Oklahoma City fans and WTLC got their first glimpse of this year’s squad at Monday’s Media Day. The returners were reacquainted to their surroundings, while the new players were introduced to the Thunder media and staff members.
The atmosphere had a first day of school feel, players wearing new pairs of kicks, many of them with their fresh haircuts. It was then time for photo sessions and interviews as the media got to know this year’s Thunder team.
#ThunderMediaDay pic.twitter.com/P0TpiJhCFu— Will Brewer (@WillBrew_10) September 24, 2018
Russell Westbrook set the vibe throughout the day, walking around the facility with a huge smile on his face, and voicing his high hopes for the team this year. Paul George was equally as happy, along with a sense of relief. George talked about the relationships he has built in OKC and how he feels he can focus on playing basketball.
PG on Jerami Grant pic.twitter.com/J9EGUTy8n8— Will Brewer (@WillBrew_10) September 24, 2018
Steven Adams was one of the brighter personalities of the day. Adams was eager to get to battle against fellow draft classmate Nerlens Noel. Noel worked all offseason with assistant coach Mark Bryant, and hopes to continue his development.
Steven Adams on Nerlens Noel pic.twitter.com/h5PMKEo0KU— Will Brewer (@WillBrew_10) September 24, 2018
The summer was very favorable to Patrick Patterson, as he was able to get a full summer of offseason training. Patterson has worked extensively on his body and his game throughout the summer. He hopes to earn his way to the starting power forward position. Jerami Grant also hopes to be starting at the power forward position this season. Grant talked about his love for the organization and how the system fit his game really well. The Thunder will be in a good spot with either choice.
The injury bug hit Andre Roberson last season, just as the Thunder were hitting a stride. Fans and media were very eager to hear about Dre’s progress. He was confident about his rehab, but wanted to remain patient. The Thunder will be without Dre for the beginning of the season.
Dre’s role will have to be filled and the Thunder may look to Alex Abrines or Terrance Ferguson to replace him. Abrines put on some muscle through the offseason and voiced his desire to become more of an all-around player. Ferguson also talked about the changes he made to his body, and how having a year of experience will help his game.
The new addition that everyone was excited about is Dennis Schroder. Schroder was all smiles, sporting a new haircut, and a new jersey. He could not hide his excitement to be with the Thunder. Dennis was most excited to have the opportunity to learn from Russ and PG, along with the family-like atmosphere of the Thunder organization.
Talked with Dennis Schroder today at media day about his role, playing alongside Russell Westbrook, and most importantly, his hair: pic.twitter.com/RzCK6nlFty— Royce Young (@royceyoung) September 25, 2018
The new faces also consisted of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Abdel Nader, Deonte Burton, Hamidou Diallo, among others. They all are very excited to join the Thunder organization and will be looking prove themselves in training camp and preseason.
Media Day 2018 was a memorable day for everyone involved and it was one step closer to the start of the regular season.
The Thunder began training camp today and will start the preseason on October 3rd.
Addendum — Enes Kanter is not on the Thunder anymore, but his own media day got people’s attention:
“When I think about the playoffs, my nipples get hard.”@Enes_Kanter is a hooper, lol (via @SNYtv) pic.twitter.com/pTZXAHRxrp— SLAM (@SLAMonline) September 24, 2018
To which Adams’ response was:
By the way, this was Steven Adams' reaction when I told him what Enes Kanter said today about making the playoffs: pic.twitter.com/zZ2umukmST— Royce Young (@royceyoung) September 25, 2018