Over the last few days, there has been a lot of news that has been reported about the Oklahoma City Thunder. This article is a short round up of anything and everything to do with the Thunder.
Travel to the Bubble:
The Thunder traveled to the bubble in Orlando on Wednesday as the resumption of the league creeps closer. No Thunder players have opted out of playing in Orlando. Oklahoma City will take 16 players to Orlando; Isaiah Roby will not be travelling with the squad due to injury.
As many know, Florida has become a COVID hot spot. However, the league has been hell bent in starting the season despite the risks that are evident in Central Florida. There have been a lot of pundits who have questioned the NBA’s decision to carry on with the bubble idea.
The bubble itself has many holes due to the logistic issues associated with restarting a league in a high-risk area of the country. Commissioner Silver recently stated that an outbreak in the bubble can lead to the cancellation of the season.
The New Face of Converse:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Converse. Converse sponsor other NBA athletes such as Draymond Green and Kelly Oubre Jr but Shai is a high profile addition to their roster of talent.
This is a great signing for Converse as Shai has the potential to be the face of the brand in the near future The soon-to-be 22 year old has improved significantly this season across the board and has an eye for fashion. It would not be a stretch to say that Shai has inherited Russell Westbrook’s crown as the best dressed player in the league.
Bleacher Report recently ranked Shai as the seventh best shooting guard in the league, ahead of guys like Donovan Mitchell, CJ McCollum and Zach LaVine. Shai has been the second best player on a Top 10 team this season. It will be fun to watch his development over the next several seasons in Oklahoma City.
Shai’s development on court will be important to his sneaker prospects off the court. Shai developing into a multi-time All-Star means that he is a more desirable acquisition for a prestige shoe brand like Nike or Jordan. Both companies want successful, fashionable stars. Shai being able to fulfill both of those conditions will result in a fat endorsement deal.
Chris Paul will have the term “Equality” on the back of his jersey when the season resumes in Orlando. In order to raise awareness to social justice issues, the NBA will allow players to choose from a bank of terms to put on their jersey in Orlando.
This news has received mixed feedback from players and fans. People love that the NBA will allow them express social justice messages. However, few people are happy that players can only pick terms that the NBA approved.
The terms are fairly generic and weak. The list that the league has provided is poor. I agree with the players and fans who are disappointed with the league; the terms have been watered down. Players should have the ability to choose their own message and customize their own jersey.
Isaiah Roby will not make the trip to Orlando. Roby underwent surgery on his right plantar fascia. The Thunder will not replace him with another player and will resume the season with 16 of the 17 players they could have on the team. Roby will finish his rookie season playing in just three NBA games.