Archive for the ‘OKC Thunder’ Category

nate-robinson-baseball

With the dust mostly settled on this offseason’s player movement — and there was a whole lot of it this year — it’s time to take stock of all the fascinating new faces in new places, as well as the more compelling stories of players who will face new challenges while sticking around. Over the course of the next few weeks, Andrew Unterberger will do a team-by-team look at the most interesting players going into next season — one new to the team, and one returning — as we all try to pass the dog days of NBA-less summer, dreaming of hoops-filled months to come. The series continues today with the teams in the Northwest Division: the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Thunder, Blazers and Jazz.

DENVER NUGGETS

Most Interesting New Player: Nate Robinson

I guess? Like the Mavs, the Nuggets added a whole spate of recognizable new players to their roster this offseason, and none of them are even slightly exciting roster adds. Randy Foye? We know pretty well what that dude can and can’t do by now. J.J. Hickson? The Nugs already have one frontcourt energy guy/rebounding machine, and he’s a whole lot more fun to watch than J.J. Hickson. Darrell Arthur? Don’t think there are a lot of NBA fans who watched Denver last year and thought to themselves “fun team, but would it kill them to shoot more 18-foot elbow jumpers?” None of these guys are gonna make the team League Pass must watches, exactly.

That just leaves Nasty Nate, who is at least always fun to watch on a new team — to see the respective fanbases come to terms with his strengths and weaknesses, to see him make funny friend duos with his new teammates (Shrek ‘n Donkey 4EVA!!), to see him get way too many starts when the point guard he’s backing up goes down with injury. It’s hard to see where he fits into this team that already has Ty Lawson (essentially a steadier, less-maddening version of NateRob) and Andre Miller (NateRob’s inverse in just about every conceivable way), but Nate Robinson always manages to make his presence felt by year’s end, and the Pepsi Center crowd should eat him up. He’ll look great in those Denver baby blues, too.

Most Interesting Returning Player: JaVale McGee

This feels like the fourth or fifth consecutive make-or-break year for JaVale, who has still yet to really be made or broken. He shot a career high 58 percent and posted a career high 20.9 PER last year, but proved weirdly unplayable alongside Kenneth Faried and still couldn’t manage to unseat Kousta Koufos as the team’s starting center, averaging his fewest minutes a game (18.1) since 2010. Well, not only is Koufos now gone, but so is head coach George Karl — the latter’s dismissal supposedly coming in part due to his unwillingness to give the high-upside, well-compensated McGee big minutes. It’s never been nower or neverer for old Pierre.

Amazingly, JaVale will still be just 25 years old on opening night, so the belief that McGee has remaining yet-to-be-tapped potential still remains at least slightly justifiable. And for a team that basically went through an across-the-board downgrade (down to the management and front office) in the offseason, getting that kind of level-up in production from their eternal project of a big man might be one of the only ways that the team can stay a contender in a suddenly very crowded West. Even if not, we should be getting a lot more JaVale this season, which you don’t need me to tell you is always a good thing.

Read the rest of this entry »

I guess this explains why Derrick Rose’s rehabilitation took so long — the guy hates to dance and that’s obviously a crucial step to repairing an injured knee. It’s like my dad always says: “When in doubt, dance it out.”

(via Daily Thunder)

Do you like social media buzzwords such as cross-platform, activations and interactivity while also enjoying basketball and/or the Oklahoma City Thunder and/or the Houston Rockets? If so, this new Nike “Summer Is Serious” contest is literally the definition of “in your wheelhouse.” Here are the rules:

During the Entry Period, submit a photo or video of yourself (subject to the guidelines in Section 5 below) via Twitter, Instagram or Vine using the hashtag #summerisserious. During the period July 8 – 16, 2013 follow @nikebasketball for the daily challenges that will be issued for a specific skill (i.e., shooting, rebounding, etc.). After July 16, 2013, when challenges are no longer issued, you may still submit entries through August 2, 2013. You may submit as many entries as you like, but each entry must be a new original entry that has not been previously submitted.

And here is what you can win:

Sixteen (16) Winners will each receive a three-day trip August 15 – 17, 2013 to New York City to participate in a special Tournament of Champions game with one team of Winners drafted by Kevin Durant facing one team of Winners drafted by James Harden. The game will take place the evening of August 16, 2013. Each Winner will receive a uniform, which includes a jersey, shorts and a pair of shoes.

And here is what you absolutely cannot put in your internet video:

Content Restrictions: The entry must NOT contain:

- People other than entrant in the photo;
- Entrant in a sports team uniform on camera, or mention a team name;
- Logos (other than Nike, Converse, or Hurley);
- Marks that identify a brand (other than Nike, Converse, or Hurley);
- Building signage;
- Material that violates or infringes another’s rights (living or deceased), including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights;
- Images and/or artwork that that are copyrighted, trademarked, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the material;
- Nudity, acts of violence, acts that appear to cause injury or harm;
- Dangerous stunts;
- Real weapons of any kind, including, but not limited to, guns, knives or projectiles;
- Drug use;
- Smoking;
- Material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other basis protected by Federal, State, or Local Law, Ordinance, or Regulation; and
- Material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where the Entry is created.

