Tag - Chesapeake Energy Arena

Thunder survive Spurs for ugly win

In these days, any win will do. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder found their way on the winning side with a 90-87 decision over San Antonio on Sunday night.

The win moves Oklahoma City to 10-12 on the year and have won back-to-back games for the first time since the Thunder won three straight over two weeks ago.

“A win is always great in this league,” Russell Westbrook said. “You don’t take anything for granted.”

Westbrook led the Thunder with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season.

The Thunder had been struggling. Losers of five out of six before their mini-win spurt, the Thunder found themselves up by double digits at halftime and by as many as 14 in the second half. However, you know how the story goes. Boy loves a girl. Boy loses second half lead. However, instead of losing the girl to another person, the boy actually got the girl, despite acting like a complete imbecile in the final seconds.

Oklahoma City had their chance and it appeared they were going to roll finally. The Thunder led 90-82 off a Westbrook three-pointer with 3:34 remaining in the game.

The Thunder would not score again.

San Antonio rested everyone. That’s fine. We know this was coming and the Spurs were going to be tough for 3½ quarters. And they did. They fought hard and never quit. Even when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest Pau Gasol and Patty Mills in the second half.

 

As the Thunder built their lead it was without Paul George. The former Indiana Pacer went a rare 2-of-17 from the floor. Foul trouble kept him out of rhythm all game long. George finished with eight points and eight rebounds. He did things on the defensive end but seemed out of sorts due to the fouling.

“It’s hard especially when the game is being called a certain way,” George said. “It is what it is.”

The Spurs made their run without Steven Adams on the floor. Adams, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Oklahoma City had an 11-point lead with 3:20 left in the third quarter. Adams wouldn’t return until the 6:04 mark in the fourth quarter. However, the damage had been done. The Spurs carved up a 1-point lead.

Adams would be yanked out again in the final minutes, leaving questionable choices on the decision making once again by Donovan. Adams would finished with only two points and in 13 minutes. Jerami Grant would play 10 minutes, mainly at the five-spot, allowed a lot of the comeback.

The Spurs fought back, cutting it to 90-87 with 1:59 remaining. Both teams decided not to score anymore. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Both teams went 0-of-4 down the stretch with a fun bundle of turnovers.

The Thunder did their best to throw the game away as Westbrook, trapped on the center line, threw a errant pass near out of bounds, it was intercepted by the Spurs, dished up to Brandon Paul, who was left wide open to brick a three-pointer.

Oklahoma City fans held their breath as the Spurs were on the cusp of sending the reeling Thunder to overtime in front of another sold out Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Thunder will return to the Peake on Tuesday for a fun showdown with divisional foe Utah to close out the three-game home stand.

Keys to the Game

Rebound: C

The Thunder may have out rebounded the Spurs. However, the Spurs really made the Thunder pay for their offensive rebounds. San Antonio scored 18 points off eight offensive rebounds. The most important rebound came at the end as the Thunder rebounded Paul’s miss,ending any Spurs chance of a last second heroic shot.

Less is more: A+

Oklahoma City is now 5-0 this season when they hold their opponent under 90 points. The Spurs shot horribly across the board, 40 percent from the field, 28 percent from three. It’s what you want to see in a really stingy Thunder defense.

Get to the line: F

Okay, so I know it says get to the line. However, when you go 10-of-21 from the line, you get an F. If you cannot make your shots, why even go there? It was a disappointing and frankly, an embarrassing time at the line for the Thunder. Oklahoma City has to and must do better if they’re going to win more close games.

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NBA gives Westbrook an assist and a triple-double

On Thursday morning, the NBA gave Russell Westbrook an assist, figuratively and literally, to give him his fourth triple-double of the season.

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, the scorekeeper in the game at Milwaukee missed an obvious lob to Steven Adams and didn’t credit Westbrook with the assist. The NBA made it right on Thursday. Westbrook finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Here’s said video of the missed assist:

It’s Westbrook’s 81st career triple-double and 46th triple-double in his last 89 games. If you eliminate every triple-double for Westbrook before last season, he would still be ranked eighth all-time on these two seasons alone.

The NBA doesn’t only review plays when a milestone like a triple-double is on the table. They often review plays. There was a random play in the playoffs in 2012 where the NBA accredited Westbrook with an assist after dishing off to Thabo Sefolosha. The assist had no barring on whether or not a triple-double happened. The NBA does its best to fix its mistakes.

