Tag - video

NBA apparently reviewing if Russell Westbrook should be suspended for Game 5

It may be nothing but apparently the NBA is reviewing whether or not Russell Westbrook stepped on the court with or without the official’s permission in the moments where Westbrook and Rudy Gobert exchanged words.

During the exchange, Gobert was hit with a technical as he was upset already by Westbrook and the shot from Raymond Felton on the foul.

According to Andy Larsen of KSL.com:

A pool reporter request to the game officials to ask them about the play was initiated, but the NBA indicated that the officials wouldn’t comment on the matter because it would be reviewed by the league’s disciplinary committee.

This isn’t high school. Players rarely come on the court without official’s approval. Especially with the NBA’s rule on leaving the bench being an automatic suspension, it would be highly unlikely Westbrook would step on the court without being told to do so.

If the NBA reviews and finds out Westbrook stepped on the court and had words with Gobert, Westbrook would be suspended for Game 5. Which would be an absolute nightmare for Thunder fans. Being without the MVP for potentially their final game fo the season.

It would be the epitome of the season.

The NBA is most likely going to review the video and determine nothing happened with Westbrook and this will be an afterthought.

If you see the video, Westbrook is near half court when the interaction between and Gobert. So, I seriously doubt Westbrook rushed out to half court to approach Gobert. Though, we only have this vide and the NBA has many more angles. There were three play-by-play sets and three sets of cameras. So, they may be able to make more of a determination on what would happen.

The NBA will most likely only say something if Westbrook is suspended. If nothing happened, we’re probably not going to hear that.

Game 5 is set for 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game will be on Fox Sports Oklahoma and on NBATV.

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Thunder should avoid Avery Bradley

With Andre Roberson out for the season with an unfortunate injury, their defensive inefficiencies are going to be exposed. You’re losing the NBA Defensive Player of the Year front runner. So, you’re obviously going to find your way to other players to help stop the hole.

The first name that most Thunder fans jump to is Avery Bradley and on the surface it sounds great. He’s a solid two-way guard, albeit undersized to guard the three, and he’s a three-month rental. There is no long term commitment to a player who’s expected to garner around $20 million in a new deal.

There is reports of the Thunder being interested in Avery since his acquisition by the L.A. Clippers.

However, you avoid Bradley, not for his basketball issues, but for his off the court issues. Bradley is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Cleveland when the Boston Celtics were playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Though TMZ Sports is the first to report the allegations. Even the Washington Post admits they do deserve some credibility, though they have been wrong on lifestyle issues.

According to the TMZ report, Bradley entered into a non-disclosure agreement with the accuser, with negotiations reaching as high as $400,000.

“Mr. Bradley absolutely denies having engaged in wrongdoing whatsoever,” Wolf said. “The confidentiality agreement specifically refutes and denies the validity of all allegations of any wrongful conduct by Mr. Bradley. The sole purpose of the agreement was to protect the reputation and privacy of Mr. Bradley and his family.”

Bradley’s attorney, Brian Wolf of Lavely & Singer in Los Angeles, told TMZ that his client maintains his innocence.

In my opinion, when a said person enters into a settlement, it ties in their guilt. If there was innocence, there is no reason to pay of an accuser. The US Gymnastics paid Ali Raisman in a non-disclosure settlement after her accusations. Innocent until proven guilty? Sure, in a court of law. However, in the court of public opinion, when Bradley entered this agreement, he admits guilt and is paying hush hush money.

In this age of allegations of convictions of sexual assault, there should be no settlements of hush money. If you’re innocent, clearing your name should be the most important, not “protecting your name.”

This paragraph is most telling:

After the incident, the woman contacted Bradley and accused him of assaulting her. The two sides came together to work out a deal to keep her quiet and prevent her from releasing any video, photos or audio.

You look at Rodney Anderson who faced allegations but cleared his name through lie detector (I know their not admissible in court) but that and other information cleared his name. The NFL lineman, Carl Johnson, has fought his accuser in court and eventually she was charged with a plethora of things such as filing a false police report, etc. Bradley decided to pay this woman off.