So basically, a shot-for-shot remake of Action Bronson’s “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” or most other worthwhile rap videos is completely out of the question, but you can win the chance to play summer ball with two of the NBA’s most famous summer ballers. Seems like a fair trade.

And while I won’t be entering this contest because I have a wedding to go to that weekend, I really hope a TBJ fan somehow makes it on to one of those teams. It’s kind of impossible to tell if they’re looking for actual basketball talent or just straight up laughs when picking these winners, but I’d be willing to bet there’s a little of both out there. So go nuts with your videos and your hashtags, because this could be your one and only chance to to end up in one of those world famous YouTube clips where Kevin Durant makes 50 threes from beyond halfcourt or whatever. I suppose you could also have your face get mushed, but that’s a risk you need to be willing to take.

steven-adams-singlet

A couple of pieces of background information that is necessary to enjoy this post:

  1. In New Zealand, they apparently call basketball jerseys “singlets.”
  2. Recent Oklahoma City Thunder draft pick Steven Adams is from New Zealand.

Now that you know this stuff, we can get on with the post. From Fairfax NZ News:

New Zealand’s 2.13-metre-tall NBA draftee has chosen to wear the number 12 on his new team’s jersey, because he was the 12th draft pick, but adidas has no plans to release an Adams playing singlet.

Adidas New Zealand spokesperson Josie Tapper said though the company was confident Adams singlets would sell out in the country, adidas NZ had no say over whether a jersey would be made available for sale.

“It’s very unlikely that there will be a Steven Adams singlet.

“We’d love to get them in, that would be awesome.”

This is too bad. Maybe I am crazy, but I kind of feel like that there should be a special jersey provision included in the collective bargaining agreement, wherein if a country has a single player active in the NBA, whomever makes the league’s jerseys should be obligated to sell that player’s jersey in his home country, even if only in limited quantities. The economics of it might not make sense, but it just seems like the nice thing to do. I mean, I’m sure every Swedish person who cares about basketball would love to rock a Jonas Jerebko jersey or singlet, given the chance. It might be expensive to produce a relatively small number of one kind of jersey, but ike the adidas NZ rep said, they’d surely sell out.

Luckily if you’re a New Zealander who is dying for a Steven Adams jersey, there are multiple options for custom jerseys available online. Just pop an “Adams 12″ on the back of that and you’re smiling, woo. If enough people do that, maybe them someone will be like, “This is a crazy amount of pseudo official bootleg Steven Adams headed to New Zealand. Someone tell Adam Silver.” Next thing you know, legit singlets are showing up all around the country. I don’t know if this is actually possible, but you have to admit it sounds logical. We have to believe. #SingletforSteven

You don’t see a lot of signature basketball shoes released in the summer, but then again, you also don’t see a lot of signature basketball shoes that are inspired by watches and come with their own trailer either. Nonetheless, all three of those things are true, as Nike is rolling out Kevin Durant’s sixth signature shoe, the KD VI, in anticipation of their release July 3.

nike-kd-vi

As you might have noticed, those shoes aren’t Oklahoma City Thunder colors. Instead, the colorway that’s being shown off today is based on Durant’s time with the Seat Pleasant Lakers, a club team he played on as a kid. Personally, I’m happy it happened like this because a) I think this edition looks really dope and b) Nike usually releases the KD line with the black version of Durant’s Thunder shoes, which is usually the worst version of any KDs. These ones are awesome, mostly because they look like an Australian soccer shoe. Very good.

Since this is a new Nike signature shoe, they’re updated with all the latest technology that will make them thinner, lighter and more cushioned. And also since they’re a Nike signature shoe, they’re going to be releasing in a bunch of different colorways. But if you don’t like those, they’re already on NikeID, so go nuts.

But it’s not just these that are releasing. No, Kevin Durant is such a big name now that he now gets a streetwear version of his shoes. That’s the first time that’s happened with the KD line, and it seems there are still a few kinks to be ironed out.

nike-sportswear-kds

I like the idea, I like the colors, I even like the polka dots — but nope. I know the jeans-tucked-in-to-giant-tongues look is big right now, but these just look impractical, stiff and heavy. The actual basketball shoes make up for these, so I’m going to let it slide since this Nike Sportswear version is just a minor release anyways. Let’s just forget I even mentioned it.

But yeah, these are the shoes you’ll see Kevin Durant in all season long, at least until he gets a new playoff shoe. They come out July 3 and retail for $130. There are a few more pictures after the jump, so let’s hear what you think in the comments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Would you prefer the alley-oop off the backboard?

Or the vintage dribbling moves in to a three?

Or you could choose any other of the myriad of videos from Kevin Durant’s appearance at the Goodman League. Just remember that as soon as you watch one of these, the NBA offseason will have officially begun. Once you open up that Pandora’s box of amateur videos that aren’t properly oriented, it’s like Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow — four more months of no real basketball.

Part One: Painkiller Blues

Part Two: The Strummening

Part Three: The Internet Strikes Back

My one big takeaway from Russell Westbrook’s obsession with Taylor Swift: better than Ke$ha.

(via Daily Thunder)