On the year, Westbrook is averaging 19.6 points, 11.7 assists and 9.9 rebounds per game in seven contests. Across the board, his numbers are at career highs, sans free throws. The reigning MVP might not average 30 points this season but his impact is being felt even more than last season with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

Dean Blevins of KWTV is on the prowl saying the Thunder told him they’re reviewing a rebound. That’s highly unlikely.

Westbrook will be going for his third straight triple-double against Boston on Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The tip-off is at 8:30 p.m., not 7 p.m. It’ll be the late game on ESPN. So, drink some coffee and make sure you can keep awake for this one. It should be exciting.

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Thunder Digits: Big Three dominate

The Oklahoma City Thunder opened up the 2017-2018 season with an emphatic 105-84 win over the New York Knicks. Here are some numbers that definitely stood out:

71

71 is the number of points scored by Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George. It’s safe to say all three of these guys can really score the basketball. George had it going from deep as well, as he knocked down six threes.

16

The number of assists Russell Westbrook had. You can tell that Russell has taken on a new game this season as he got others open all night long. He was constantly looking to make a play for someone else. Russell has grown up and improved so much in just a couple of short years and it is really showing now.

9

Oklahoma City has now won nine straight home openers. Their last loss? The opening night of this franchise.

14

Oklahoma City ended the night with 14 takeaways. The Thunder was able to get a deflection on almost every pass and it led to many fast break points. Steven Adams had five steals and was a defensive menace all night long. The 14 steals doesn’t give the Thunder defense enough credit as they forced 25 total turnovers on the night.

18

The Thunder had 18 turnovers of their own tonight as they couldn’t seem to find a ton of rhythm early, as expected. As the game went on, the Thunder really started to mesh and showed how scary the Thunder can be. Oklahoma City needs to cut down on turnovers if they want to live up to the hype they have created this season.

38

The number of three pointers the Thunder took tonight. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but the Thunder really struggled to knock them down early. Everything started falling late though, as they finished with 11 makes from downtown. Oklahoma City has a plethora of three point shooters this year so expect a high volume of threes most games.

300

Oklahoma City now has 300 sellouts at Chesapeake Energy Arena. That is for regular season and playoff games, combined. While the Thunder have the second longest streak in the NBA, for perspective the Dallas Mavericks have sold out every game since 2001, at 705 consecutive games.

21

The margin of victory for Oklahoma City tonight. Although it wasn’t the cleanest game, it was nonetheless very impressive. The Thunder didn’t play their best game tonight and still won by 21. Oklahoma City will have a bit of a tougher matchup as they travel to Utah Saturday. By the looks of tonight, this season is gonna be a fun one.

 

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I can feel it coming in the air

 

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord

Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord” – Phil Collins (In The Air Tonight)

There is an energy in the air that was missing this time last year, and I can feel it 10,516 miles away, and I love it.

12 months ago the Thunder at this point of the season was preparing for an uphill battle without one of its longtime soldiers. That is irrelevant now, as we’re embarking on a new adventure. We have new soldiers to go to war with, and you bet your tail we’re going to fight, and with our leader, you’re going to need to kill him to stop him, and he has only one target in his sight.

Sam Presti restocked the weapon’s vault with some heavy artillery adding Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Patrick Patterson. Last year was a one-man wrecking crew that won 47 games and a first-round exit in the playoffs. Every position Oklahoma City needed to fix they did, and now Russell Westbrook is not a one-man wrecking crew now he’s the leader of a three-headed beast.

The Thunder is not just a team with three all-stars it has some solid support to go along with there All-Stars.

Steven Adams looks to be back to his best after last season were he averaged 11 points on 57 percent shooting on an average of 8.2 shots a game with 7.7 rebounds per game. Adams took a back seat to the greatness of Westbrook last season but if you watched any of the Thunders preseason games, this preseason Adams looks to be a solid piece of the puzzle on offense and defense that seems to fit quite well with the top tier talent.

Andre Roberson is going to be an integral part of this puzzle. Roberson’s elite perimeter defending is going to be essential to this teams success. It is vital that he can develop something on offense to make him more than just a defensive ace and command respect on the offensive side of the ball from the opposition to help his teammates and not be a liability that the opposition can sag off and double team someone else.