The Thunder pride themselves on doing it the “Thunder way.” They care about their presentations and have dismissed players like DeAndre Liggins after being accused of beating his girlfriend with an xBox. Though, his release was after he was arrested. All charges were eventually dropped against Liggins after his girlfriend fled and never appeared in court.

If you trade for a player who has been accused of sexual assault, you’re telling everyone that only winning matters. Not how a player represents the organization. It’s telling how they could potentially do that but release Nate Robinson for his antics while he was still an okay basketball player.

Avoid a player within these allegations. Bradley is not the type of person the Thunder should want or need around the clubhouse. Sure, he could help the Thunder even win a championship.

What’s more important? Character or winning?

If the Thunder do successfully trade for him, we’ll know.

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Three suggestions to improving replay

The NBA has a replay problem. It’s arbitrary decisions on what is reviewed and what’s not is flawed. That was no more apparent than in Oklahoma City’s robbery on Friday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo stepped out. There’s no call. Therefore, there was no review. There was only five people in the arena that didn’t know he stepped out: the three officials on the floor (two are watching other areas and the covering official was watching the ball) and the two players involved in the play, Josh Huestis and Antetokounmpo.

This all has to change. As an official, it’s easy to defend the officiating fraternity you’ve been indoctrinated into. You understand basketball is the most difficult sport to officiate, especially if you officiate basketball. You give the benefit as their position is different from the stands or at home. There’s a reason why they’ve climbed the ladder of success. However, you also has to realize there are realistic issues going on. The inconsistencies are unacceptable.

I’m just a high school official. I’ve done some college football. However, for my time as a basketball official, I am only a NFHS official. Same thing for doing softball, just a high school. However, for softball I do a lot of travel ball and probably see better softball throughout the summer than I do within the season. There, that’s my bias. There’s my flaw. However, I’ve been taught two things in all sports:

1) You’re not always right and you have to own up to it when you’re wrong. Go up to the coach and look him in the eye and just tell them, I missed the call. The amount of acceptance from the head coach is dependent on the time of the game. If I blow a call with 27 seconds to go in the game, they’re probably going to lose it. If I do this with 4:29 left in the second quarter, I may get a butt chewing but it’ll go away. You tell them. “I missed it coach. I’m sorry. I’ll do better.” Most of the time it works.

2) You get better. While I’m just a high school official, I know I have to get better. Thank you for HUDL, which finally allows video review at the high school level. When I first started officiating in 2004, there was no video review. You didn’t know you missed unless you requested a copy from the coach and that was still 50/50 if you were getting it.  The video review allows you to see where you can improve or where you were right. Check your ego at the door and get better.

The current crop of NBA officials are full-time. They’re paid a decent salary and are full-time employees of the NBA. They’re officiating all year from the season, to Summer League (younger officials and those trying to break into the league). It’s not like the NFL, where one of the most known head referees, Ed Hoculi is an attorney in Arizona. Joey Crawford, Stafford, and others are officials. That’s their job.

How do they get better? That’s the ultimate question. It has to start with accountability. The NFL has a point system for every call. I’m sure the NBA has their own evaluating system. However, the one thing we can tell from the NFL to the NBA, is sometimes the best officials don’t make the playoffs or a less consistent official makes it to the playoffs or NBA Finals.

When an official is sighted on the L2M report, as Stafford has been in quite a bit despite his 30 years of NBA officiating. The relegation possibility has to be on the table. In the NFL if you continue to make bumbling errors, there are chances you’re removed from crews and someone is called up to take your place. There are numerous officials at the G-League and NCAA level who could replace some of the NBA officials.

Checking your ego at the door is key. While many officials I know, multiple sports and multiple levels, are pretty level in knowing the game is about the players, not us. There are a bunch who definitely feel they are involved in the game. With replay, going to the monitor, checking your ego and getting the call right is the most important thing. Sometimes, it feels as if that’s not the case this season.

