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Loud Links: Oklahoma City Thunder News for July 22, 2009

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Here is your daily rundown of Oklahoma City Thunder related news. Kevin Durant has been making commercials with DJ Quik for Nike Hyperize. Russell Westbrook and James Harden are named Hoopsworld’s All-Summer League First Team. DailyThunder takes a look at OKC’s roster choices for next season. In other NBA related goodness: Rubio decides to leave Spain and the LeBron dunk finally sees the light of day.

LeBron James getting dunked on - Ball Don't Lie... - Yahoo! Sports
For those of you in the dark, here's the back story: Crawford dunked on LeBron during a pick-up game at The King's camp, Nike confiscated all known video evidence of the posterization, a lively debate ensued about whether the tapes were taken because they were embarrassing to LeBron or because of a long-standing Nike policy and Brick killed a guy with a trident.

Breaking down the somewhat complicated Thunder roster situation | Daily - Where Thunder Happens
Per NBA rules, teams can have 12 players on its active roster, meaning 12 guys that are dressed and ready to play. You can have up to 15 players on the team, as that’s a provisional for players that are injured, but any man over 12 isn’t allowed to be in uniform and is deemed inactive. This is also known as the Robert Swift Rule (not really, but it should be).

NBA PM: Rubio Makes Decision - HOOPSWORLD
Minnesota Timberwolves draftee point guard Ricky Rubio has made up his mind. No matter what the cost is going to be, he's going to leave his old team. This season. His comments today – while not exactly the most endearing to the Wolves – have pretty much closed the door on DKV Joventut. Live | Behind the Scenes: Nike Hyperize Commercial with DJ Quik
Thanks to the prolific Twittering of NBA players Kevin Durant, Mo Williams, Rashard Lewis and Andre Iguodala, we’ve been able to get a behind the scenes look at the latest Nike Hyperize commercial – and it looks like it’s going to be a classic.

ROTFLMAO: Kevin Durant and Jenni Carlson met up in a chat room. at The Lost Ogle
Last week, Oklahoma City’s best and most popular professional athlete, Kevin Durant, was followed into an Internet chat room by one of Oklahoma’s worst and most notorious sports writers, Jenni Carlson. That’s kind of weird, huh? Well, to make things extraordinarily weirder, they decided to chat in the "420 Room." Yeah, that 420. Young stars at mini-camp vie for limited spots on Team USA
Ten players come from last year's heralded rookie class, led by Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose, while the Clippers' Blake Griffin is the only representative from this year's Draft. Although Granger and New Jersey's Devin Harris are the only All-Stars in the lot, the Thunder's Kevin Durant will be the best player in the gym. Durant is one of three Oklahoma City players (joining Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook) in the group, a sign that the Thunder have a very bright future. The Jazz also have three representatives (Korver, Ronnie Brewer and Paul Millsap), while the Clippers, Grizzlies, Nets, Sixers and Blazers have two each.

Summer league exposure hurt some lottery picks - FOX Sports on MSN
James Harden, shooting guard, Arizona State (Reality is No. 3 by the Oklahoma City Thunder): The consensus is that while he's no threat to revolutionize the sport, Harden also seems immune from wrecking the Thunder while assimilating in the league. "He's really, really solid," a panel member said. "That's what we've come to ... being thrilled when the No. 3 overall pick is solid enough to not screw a team up."

All-Summer League Team - HOOPSWORLD
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) – Westbrook was by far the best point guard of the summer. He tapered off a bit in Vegas, but when paired with James Harden the Thunder was virtually unstoppable. Westbrook's feel for the game and understanding of how to create was one of the best showings of the summer. Once he adds a consistent three-point shot, he could move into top-10 point guard status. He's not that far away.

Thunder's Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook go to Team USA minicamp |
"All these players will be given full consideration as we move forward for both competitions," Krzyzewski said. "It gives us a chance to see them and to see who is added to the pool of players that we have to draw from. "Durant almost was on our 2006 World Championship team. Jeff Green was here (last summer) for a select team. This is Westbrook’s first time. They’ve already put a lot of effort into this."

Harden gets 1st taste of life in NBA
James Harden has the beard of an uncle. He plays the game with a surgeon's calm. The Pac-10 Player of the Year and No. 3 NBA draft pick took maybe two bad shots in five NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas last week.Get caught up in the Harden package, and you forget his age. He is 19, but his cool demeanor and willingness to play team basketball will translate to the pro level quicker than his floor skills.

Tulsa World: Investment group has Sept. 1 deadline to land WNBA team for 2010 season
Cameron, the Chariman and CEO of American Fidelity Assurance Co., is part of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder ownership group. He said the WNBA franchise and the Thunder would not be affiliated but said he has the support of Thunder owner Clay Bennett, who is not part of the investment group trying to land a WNBA franchise.

Top 5 Worst NBA Offseason Moves Thus Far -
Rumor has it that they are looking to bring back hometown-favorite Desmond Mason for leadership. With the addition of James Harden, this would make them over-crowded at the wing positions. My suggestion here: Start shooping Thabo Sefolosha (acquired in a deadline trade from the Bulls) and Damien Wilkins. Memphis could be interested.

Your NBA offseason companion : Smile Politely
Dark horse of the West with young inexperienced talent. But with physical phenoms and scorers Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, James Harden, and Peoria-native Shaun Livingston it’s hard not to notice the promise in the young Thunder team.

1 on 1 with Kevin Durant |
When I first started playing, I had to play in Shaquille O’Neal’s because my mom couldn’t afford the $100 shoes for me and my brother so I had to play in K-Mart shoes. It would have been great to play in some affordable and comfortable Nike’s, but you know it wasn’t like that back then. Now I just want to make it easier for kids coming up that like my shoes to be able to afford them. Nike did a great job helping me out with that goal of making something great that was also affordable.

THUNDER: Like Players, Thunder Trainer Honing His Skills
This marks Sharpe’s third go-round as a trainer for the USA Basketball National Team program, and it’s the third and final step in the process to become eligible to work at the Olympics. The process included three assignments: a two-week stint at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., and an international assignment in Bangkok in 2007, when he was a trainer for the University World Games. Sharpe also served as the head trainer for the 2008 USA Basketball U-18 team that captured the silver medal at last year’s FIBA U-18 Championships in Argentina.

Looking Towards the 2010 Draft - HOOPSWORLD
NBA training camps haven't even opened yet but it is never too early to look forward to next season, is it? With the NBA's free agency period finally cooling down (at least in terms of the league's biggest names) HOOPSWORLD takes a look at ten names you'll need to know for the 2010 NBA Draft, in no particular order:

Investors announce plan to bring WNBA to Tulsa -
Tulsa, with about 385,000 people, would be the smallest city with a WNBA franchise. Orender said other cities were being considered by the WNBA, but did not reveal which ones were in the running. It was unknown whether Tulsa would be an expansion team or if an existing team would relocate here, but officials expressed confidence in the city's ability to support a major-league team. The investment group did not discuss how much capital had been raised so far.


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