Author - Chuck Chaney

Debut of Thunder Links

Jay Jersey’s Blog gives his opinion on how relocation helps uniforms for the better or for the worst.

Darnell Mayberry talks about the future and the off season

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NBA Draft 2011

The NBA Draft is fast approching us all, and behind that is the looming lock out. However, what are the mock drafts saying about the Oklahoma City Thunder? It’s weird to think just two seasons ago we were watching the draft with tons of interest as we were lottery picks. Five straight years to be exact. However, we’re at a different part in our journey from worst to first. We are just keeping an eye on the draft while looking forward to next season, if there will be a next season.

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Development of Young Talent

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

As the off season drags on, some players like James harden are off at pro-am summer basketball leagues, honing their talent and making some 20 something wanna-be league players look foolish. The Pro-Am summer leagues have seemed to replace the Summer leagues since the lockout is looming.

Before the All-Star break, Harden wasn’t living up to expectations as a #3 pick in the draft. Obviously bummed about not being selected to the Rookie Challenge.
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Grading the Thunder

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Well, everyone decided to grade the Thunder. I’m going to do my version of the grades. Remember before you go ahead and disagree with my grading, I am just a fan and no expert by any means. I do feel I’m pretty close though.

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Fan Letter to the Oklahoma City Thunder

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Dear Thunder:

I know by now you must be asking yourselves, what’s the deal with these people in Oklahoma City?  Can they not do Math?  Have they not figured out the rules? Did they not notice we threw away a fourth quarter lead in two consecutive games to lose the series 4 – 1? Should we tell them, or hope they never figure it out???

The truth is we couldn’t love you any more than we do now even if you had won the title.  I wanted you to know that, so you’ll stop thinking you let us down.

It’s odd that I would be writing this letter, since I don’t even like NBA basketball, or at least I didn’t before. By this time each year, my husband would be watching with the sound down because the endless squeak of basketball shoes during the interminable months of the pro season would have been driving me mad.

But not this year.  Throughout the playoffs, we were stitched to the set through every game we could watch, screeching and howling like breeding cats over every basket you hit, every one you missed, every bad call, every win and every loss.

And while we would have loved for you to win the title, here’s what you have to understand – we wanted it for YOU, not for us.

Why is that? Because you’ve helped us show the world who we are.

You guys never give up and we don’t either.  We didn’t quit after the Dust Bowl or the oil busts or the Murrah Bombing or the tornadoes that plowed through the heart of our community a decade ago.  We never looked up and said who’s going to fix this?  Who’s going to bring us trailers to live in or send our kids to college?  We just rolled up our sleeves and went to work.

What you see downtown – Oklahomans did that.  Our leaders dreamed it up and we paid for it.  That building you play in? We built that, too. The names of the big energy companies may spin around the light board inside, but it was the sweat of ten thousand roughnecks that helped put their money in the bank. We know how to work hard and we respect that ethic in others.

After April 19, 1995 people kept asking us, “Will you ever be the same?” And I always thought, “Of course not!  The real question is, whether we’ll be better or worse.”  WE decided we’d be better, and we are.  In fact, sometimes when I look at all we’ve done since then, it’s hard for me to believe – and I saw it all happen! But no matter what we do, we have a hard time convincing the rest of America we’re not just a hump on the back of Texas.

You’re helping us change that, and we’d sure love it if eventually you’d beat those guys.  But we’re willing to wait.

Just like you, Oklahoma is a little on the young side – the fifth youngest state in the Union. In a way, we’re still trying to create our place in America and we face some pretty heavy stereotypes.  We’re the state (along with the Dakotas) that Rand McNally once left out of its portable atlas to save space.  We’re the state that gets dismissed by national sports writers and coaches as a backwater or a “small town”. That backhanded dis-not-so-cleverly-disguised-as-a-compliment by Nuggets Coach George Karl who called us the “Green Bay of the NBA” is just par on our course. Actually, I really don’t mind being compared to the Cheeseheads, because most people in America don’t get them either.  WE do. They’re working people just like us who know how to support a team!

We’re the people who set what is now called “The Oklahoma Standard” for community response to disaster.  We’re the people who taught the world how to grieve in a public and positive way, how to turn disaster into opportunity.

We don’t always win here, but nobody cares more, tries harder, or stays truer than Oklahomans. There’s something strange and special about this place, but you have to stay here for a while to understand it.

Today when somebody drove by with his Thunder flag still flying, while we were listening to Native Son Bryan White sing “Dust Bowl Dreams” about how Oklahomans “push on and persevere” I realized exactly why it is we love you guys:  In some odd way that defies explanation you GET us.

You get who we are and you’ve been able to give us a voice in the world by the way you play, by the way you persevere.  All of us Native Okies are here because somebody decided to stick it out through the bad times and keep working for better times.  When we watch you play, we see those beliefs rewarded. For us, whether you win or lose really is less important than how you play the game.

And that’s why the crowd was still chanting “OKC! OKC!” even as you set a dubious new NBA record for a blown lead.  That’s why they were waiting for you at oh-dark-30 this morning, chanting, “Thank you, Thunder!”  While you may think you owe US something, we know in our hearts that we really owe YOU.

So don’t hang your heads.  Just get ready for next year, because as Bryan White sings, “Quitting is something Okies just don’t do.”

Keep rolling, Thunder. We’re behind you all the way.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/jenifer-reynolds/an-open-letter-to-the-thunder/228700937143914

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Historical Meltdown, Thunder now down 3-1

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Hard to put this loss into words. The Thunder led by 13 points at the 4:33 mark in the fourth quarter. Then, Harden fouled out. From then on out, the Dallas Mavericks outscored Oklahoma City 26-6. Including 11-4 in OT.  Dirk Nowitzki turned on the charm and put up 14 points in the fourth quarter and OT. Nowitzki scored 13 points in the final 9:33 of the game.

Thunder started out hot from the floor, hitting their first 6 shots and increasing an early lead. They lead by as much as 11 in the first quarter as the Thunder lead by a max of 15 points with about five minutes remaining in the game.

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Western Conference Finals Game 4 Keys to the Game

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Coming off a disappointing home performance, the Oklahoma City Thunder really have their backs against the wall. Win and they go back to Dallas tied 2-2. Lose, go back to Dallas down 3-1 and facing elimination. What will come of this? Will the Thunder respond with the vigor that we’ve known them to after losses? OKC is 26-6 following a lost. Haven’t lost back-to-back games since back-to-back road losses to the Trailblazers and Clippers on April 1st and 2nd.

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Swing Game, Game 3 Keys

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Here it goes, a huge deciding factor, winner goes up 2-1 and needs to just win 2 of the final 4 games to reach the NBA Finals. However, doing so will be tough. Dallas arguably the best road team in the NBA. Dirk Nowitzki is unguardable. Kevin Durant is having a great series even though you only know about his magnificent posterizing of Brenden Haywood.

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The Beard Dominates, Thunder Win! 106-100.

 

First six minutes of the game, Thunder fans were scratching their heads, trailling 21-11. Dallas was running up and down the court, and all of a sudden James Harden and Kevin Durant turned up the heat. Next thing you know the dunk above, led to a 40-35 lead. KD was T’d up for telling Brendan Haywood exactly what he thought after the dunk. After a nice run, the Thunder led 59-57 at halftime.

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WCF Game 2 Keys


(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant, coming off a great 40 point effort said

“I didn’t play a great game, because we didn’t win.”

Big words coming from a leader.

Overshadowed by Dirk Nowitzki’s 48 point appearance in Game 1. Durant will try to help lead the Thunder to even the series at 1 game a piece.

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We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!