Roberson was terrible on offense especially from behind the arc and free throw, scoring 24 percent from behind the arc and 42 percent from the free throw line. Westbrook is going to be crucial to Roberson’s development on offense Roberson could become a cutting to the basket option if Andre and Russell can build a connection in training with Westbrook’s passing ability it might just come down to Roberson’s work ethic and commitment to evolving his offensive skills.

Patterson has had a slow start to the season with after he underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee earlier in the preseason and hadn’t had an opportunity to play any minutes this preseason. When Patterson becomes available, he might just be the best addition to this team as crazy as that might seem as Presti just brought in two perennial All-Stars. Patterson shot 40 percent from the field. His 37 percent perimeter efficiency was above the league average with the Toronto Raptors. Patterson will give the Thunder consistent perimeter scoring and solid clutch time defense. Where his real value lies is in his versatility on offense with his mid-range game and around the rim.

Alex Abrines could be the most significant winner of the additions of Anthony and George. With Westbrook, Anthony and George receiving all of the defensive attention Abrines will see a considerable increase in open shots this season. After being a 38 percent shooter from three averaging three shots a game last season and 39 percent from the floor shooting on an average of five shots a game, Abrines could see them both rise into the 40 percent range with all the open shots he will get.

Jerami Grant, Terrence Ferguson, and Josh Huestis are going to be exciting young talent to watch this season. Ferguson has the highest ceiling to be a potential star. Grant and Huestis have the work ethic to be good contributors to this teams success.

Coach Billy Donovan is entering his most important season of his professional career after having a successful collegiate coaching career winning two NCAA championships with Florida. Getting everyone on this roster to buy in is essential to this team reaching any form of success. If even one player does not buy into the all in mentality the franchise has set with its offseason moves taking a risk on George and Anthony who could decide to leave at the end of this season they will find themselves out in the first round again.

Donovan needs Westbrook to be the one to display that all in mentality. After averaging 31.6 points averaging 24.0 shots a game on 42 percent shooting with 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game with a usage percentage of 41 percent that cant happen this year with George and Anthony on his team Westbrook cant have the ball in his hands 41 percent of the the time. Westbrook has shown his all in off the court signing his extension that keeps him in Oklahoma for six years now he has to prove it on the court.

This is an exciting time to be an Oklahoma City Thunder fan, and you can feel that excitement permeating in the air. This is the beginning of something great. There is going to be peaks and valleys throughout this season but you shouldn’t waiver in your belief in this team there is going to be growing pains but come playoff time this team will be raring to go strap yourselves in this is going to be a hell of a ride.

Thunder Up.

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Thunder release 2017 preseason schedule

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced their 2017 preseason schedule on Aug. 4. There will be only four preseason games this season, the lowest since the lockout shortened season of 2011-12.

The Thunder will play only two games at Chesapeake Energy Arena, one in Tulsa at the BOK Center and will play the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

The first game will be in Tulsa against the Houston Rockets on Oct. 3. They’ll be back in Oklahoma City on Oct. 6 to take on the New Orleans Pelicans.

On Oct. 8, the Thunder will welcome in Austrailia’s NBL team, Melbourne United at the Peake. This will be the third time in franchise history Oklahoma City will host a preseason game vs. an international opponent.

Oklahoma City concludes their preseason schedule with a trip to the Mile High City to play the Nuggets on Oct. 10.

So, that’s four games in a week and the NBA schedule is set to tip-off on Oct. 17.

All games will be on the WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1 in OKC and 97.1 in Tulsa). The Thunder will broadcast only the Denver game on FS Oklahoma, leaving the other three available on the Thunder app or online at okcthunder.com.

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Summer of Sam: Presti coming through this summer

NBA fans never hear any rumblings of what the Thunder are doing in the trade and free agency market.

It’s part of what has made them so successful as a franchise. It’s another reason the Thunder have had the best offseason in the association this year. Thanks to general manager Sam Presti, the Thunder are looking as if they will have one of their strongest rosters ever when the season tips off in October.

Presti and the Thunder brass have always been quiet, lurking in the shadows of the NBA trade market always looking to make a big splash. It’s how they landed former Indiana forward Paul George. It’s how, time and time again, the Thunder’s front office looks like the one of the best in the NBA.

