Chris Paul Zoom conference, another controversial quote from Kendrick Perkins, and more!
How did you get through another week of quarantine? I continued to pretend sports exist by watching the NFL draft, playing more NBA 2K, and imagining what the Thunder would be doing in the playoffs right now. Probably owning the Jazz. I bet Gobert would be crying in the locker room.
But that’s not the reality we live in, so here’s the actual news for the OKC Thunder.
1. ICYMI: Thunder Family Feud featuring Down to Dunk
Our friends over at Down to Dunk came on the podcast for another Family Feud! Enjoy the full game on our YouTube page!
2. Chris Paul loves his Zoom calls with teammates
Chris Paul joined a Zoom media conference call this week to field questions. It was an interesting idea from the Thunder PR, and one I’m concerned might be foreshadowing to future interactions from the media. But that’s a topic for another day.
The conference was extremely positive from all accounts. Per Thunder Digest alumnus Brady Trantham on The Franchise, Chris Paul said this has been “one of the funnest years I’ve had” and went on to say how much he enjoys the Zoom calls with his fellow teammates.
And it appears like SGA’s Tik Tok’s can corroborate these reports
Darius Bazley, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander e… Chris Paul!
QUE TRIO, MEUS AMIGOS!!!!! ⚡️💙https://t.co/IrKbuJNpCf
— Thunder Brasil (@OKCThunder_BR) March 13, 2020
3. Kendrick Perkins comments on 2016 Playoffs
Kendrick Perkins said something controversial regarding the NBA? Well, color me flabbergasted.
In a recent report from The Athletic, Perkins insinuates that his presence on the 2016 OKC Thunder team would have propelled them into the NBA Finals.
“If I was on Oklahoma City, we wouldn’t have blown that 3-1 lead, there’s no way in hell we would have blown that. I’m not saying because of me playing, I am saying just my locker room presence.“
-Kendrick Perkins on the 2016 Thunder
(Via The Athletic) pic.twitter.com/wEIEPgy9tt
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 22, 2020
Sure, Perkins is a great locker room guy from what his teammates say. I’ll give him that. But does he have the power to control Kevin Durant’s shot during clutch moments? No? Well, then that claim is likely inaccurate.
The Thunder had every opportunity to win that series on the court. Another sideline motivator wouldn’t change much. What they needed was to make one or two more shots in the right moments and they were on their way to their second Finals appearance.
You can hear more about this news on our most recent podcast out on iTunes
4. Thunder transform old shirts into masks
Turning surplus Thunder shirts into thousands of masks to protect our community. They’re being distributed to healthcare and community organizations in OKC and Tulsa areas. Thank you @DevonEnergy! #NBATogether | #ActsOfCaring pic.twitter.com/fMfuUqDf0a
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 23, 2020
You just gotta love this organization, right? I’m not sure if other teams already did this, but from my account this is the first time I’ve seen something along these lines. I love the idea, and I love the sentiment.
While OKC continues to battle a terrible disease, it’s important to recognize the good that comes of this when it appears. Kudos to whomever proposed this idea to the Thunder management.
5. The One-Year Anniversary of the Dame Shot
You might be sitting there asking, “Why on Earth would you put this under THUNDER news?” Well, the answer is simple: without this shot, we would not be entering one the most promising rebuilds in NBA history
One year ago, Damian Lillard hit this epic game-winning DAGGER to send the Thunder home 😤 pic.twitter.com/iZhhfeeEMO
— ESPN (@espn) April 23, 2020
Take a moment to recognize what Sam Presti did after this shot.
Paul George, a disgruntled star, was shipped to Los Angeles for a record-setting amount of draft picks PLUS a phenomenal sophomore Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a sharpshooter in Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari will have tremendous value in the offseason, and Shai has become the cornerstone of our future.
Russell Westbrook, now facing an unprecented time, agreed to be traded to the Houston Rockets, in which we received their best player behind James Harden, Chris Paul, and two more 1st round picks. Paul, in turn, produced a spectacular season both on and off the court, skyrocketing his trade value for this offseason or next.
We have not reached the end point of this rebuild, which means there will be even more assets than the ones we have already grabbed from the Clippers and Rockets. Damian Lillard is responsible for that.