Jul 31, 2008 7:35 PM EDT
The National Basketball Association announced today that the Professional Basketball Club, LLC, owner of the Oklahoma City NBA franchise, has reached an agreement in principle to purchase the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League from Southwest Basketball, LLC. Oklahoma City becomes the third NBA team to purchase an NBA D-League affiliate, joining the Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders) and the San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros) as sole owners of their affiliates.
?As owners of the Tulsa 66ers, we will be able to oversee the team's business operations and provide a valuable developmental vehicle for some of our young players,? said Clay Bennett, chairman of Professional Basketball Club, LLC. ?We have received tremendous support from Tulsa for our NBA team in Oklahoma City and we are excited to be a part of the NBA D-League in the Tulsa area. It?s going to be a great partnership.?
Jul 30, 2008 1:45 AM EDT
Oklahoma City will officially begin their new era at home on October 29, but the opponent has not yet been revealed, according to a report in The Oklahoman.
The OKC franchise will play 41 home games at the Ford Center, and those dates have been reserved, including New Year's Eve.
The full schedule should be released next week.
Jul 28, 2008 12:33 PM EDT
Matt Winick is in charge of scheduling for the NBA, and he starts the process for the following season in February.
Teams supply at least 50 to 60 available dates, and it takes Winick about six months to chart out all 1,230 games.
Because of the Sonics' uncertain home base, Winick worked with two different schedules the first five months, one for Seattle and one for Oklahoma City. The uncertainty ended July 2 when team chairman Clay Bennett announced the Sonics were relocating to Oklahoma City.
The NBA schedule traditionally is announced the first week of August. Winick said he's about "three or four days behind? his usual pace.
"Oklahoma City is part of it,? Winick said. "Some other arenas have been part of it. But there are a number of factors. Free agency is part of it because it affects some television matchups we have to move around.?
Jul 28, 2008 3:13 AM EDT
Having missed out on C.J. Miles, could Sam Presti and Oklahoma City turn their sights to restricted Nugget J.R. Smith for help at shooting guard?
According to The Oklahoman columnist Darnell Mayberry, Oklahoma City was also interested in Tony Allen before Allen re-signed with Boston.
The Nuggets have said they will match any team's offer for Smith, but with the team already in the luxury tax they may be tempted to let Smith walk. Presti could employ a similar strategy as he did with Miles by setting the bar high and daring Denver to match.
Smith reportedly turned down a three-year, $10 million extension from Denver last fall, and because Memphis is the only other team with significant cap space, the Nuggets have leverage to not offer much more.
Jul 27, 2008 4:39 AM EDT
Former Sonics owner Harold Schultz has declared in a declaration filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle that NBA Commissioner David Stern warned him that it would be "very expensive" to pursue a lawsuit seeking to return the team to Seattle from Oklahoma City, the Associated Press is reporting.
Schultz has sued to try to reverse his sale of the franchise to Clay Bennett, claiming the Oklahoma City businessman failed to follow through on a promise to negotiate in good faith to keep the team in Seattle.
Schultz said in his declaration that when he learned on June 23 of the potential settlement between the city of Seattle and the franchise, he told his lawyers that he could not support that settlement "because my primary objective was to secure an NBA team in Seattle, and that objective was not adequately insured by that settlement."
Schultz said that Stern tried to contact him on July 24, the first contact Stern had made since Schultz filed the suit, to find out why Schultz was not joining the settlement between the new Sonic owners and the City of Seattle.
Schultz said Stern told him "that if I did not join in the settlement ... I should realize that it will become very expensive for me and my partners, and he implied that I should reconsider my position."
Jul 26, 2008 6:20 AM EDT
The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has exercised its first right of refusal on guard C.J. Miles?s contract. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
Miles (6-6, 220, Skyline H.S. (TX)) has appeared in 120 games (26 starts) in three seasons with the Jazz, averaging 4.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 10.5 minutes per game. Miles appeared in 60 games (13 starts) for the Jazz in 2007-08, posting career highs of 5.0 points and 0.9 assists in 11.5 minutes per game. Originally selected by the Jazz in the second round (34th pick overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft, the then 18-year-old became the youngest player in Jazz franchise history.
Jul 26, 2008 1:42 AM EDT
The NBA has filed for trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to six potential nicknames for the Oklahoma City team, the Associated Press is reporting.
The nicknames include the Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind.
It was previously reported that the team will be called the Thunder, although no official announcement has been made or has been scheduled.