There have been some questionable decisions, sure. Trading James Harden because of a contract dispute doesn’t look great now, but there was no guarantee Harden would have reached MVP-caliber status if he remained in Thunder blue. Kevin Durant’s departure shook up the central plains a year ago, but Thunder fans are looking to the future now more than ever thanks to Presti and Co.

Oklahoma City needed another superstar to play alongside Russell Westbrook. His late-game heroics often took a front seat to his struggles finding someone on the floor who could make a big play down the stretch. Westbrook doesn’t have to wonder whether his teammates are ready to help him now. He has another top NBA player on the wing.

George isn’t Durant, but Durant isn’t George. Durant is the world’s best scorer, though George can put the ball in the basket, too. He averaged a career-high 23.7 points per contest last season, making 46.1 percent of his shots and 39.1 percent from deep.

Presti added what the Thunder needed most: another scoring option to help Westbrook. No longer does Westbrook need to be the only hero, he has Robin. But George and Westbrook can coexist, taking over games with their combined skills on offense, leaving defenses bewildered and confused after the duo combined for a game-clinching 8-0 run in the final minutes. It’s a sight Thunder fans will see many times in 2017-18.

George isn’t a one way player, though, as his defense has earned him a spot on three All-Defensive teams because of his lockdown prowess on the perimeter. Another superstar will be playing in Chesapeake Energy Arena this offseason, thanks to Presti’s patience and aggressiveness.

Indiana sifted through multiple offers for its four-time All-Star, receiving calls from Cleveland, Boston and Los Angeles. After George said he would not return to Indiana following the final season on his contract, opposing GM’s continued to call Indiana to see how they could get George on their team. Presti was one of them, but he waited for the right moment.

Presti knew Indiana wanted Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Oladipo is a fan favorite of the state; he played at Indiana and still hasn’t reached his prime. Sabonis has potential, but Presti didn’t see his fit with Westbrook as he pictured it when he acquired Sabonis from Orlando.

About two hours before the official start to the new league season, Presti shot from half-court, the shot ripping the cotton and harmlessly hitting the court beneath him.

Presti landed another superstar.

Whether George will commit to Oklahoma City remains unseen. George has said he wants to play for the Lakers starting next season, but possibly a season playing with Westbrook will change his mind to sign long term.

The chances of George staying are slim, but they can improve. Presti made a gamble. Trade two players who have long contracts for a possible one-year rental for George, but it shows his commitment to want to win now. Presti wants to build a team around Westbrook, and George was just the start.

The Thunder signed power forward Patrick Patterson to a three-year, $16.4 million deal. Patterson, a three-and-D player, has excelled in the NBA to this point in his career. The Raptors’ outscored their opponents by 1,004 points while Patterson was on the floor the past three seasons. When he was off the floor, they were outscored by 38.

Patterson can play power forward or center on defense and he can stretch the floor offensively. The past three seasons, Patterson made at least 94 3-pointers. His presence with George will open up the floor tremendously for the Thunder next season, who finished last in three-point percentage in 2016-17.

Presti wasn’t done, though. He re-signed Andre Roberson to a three-year, $30 million offer, which was $2 million less than Presti offered Roberson before the season. It’s a steal, yes, but Roberson still can improve in his game. His offense needs a lot of work. This deal will be one of the best Presti has negotiated with a player if Roberson can maintain a steady shooting stroke and knock down free throws consistently.

Roberson was paid for his defense. Roberson and George will be one of, if not, the best perimeter defending duo’s in the league next season. Shoot, Oklahoma City’s defense will be one of the best, too. If and when Roberson improves his offensive game, he could open up the floor even more for Westbrook and George.

Friday, Presti signed veteran point guard Raymond Felton to a one-year deal. The Thunder solved their backup point guard problem. Although Felton, 33, is near the end of his career, he is a veteran presence in the locker room and will help mend some of the bench struggles the Thunder had last season.

Felton can score, distribute and defend well, especially in the 10-15 minutes he will play each night. As long as the Thunder don’t go missing when Westbrook and George are on the bench, which having Felton should help, the signing is a successful one.

