

Go Watch the Thunder Practice at Midwest City HS on Monday!
MIDWEST CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder will bring its 2009 Training Camp to Midwest City, hosting an open community practice free to the public on Monday, Oct. 5 at Midwest City High School. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the practice portion from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. "We are excited to offer Thunder fans a sneak peak of this year's team," said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. "It's a rare opportunity to see all of the players up close, in a full practice and scrimmage environment."

Center Nenad Krstic explains Marcin Gortat rumors
Nenad Krstic on Thursday called Serbian media reports over the summer claiming that Orlando's Marcin Gortat would be traded to Oklahoma City before the end of the season erroneous.

Thunder on stable ground in second year -
"It's something that we don't have to worry about anymore," Green said. "I think it's a lot of stress off our shoulders now, just not having the thought of "Where are we going to live next year?' or anything of that nature. I think we're more comfortable with Oklahoma and our surroundings, and we know coming into this year that we're going to get a lot of support."

Daily Oklahoman Hits on a number of Topics from Training Camp
HARDEN HOPING TO PLAY IN PRESEASON OPENER: Rookie James Harden took part in more drills Friday after sitting out with a sprained ankle Wednesday and Thursday. Harden said the ankle is progressing well but still stings when he pushes off of it. He worked on mobility drills and did some catch-and-shoot work throughout Friday’s first session. Harden is still listed as day-to-day, but he said he "definitely" will play in Wednesday’s preseason opener.

Curious What Thunder Players Did This Summer? Click here to find out!
"There’s been a lot of traveling, a lot of rookie things (like a mandatory three-day rookie seminar). Nothing too crazy. I worked out here some (in Oklahoma City), getting familiar with my teammates. I also went to Washington, D.C., to meet up with some of the guys (for Kevin Durant’s birthday party). That was a lot of fun. Kevin and Jeff (Green) showed me around the city. It was my first time (to D.C.). We spent a little time at Georgetown and did some fun things."