Dec 29, 2011 10:15 AM EST
Russell Westbrook's frustration appeared to have started with just 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter when he drove into the paint and kicked the ball out to Thabo Sefolosha in the corner. Sefolosha passed up a wide open 3-pointer, which prompted Westbrook to yell at Sefolosha “shoot the (expletive) ball.”
Sefolosha and other teammates, including Kevin Durant and center Kendrick Perkins attempted to calm Westbrook down immediately during an ensuing trip to the free throw line. But the emotions spilled over to the bench one minute later.
Durant appeared to again settle Westbrook, but Westbrook appeared to take exception to how Durant delivered his message. The two began shouting at each other and had to be separated.
Dec 26, 2011 11:06 AM EST
On Sunday, David Stern dismissed the argument that the luxury tax will hurt small market teams like the Thunder.
The Thunder already have Kevin Durant on a rising extension and would need a large payroll to retain Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
“That's ludicrous,” Stern said. “The idea that the luxury tax hurts small markets is ludicrous. It may impact a small market that is a great team and has to raise payroll. But at bottom, it's designed to eliminate the ability of teams to use their economic resources to distort competition.
“It does have a bite if you have any team that's well assembled and you want to keep it together. So if you have the Thunder over here and the Heat over there, they're both going to have to deal with luxury tax issues. That's not a small market (issue).”
Stern added that the Thunder, like any loaded team, would someday potentially have to surrender one of its stars.
“People are saying to Miami, ‘Well, you're going to have a decision to make with respect to one of your big three.' And they may say the same thing to Oklahoma City, and that's a good thing."
Dec 25, 2011 10:49 AM EST
The Knicks have the highest average ticket price of the five Christmas Day games.
Here are the averages, according to information provided by TiqIQ.com:
Celtics @ Knicks: $516.09
Bulls @ Lakers: $466.02
Heat @ Mavs: $395.97
Magic @ Thunder: $295.71
Clippers @ Warriors: $104.95
Dec 24, 2011 6:42 PM EST
The Thunder bought out the contract of Nate Robinson on Saturday, according to his agent Aaron Goodwin, the day before the NBA 2011-12 season tips off.
Terms weren't disclosed but Robinson was scheduled to make $4.5 million for 2011-12. The Thunder needed to settle with him before the season to open his roster spot.
Robinson is expected to clear waivers and will be a free agent.
Dec 24, 2011 11:31 AM EST
Oklahoma City is close to completing a buyout of guard Nate Robinson's contract and the seven-year veteran is likely to become a free agent as soon as Saturday morning.
Robinson is on the books for $4.5 million in the final year of his contract, but he opted to stay in his native Seattle during training camp and the preseason rather than endure a second season on the Thunder bench.
Robinson's agent, Aaron Goodwin, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti had been working toward a mutual agreement in recent weeks and it appears a resolution is being finalized.
Dec 20, 2011 4:29 PM EST
Kevin Durant has become the first beneficiary of the so-called 'Derrick Rose Rule'.
Durant meets the eligibility considerations by being named to the All-NBA first team in 2010 and 2011.
Had Durant not been granted the larger maximum salary, his 2010-11 earnings would have been $12,922,194 and his five-year extension would have totaled $74,302,616. By being granted the larger maximum, Durant earns an extra $2,584,438 this season and an extra $14,860,519 over the life of his extension.
As a result of Durant's new designation, the Thunder are also now over the salary cap.
Dec 20, 2011 10:34 AM EST
Kevin Durant is adding Dirk Nowitzki’s step-back jumper while jumping off the wrong foot to his repertoire.
Durant unveiled the move in a preseason win over the Mavericks on Sunday night.
“Yeah, he’s the originator,” Durant said laughing. “I stole that from him a little bit. I’m not as good as he is at it. But I’ve been working on it, and it was the perfect time for me to do that with the defender playing the way he was playing. I’m glad I made it. I thought it was going to be an air-ball.”
Durant glanced over at the Dallas bench as he trotted back on defense. He shot a sly smile at Nowitzki, who did not play but was dressed in warm-ups on the Mavs bench.
“I kind of gave a wink to Dirk because, like I said, I stole that from him, man,” Durant said. “He’s such a great basket-maker at that shot and he does it on every type of play, going to the middle, baseline. I’m just trying to perfect it a little bit like he has. It’s going to take me a long time but I’m working on it.”
Dec 19, 2011 1:55 PM EST
Thunder Executive General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has acquired a 2013 2nd round draft pick from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for center Byron Mullens and cash considerations.
"While we believe that Byron will be a productive player in this league, it became apparent that in the near future it would be difficult for him to continue his development and have the opportunity to make a significant impact on our club because of the current make-up of our roster,” Presti said. “This trade allows us the opportunity to create both future financial and roster flexibility while providing us with an additional draft pick in 2013."
Dec 16, 2011 10:37 AM EST
Kendrick Perkins said he and Kevin Durant each lead in their own way.
“I'd never tell KD this, but I think he kind of set the bar high for me,” Perkins said. “Practice starts at 10, and he's there at 7:45 every morning. I'm looking at him like, ‘Dude, what are you doing?' Seriously, I'm used to getting my (extra) shots up after practice. He's before and after practice. So I'm like, ‘Man, you're setting the bar up pretty high for a guy who's got (two) kids.' I need every extra minute of my sleep.
“KD is a guy who leads by example. When I first got here, I had never seen a superstar work as hard as him, and that's the honest truth. Just watching him before practice, then he goes through practice hard, he's shooting again after practice. I'm like, ‘When do this dude ever get tired?' It was something like two weeks after the season was over with … he went to Rucker (Park in New York City) and dropped 60 (actually 66 points). I'm like, ‘When's your vacation time?'
“But that's the way he sets the bar for the team. He really leads by example by not even saying a word. So it's cool.”
Dec 15, 2011 9:13 AM EST
Kevin Durant spent time playing power forward last season, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said we could see Durant get more minutes at that spot this season.
“His post-up game, we are going to continue to build on that,” Brooks said. “We've made steps throughout the last three or four years with that. I think this year you'll see another step.”
Durant said he has improved his patience and his ability to seal his man and be stronger holding his position to get the ball on the block. Brooks said Durant is smart enough to pick up new things and adjust.
“I got to keep working and keep getting stronger,” Durant said. “My teammates challenge me every day in practice, so I know with them on my back every single day I can get better.”
Oklahoma City Thunder Archives
Phil Jackson believes the truncated season could result in a dark horse champion.
The Thunder have acquired Lazar Hayward from Minnesota in exchange for undisclosed draft considerations.
Scott Brooks wants his team to create more scoring opportunities from the pass.
The NBA has set a deadline of January 25th to come to terms with players entering their fourth season on a contract extension.
The Thunder have agreed to re-sign Daequan Cook to a two-year, $7.5 million deal.
Nate Robinson will not be reporting for training camp with the Thunder.
Dec 08, 2011 | Press Release
Nate Robinson won't be part of Oklahoma City's plans moving forward.
Many had expected the Thunder to aggressively pursue Shane Battier as well, but that hasn't happened.
Every Oklahoma City Thunder game pours $2.25 million into the local economy.
The Knicks, Celtics, Mavericks, Heat, Bulls, Lakers, Thunder, Magic, Warriors and Clippers will play on Christmas Day.
The Thunder could tack four years onto Russell Westbrook’s contract.
Basketball Wiretap Headlines