Jul 25, 2008 6:44 PM EDT
The Jazz on Friday matched the offer C.J. Miles signed with Oklahoma City last week, as reported by Yahoo.com.
Terms were not disclosed, but sources indicated Miles inked a four-year, $15M deal with the former Sonics franchise.
Jul 22, 2008 10:27 PM EDT
Oklahoma City?s new NBA team has reached an agreement in principle to purchase the Performance Sports Center building in north Oklahoma City to use as its temporary home for practice and basketball operations offices, team officials announced today. The 30,000 square foot facility will serve as the team?s practice facility until a permanent one is constructed at a still to be determined location.
?We were quite impressed with what Performance Sports Center was able to offer for our temporary needs. The NBA size court and weight and training facilities are efficient for us in the interim " said team General Manager Sam Presti. ?It?s an excellent location and we feel our players, coaches and staff will fit in well there. The Oklahoma City area offered several good facilities but we decided this best met our needs,? Presti said.
The facility will require some minor improvements to meet temporary team needs and NBA specifications including changes to the locker rooms, training area, office space, meeting rooms and media room. The team plans to move in once the improvements are made, which should be by the time training camp opens in late September. The City of Oklahoma City is assisting in providing the temporary facility.
Presti added it?s more than just a place to practice basketball. ?This is a very important piece of our basketball operations. It?s the players? office, where they spend a great deal of time practicing, conditioning and continuing to develop as a team.?
Jul 22, 2008 10:22 PM EDT
Cavalier superstar LeBron James was forced from practice on Tuesday with a sprained ankle which Team USA officials are labeling as 'minor', the Associated Press is reporting.
James landed on the foot of Kevin Durant during a closed scrimmage between Team USA and a select squad of young NBA players at Valley High School.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said he would know more on Wednesday after James has had a chance to rest.
"He thinks it's a mild sprain," Krzyzewski said. "Our trainers think it's a mild sprain. So we'll find out tomorrow. But I don't think it's anything serious. Obviously, we'll look and see what happens tomorrow."
Oklahoma City Thunder Archives
The new Oklahoma City NBA franchise has nicknamed itself the Thunder.
The Texas Longhorns will retire the jersey of Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant.
Jul 18, 2008 | Press Release
OKC GM Sam Presti announced on Friday that the team has signed restricted free agent guard C.J. Miles to an offer sheet.
Jul 17, 2008 | Denver Post
The possibility of Francisco Elson returning to the Nuggets increased dramatically following the Marcus Camby trade.
Jul 15, 2008 | Seattle Times
The city of Seattle officially terminated the lease for Key Arena on Monday, paving the way for the team formerly known as the SuperSonics to make their way to Oklahoma City.
Charles Barkley feels bad for both the Sonics and their fans for having to move their operations to Oklahoma City.
Jul 09, 2008 | Seattle Times
The NBA is trying to intervene in the lawsuit between former Sonics' owner Harold Schultz and the Oklahoma City franchise, saying that the lawsuit could interfere with the stable operation of the franchise.
The official website for the Oklahoma City team has now had the SuperSonics' name and colors removed.
Despite the settlement between the owners of the SuperSonics and the city of Seattle, former owner Harold Schultz is still going ahead with his lawsuit to try to reclaim the team.
Oklahoma City, dressed in black jerseys with white sides, the NBA logo and the words "Oklahoma City" across the chest, started their post-Seattle era with a 95-78 loss to the Indiana Pacers as summer league opened up in Orlando.
Jul 07, 2008 | The Oklahoman
The yet-to-be-renamed NBA franchise in Oklahoma City will be looking to improve through trades this offseason rather than free agency.
The Sonics are still undecided about what they will do about a practice facility as they begin their move from Seattle to Oklahoma City.
Jul 07, 2008 | The Oklahoman
The soon-to-be-named Oklahoma City team will wear NBA-OKC jerseys during summer league play this week.
General Manager Sam Presti announced Friday that Russell Westbrook and D.J. White have both been signed to multi-year contracts.
General Manager Sam Presti announced Friday that guard Earl Watson underwent successful surgery in Los Angeles for a fracture of the right thumb.
For some Sonic players like Kevin Durant and Damien Wilkins, leaving Seattle is painful.
SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett could end up paying $75 million to move the NBA franchise to Oklahoma City this year, and he won't be taking the team's name or colors with him.
Jul 01, 2008 | Press Release
Sonics' GM Sam Presti announced on Tuesday that guard Earl Watson suffered a fracture of the right thumb while preparing for the upcoming season in a basketball game in Los Angeles.
Basketball Wiretap Headlines