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Thunder Links 11.29

What if Oklahoma City won a title or two in the post lock out era? Yes, the Thunder have some built-in advantages. A publicly-funded $120 million renovation to their arena — along with the construction of a practice facility — provided the franchise with a solid foundation in Oklahoma City. Voters even approved a one-cent sales tax increase. General manager Sam Presti has drafted and managed the roster impeccably.

Kendrick Perkins is missed in Boston, he misses it too. “I never knew how much I missed being here,’’ said Perkins, who is only 27 but will be entering his ninth NBA season. “I definitely missed the whole city of Boston, the whole area of New England, and it just felt good to be playing basketball back in Boston.

OKC can benefit from a shortened season. Can Serge Ibaka, fresh off his time overseas with Real Madrid, use the fury of weapons Dirk Nowitzki unleashed upon him to take another step forward? Can he be more than occasionally amazing and genuinely entertaining and become a force? Can he be dominant where he needs to be?

KD and other former Sonics were supposed to go back to Seattle. Now that the NBA is locked out, NBA owners, including Clay Bennett, can’t control what the players do during the off season. I’m not suggesting that Bennett has rules for Durant or Collison pertaining to Seattle — but I do know that when he owned the team in Seattle, the local media had very little access to the players and public appearances for fans was at an all time low.

KD’s rookie… Football card? Durant’s surprise appearance for the Oklahoma State Sigma Nu fraternity flag football team did not disappoint. Durant, playing quarterback and defensive back, scored four touchdowns and picked off three passes.

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