So with all of this rambling and non-sense, here are three ways the NBA can improve the replay game

Coach’s Challenges

Currently in the G-League, the coach’s have the ability to challenge a call. Here’s the ruling from the G-League on how that works:

  • The coach’s challenge: The coach’s challenge has been revised so that teams receive only one challenge per game, to be used at any point during regulation or overtime periods.  Only fouls called, goaltending/basket interference and out-of-bounds calls may be challenged.

Essentially under the Coaching Challenge feature, Thunder head Coach Billy Donovan could challenge the call and would have been right.

The G-League implemented this rule years ago and has been tinkering with it for years. At first you could only do it within the fourth quarter or overtime. The review was limited to 75 seconds.

How has the G-League challenges worked? 2W10D has that information:

  • 2015-166: 232 challenges — 75 overturned — 32.3 percent success rate
  • 2016–17: 249 challenges — 81 overturned — 32.5 percent success rate

Just under one out of every three calls were overturned over the past two seasons. We were not able to collect team-by-team data to show those correlations, however this provides a solid picture for the last couple years.

2W10D makes a good point as this could be an improvement on coaching-officiating relations. No more yelling. You only appeal and then you get the call you get.  It’s interesting

Use the Replay Center

The NBA touts this replay center as this legendary place that helps with reviews. Why not go one step further and give them the ability to flag a play? You see this in the NFL. In the final two minutes, the booth can call for a review. While the NBA moves much quicker, you could do this as well.

Limit it to the final two minutes of the half or game. Have an officiating crew back in the replay center watching and being on point for any need for a stoppage. The table can signal the horn for a replay and the game could be stopped. The Head Referee can go to the table while the umpires stay on the court with the teams, keeping coaches from coaching during this point.

The number of officials back in the replay center will need to be increased. There is often one to four officials depending on the game volume. Would need to be even more for this to work. However, this would give more autonomy to the call. Instead of those who  made the call influenced by what they saw, let someone else do it.

Your question then becomes, why even have officials? Because the human element is key. NBA officials are right 98 percent of the time. It’s that two percent that needs work on. The NBA games has evolved and become so fast, an extra set of eyes.

Speaking of adding an extra set of eyes…

Add a fourth official

It doesn’t need to be on the court. This can be injunction with the last point. He’s the one that makes the call on the court and is flagged by Secaucus (the location of the replay center in New Jersey). Once again, you have an impartial set of eyes on the film, making a judgement if there is a need for over turn.

You could put one on the court. The G-League is already experimenting with four and sometimes five officials with games involving the Long Island Net’s games at Barclays last season. Nine games were play with four or five officials.

While we said in the previous point the game is faster. The players are bigger. The game has evolved beyond three officials. The NBA has been known to add officials, but it hasn’t been done since 1988 when the NBA added a third official, citing to the LA Times in 1988:

”The game has become faster and quicker and is being played by bigger people,” said Rod Thorn, then executive vice president of operations, ”and it’s our opinion that an extra pair of eyes would aid in covering the entire court more.”

The current positioning is the lead (end line), slot or center (stands at the free throw line extended), and the trail (has center line responsibility). While this chart says NFHS and NCAA, it’s relatively the same for the Association:

The way the G-League has done it they’ve put a fourth official on the sideline. So, you have three watching everything above the break, where a lot of action happens. This also would provide eyes for that baseline step out the officials missed. Here’s how it looks in an Oklahoma City Blue game earlier this season:

The officials (2, and 4) can slide down a bit to help with backside action and provide support for the single lead official. If they wanted to get fancy, add two lead officials and position the trail, (1 in the image), to the center circle and allow him to go back and forth if needed to cover things, ala a back judge in football.

This could help eliminate some of the need for the replay. An extra set of eyes, allowing for more to be seen. The NBA said in games where there were four officials, there were more fouls called. Which the average fan doesn’t like it but it teaches better defending and play.

All of this is just me rambling about what could work. The NBA said they’re going to mull over messing with the replay selections. Which, Royce Young said nothing could also happen.


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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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Russell Westbrook named NBPA MVP and more

It’s the middle of August and Russell Westbrook is still cleaning up awards. The NBA’s Player’s Association released their Player’s Voice Awards and most of it is done without voting released. Westbrook was named the MVP, best dressed and hardest to guard.