The Thunder had a few glaring holes going into the offseason and they addressed all of them through trades and free agency. Presti added another superstar next to Westbrook, he added a power forward who can spread the floor and defend and he added a backup point guard. Presti also re-signed one of the best defensive guards in the league. Even the Thunder’s draft pick, Terrance Ferguson, is known for his three-and-D style on the wing.

The Thunder needed shooting and Presti got it. The Thunder needed players to spread the floor, check. A backup point guard: no problem. Help for the franchise player, you got it.

Presti is a wizard, but this isn’t Hogwarts.

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Who has the best hair in Thunder history

Basketball players enjoy a level of notoriety athletes in the other major sports leagues don’t have. They wear no helmets or hats. Their faces, facial expressions and facial hair are very much apart of the total package.

As the Oklahoma City Thunder head into their tenth offseason since coming to the plains, it is time we explore the rich hair tradition its players have displayed over the years.

Who truly has the best hair in Thunder history?

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Five Thoughts: Thunder epilogue

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2016-17 campaign came to an end last night as the Houston Rockets won the best of seven series in five games.

These five thoughts will focus more upon the season as a whole and not specifically on the playoff series.

THANK YOU, MR. WESTBROOK

In the wake of a disastrous Fourth of July for Oklahoma City fans, Russell Westbrook provided Thunder nation — and quite frankly the rest of the basketball world — a historic season that will not be soon forgotten.

Triple-double streaks, tying Oscar Robertson’s 55-year old record at the Chesapeake Energy Arena and eventually breaking it. The last-second heroics against Dallas, Orlando and Denver. Not to mention dominant wins against the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers and eventual Eastern Conference first-seed Boston Celtics on the road.

One of the most amazing performances by an individual player in league history.

But what Thunder fans will cherish most is the fact that Westbrook made it great to wear Oklahoma City on your chest. With Kevin Durant gone and the future of the team up in the air, Westbrook lived by his mantra of “Why Not?” and remained loyal to help lead a young team into the future.

DESPITE YOUNG ROSTER, FRANCHISE MENTALITY MUST CHANGE

The Thunder were the youngest team in the 2016-17 playoffs. Typically a playoff appearance and a young roster provide optimism moving forward. That shouldn’t be what the franchise should lean on.

Over the years, Sam Presti has prided himself and the team on building through the draft and developing young talent. They have most certainly done that. That luxury went out the window and straight to Oakland over the summer however. With Westbrook leading the way as the lone star, Presti can no longer look a few years down the road. The future is now.

In the past, Presti would think twice about hiring veteran mercenaries to improve obvious team needs over developing young talent. In order to keep Westbrook in the fold, a shift in mentality must take place.

A core of Westbrook-Oladipo-Adams is fine. Hoping that Jerami Grant, Alex Abrines or Domantas Sabonis all make huge leaps to become more reliable compliments is no longer a luxury the Thunder can lean on solely.

The Thunder may have to get older. They may have to give up a young piece they enjoy for more mature skill-sets. Something must be done in order to keep Westbrook.

MAY BE THE LAST TIME WE SEE CERTAIN PLAYERS IN A THUNDER UNIFORM

Those names are well-documented.

Enes Kanter trade rumors have been rampant since his second season with Oklahoma City. Taj Gibson is an unrestricted free-agent. Nick Collison could retire. Andre Roberson enters the first offseason of uncertainty in his young career.

Not surprisingly, all names listed stated their desire to return to the Thunder next year. As Oklahoma City fans know, business tends to get in the way of what people may want.

This doesn’t even include players that could be moved in potential deals during the offseason. Needless to say, this team could have a very different makeup when they report back for training camp in a few months.

VICTOR OLADIPO

This was a player many were excited for when the trade went down. Of course, Durant was still believed to be returning to the Thunder at the time. Some may have not properly tempered their expectations accordingly when projecting a Westbrook-Oladipo backcourt going into the year.

Despite that, the former lottery pick had a fine season. He adjusted to the number two role well after being the guy in Orlando for three years. His efficiency numbers improved and he became well ingrained into the Thunder organization.

Many will remember his poor performance in the playoffs — Oladipo’s first experience in the postseason as an NBA player. For Oklahoma City to take that next step in competing in the West, Oladipo must learn from his near-nightmare experience in the playoffs and improve.

He has the talent and mentality to do so.

MVP

We all know he won it. We just have to wait for June for Drake (massive eye-roll) to call his name at the NBA Awards Show.

