Thunder Links – December 26, 2011

KD kissing his mom is making national headlines. Kevin Durant is a better person than you. Just accept this fact, appreciate him and then move on with your regularly-scheduled selfishness. Unlike his NBA peers, he doesn’t chase the spotlight to the big markets. And, unlike the rest of us, he is not afraid to dote on his mother in public.

Thunder show no signs of expectations. The Christmas game against Orlando was the first thing on the checklist and the Thunder had no issues there. There are 65 more games to go and then, most likely, a bunch of playoffs games after that. It’s way too early to watch one game and proclaim everyone a genius that picked OKC, but for a young team to answer the bell on opening night with a little extra pressure on their back says something. (cont…)

OKC will have to cross luxury if they want to win. “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.” (cont…)

Stern also said OKC is a ‘magnificent thing.’ The Thunder closed the 2010-11 season with 55 victories, a surge to the Western Conference finals and 14 consecutive home sellouts. On Sunday, there was yet another sellout. “It’s really sort of like the little engine that could,” Stern said. “It really has been a magnificent thing to watch – that the ‘small town’ label has been discarded. (cont…)

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