The Oklahoma City Thunder becomes only the eighth team in NBA history to have multiple MVP award winners. Westbrook’s rise to the MVP should be no surprise. There were flashes throughout his career of this greatness. His ability to attack the rim became his stallion instead of his Achilles.

In a league of superstars, Oklahoma City has been blessed with one that is truly city first. He speaks of loyalty and wears OKC proudly. His work in the community only tops his work on the hardwood. Oklahoma City is blessed to have a player like Westbrook in our community.

Westbrook beat out James HardenKawhi Leonard, and LeBron James for the MVP.

It’s really not a surprise Westbrook was voted best dressed. The international fashion icon rocks the runway almost as good as he does the NBA hardwood. From his stylish shoes to his fantastic choice of man blouses, Westbrook’s fashion sense knows now bounds.

In the video they say that swag and confidence are key components of winning this coveted award and Russell Westbrook surely has all of that and more.

Westbrook’s win on hardest to guard comes down to his explosion ability through the lane. Like a gun going off, with only milli-seconds to get out of the way, Westbrook’s dominating ability gives defenders fits. It makes the Thunder lethal on offense and with the addition of Paul George, he may be even harder to guard.


There were other awards voted as well as Nick Collison won best Thunder teammate.

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VIDEO: Nothing can hold OKC down

The criticism and the speculation, all combined with the acquisition of Paul George leads to an awesome video.

Our video man, Brady Trantham makes a cool commercial about the acquisition of George as he will transform the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This season will be rated PG-13.

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Taylor Swift lies in congratulating Westbrook in his MVP

Russell Westbrook won the 2016-17 NBA MVP on Monday night. Then, out of no where, the Thunder posted a video of Taylor Swift, of all people, congratulating the Brodie for winning the elusive award.

You may remember back in the day, Russ was on vine and Instagram, singing some Taylor Swift.


A post shared by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

BAD BLOOD!!!! @taylorswift .. Banger!!!!!

A post shared by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

So,they got Taylor to say some words on how she taught Russ how to play basketball. It’s cringe worthy at best.

All of this is fake news and it’s really a stretch by the organization to do this. I am curious on how much this cost for Taylor to do this.

“I was the one who taught you how to play basketball,” said in the video. A lie. We all know Westbrook learned from the Gods on how to ball so hard.

Swift also gives credit to Russell in return for inspiring her song “Shake It Off.” This is a surprising revelation as they’re both embattled in a lawsuit over the fact Westbrook was not given proper credit on the album. She obviously is conceding at this point.

“So essentially we have each other to thank for these careers,” Swift said.

Okay, I may be fabricating some, too. At least mine is no where near as bad as this video.

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Draft Prospectus: Jawun Evans

With only a few days to go until the NBA Draft, we’re going to break down a few mock draft selections for the Thunder. We’ve already done six, Semi Ojeleye, Luke Kinnard, Terrance Ferguson, Harry Giles, Justin Jackson, OG AnunobyDerrick White, and TJ Leaf.We’re going to break down a couple more. Stay with us as the NBA season ends and the NBA offseason ramps up.

Who: Jawun Evans
Position: Point Guard
Class: Sophomore
Age: 20
Where: Oklahoma State
Ht: 6-foot-1
Wt: 177 lbs.

Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans is one of the more intriguing names in the coming draft. He’s a scoring point guard who left school early, though many didn’t know where he would end up.

Evans led OSU to an 19-13 season with a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament to Michigan. Evans averaged 19 points in 29 minutes, along with dishing out 6.5 assists a night. Evans can control the game offensively with his scoring ability and quick decision making with the ball.

That is where the Oklahoma City Thunder come in.


Evans can get into the lane with ease. He is strong in the pick-and-roll game and can control the offense with ease.

He gets into space with a creative change of pace and impressive quickness toward the basket to torch the defense, and Evans should quickly make the transition to a NBA-style offense as he led the most efficient offense in the country last season.