The playoffs did not yield the result fans or the team wanted. But the 2016-17 season will be a year that many will carry with them as they age. This was history, and we were all apart of it.

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NBA investigating Thunder fan and Patrick Beverley

So Patrick Beverley and the Thunder crowd are once again butting heads, but for real this time. The NBA is currently investigating an interaction between a fan and Beverley that took place after Oklahoma City’s Game 3.

The one thing that should be mentioned off the bat is Houston approached the NBA to investigate the incident, the NBA did not independently decide to investigate it.

HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW

On Friday night, Beverley barreled into the stands, sliding near the legs of an awaiting fan. That fan leaned over, said some words and Beverley, jumped up and starting pointing at the fan. Nothing came of it until after the game.

After the game, Beverley and said fan, Stuart Scaramucci exchanged words. Scaramucci is the son of minority Thunder owner Jay Scaramucci. It’s unknown what was said but it was enough the two had to be separated.

On Saturday morning, the NBA announced they were investigating the incident and Beverley offered no comment while the NBA is looking into the situation.

It didn’t appear there was any physical altercation but fans have been thrown out of the arena for less. ESPN has a video of the second quarter interaction and the post game from a different angle.

We have this angle submitted by a Thunder team source.

https://twitter.com/Thunder_Digest/status/855842388052410368

WHAT IS BEING SAID

Original in arena reports from fans and a Thunder employee state something similar. They all essentially say Beverley addressed the fan after the game. He knocked one of those banner fans they handed out, from the hands of Scaramucci. There is a report the wife was involved, but conflicting stories have you questioning that.

There are conflicting reports of “racial” slurs being thrown around. I cannot vouch for this but often this is a scapegoat whenever athletes are involved. It very well could be true but as this is only being said on the Rocket fan side of things, I’ll take this with a grain of salt for now.

Scaramucci hasn’t said anything yet on social media or by email when reached for comments.

Beverley said the Rockets and the NBA are addressing it and he will once the investigation is over.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW

Whenever an incident occurs, the league reviews footage from the arena and television broadcasts to determine if the player went into the stands before determining if any discipline is appropriate, sources said. Beverley also will be interviewed. Officials with Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Oklahoma City Thunder have said they will cooperate with anything the league needs.

With the Rockets reaching out to the NBA to investigate the situation, it’s probably minimal if anything happens to Beverley. The postgame video looks bad for both parties. Beverley should not be addressing fans in that manner in postgame. Get to the locker room, do your job. Fans have to remember your ticket doesn’t guarantee you immunity and because security is there, you still have to remember you’re talking to grown men here.

LIKELY OUTCOMES

Nothing. the NBA is going to investigate and I assume that nothing will happen. This seems really blown up as I’ve already written 500 words on this right here.

Beverley fined or suspended. If anything, the NBA could see Beverley getting into this altercation with the fan as a way to set an example then to suspend or fine the Rockets point guard.

Scaramucci banned from the rest of the series. This is is probably the least of the scenarios. Unless they can without a doubt prove Scaramucci said something vile or dangerous, there’s not a lot you can do here.

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Westbrook 4th most popular jersey

Feb 9, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) passes the ball agains the Cleveland Cavaliers during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook is getting ready to roll in all kinds of accolades over the next couple of weeks. Two of them are the most important: A World championship and then an MVP.

For now, Westbrook will settle on his jersey being the fourth most popular among sells. Westbrook is only behind Steph Curry, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant.

Westbrook’s ascension into the top five has been stark. Just two seasons ago, Westbrook was 12th in sales. Last season he jumped up to No. 7. This season? No. 4. The last time Westbrook’s jersey wasn’t in the top 15 of sales was the strike shortened season of 2011-12.

For the Oklahoma City Thunder, they’ve been a mainstay in the top 10 of merchandise sales for quite sometime. Despite being fifth last season, the Thunder dropped only to seventh. That’s not a bad spot to be in considering they lost Durant to free agency. The Thunder have been on the top 10 list of merchandise sales since the 2010 season when the Thunder made their first leap into the playoffs

I guess when you set NBA records set back before the NBA-ABA merger, you deserve to have your jersey flying off shelves. It doesn’t help Westbrook is a fashion icon all around the world, either.

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