Evans can score with the best of them. Whether its at the rim or from three, Evans’ scoring ability is one of the best available in this draft. He’s also successful at getting to the line, averaging 7.9 attempts per 40 minutes last season.


Evans is a tough-minded defender but may have problem defending bigger and quicker point guards in the league. He’s slow on his feet and his lateral movement isn’t great, but it can be developed. Opponents can shoot over Evans quite easily. He has a 6-foot-5 1/2 wingspan and a work ethic that’s on par with Russell Westbrook, but Evans’ ability as a defender will be tested early in the NBA.

Sometimes, Evans can get ball happy and force shots in the paint. As good as Evans is in the lane, sometimes he gets tunnel vision and will force shots and miss passing to the open man, but it doesn’t happen often, as former OSU coach Brad Underwood helped Evans continue to develop his craft.


Evans is NBA ready. He has the potential to be a sixth man of the year candidate every year in the league. If he develops, he has the potential to start somewhere in the league.

The Thunder would draft Evans for his ability as a backup to Westbrook. Evans could be the solution to the Thunder’s backup point guard problem.

Evans worked out for the Thunder a couple weeks ago, and Thursday night he may hear his name called to play about an hour from his college home.

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Russell Westbrook says Oklahoma City is ‘home’

Welcome to the land of luggage, where the grand daddy of them all, Tumi, has jumped into the Oklahoma City Thunder boat by giving Russell Westbrook a commercial to advertise their new line of luggage. However, it’s not the luggage that has Thunder social media going bananas, it’s the message in the video.

Russell Westbrook preached about “loyalty” in August, when he signed an extension. It appears Westbrook is taking it a step further in his commercial.

“Home. Home is where my journey takes me,” Westbrook says in the commercial. “I’ve been feeling love since I got here. The people of Oklahoma City have done nothing but welcome me with open arms. Home pushes me to drive harder.”

While Durant said a lot of things during his time in Oklahoma City, it would be insulting to Westbrook to assume he would spur Oklahoma City as Durant did.

“I’ve been feeling love since I got here.,” Westbrook said in the ad. “The people in Oklahoma City have done nothing but welcome me with open arms.”

To not sign an extension in July would really be the opposite of everything Westbrook has said all season and even reiterated in his exit interview.

“Obviously, Oklahoma City is a place I want to be,” Westbrook said.

The commercial ends with everyone saying “in Russ we trust.” We all agree. Sam Presti agrees. We just hope Westbrook sees it.

If anything tugs on the heart strings in the video, it has to be the very end. Westbrook is atop McNellie’s in Midtown. He leaves his luggage there and walks off. It’s as if Westbrook was leaving his luggage at home.

Here’s the whole video:

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Kendrick Perkins predicts Durant’s return to OKC

Kendrick Perkins predicts Durant’s return to OKC

The KD-Russ story line never dies.

Former Thunder legend Kendrick Perkins was on TNT’s Area 21 as part of TNT’s Game 4 coverage of the Warriors and Jazz. they had a Boston Celtics reunion show. Tons of former Celtics were on the show.

Perkins caught everyone’s attention as the decided to talk about the relationship of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

“I was trying to figure out a way to make them talk again. I felt like the outside world was putting a beef there that really wasn’t too serious, you know what I mean?”

Leave it to Perkins to being the mediator that he was always in Oklahoma City.

“I think the night that Russ actually broke the record, I had text KD the next day. He was talking about something, and he sent me a text and was like ‘Hey, man. Me and Russ had a nice conversation.’”

Perkins then went on a bit of a ledge and said this:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if KD went back to Oklahoma cause, in my opinion, Russ isn’t going nowhere.”

While many Thunder fans are really scorned by the loss of Durant, as were the Cavs fans when LeBron James left, they would equally welcome back Durant if he were to return in more humble terms. People grow and change.

However, Durant has stated that he’s probably never going through free agency again (even though he’s eligible to be a free agent this off-season). If our on court blow ups are any examples, I don’t know exactly how much Russ and Durant talk. Probably not much.

Show out to Defpen.com for the video.

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