Hello again Thunder fans! It’s been quite the eventful week, as the Thunder decided to shake things up near the trade deadline. As expected, Eric Maynor was traded away. Apparently he still wanted to be a part of the team, but because he refused to go down to the D-League, the Thunder were miffed and wanted somebody else. He was eventually dealt to the Trail Blazers for a trade exception, a long-forgotten European prospect, and some cap room. With that cap room, the Thunder did two things. First of all, they traded their second rounder next year for Ronnie Brewer, a defensive wing from New York. Second of all, they re-signed the living fossil known has Derek Fisher, for reasons that no one can possibly understand.
Sure, there’s a whole Bricktown’s worth of economic stimulation and pages and pages of recognition from major media outlets covering the Thunder’s run of cultural dominance in Oklahoma City. But I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I ask why the New York Times and Los Angeles Times aren’t willing to tackle the big questions, like What effect has the Thunder’s success made on Oklahoma City’s public rap game recognition?
Prior to 2010 or so, hip-hop stars (and hip-hop B- and C-listers) name-checked OKC with about the same frequency that they name-checked professional bowlers*, but Kevin Durant’s three-year grip on the NBA scoring title’s drastically increased that output. Rappers who rely on the Internet for self-promotion are notorious trendjackers and rappers rapping about the NBA (and NBA players rapping — remember Shaq Diesel? And Shaq Fu: Da Return?) aren’t exactly at the forefront of their field. But it’s pretty new to us in flyover country to hear something about the hometown over a beat and not an acoustic guitar, so I’ve put together this playlist-icle of rap songs I found in a few hours spent wading through YouTube, RapGenius, and the endless bog of rap blogs that name-check anything Thunder-centric. And yes, I was just as amazed and delighted to hear Hasheem Thabeet’s name in a rap song as anybody.
(The above video is 100% rigged!)
Hello again Thunder fans! For those of you who don’t know, the NBA trade deadline is coming up this Thursday. As such, the trade rumors are flying around like crazy. If you looked at a NBA rumors site right now, you’d be convinced that the Thunder were about to trade Durant and Westbrook for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Michael Jordan, the rights to Nenad Krstic, and a 2056 first round draft pick. Luckily, that’s what I’m here for. Here’s the lowdown on some of the rumors that have been floating around lately.
The Thunder Trade Eric Maynor to Utah
If any player is to move, by far the most likely candidate is Eric Maynor. He’s been effectively cut out of the Thunder’s rotation. Moreover, he refused to go down to the D-League earlier this year, which is a huge no-no as far as the Thunder are concerned. He was almost traded to Philadelphia, but they decided to go for a D-Leaguer to solve their backup point guard woes. With his salary coming off the books at the end of the season, the Thunder are going to do everything in their power to get some value out of his contract.
Right now, the guys who have the most interest in Maynor are Utah and Detroit. With an injured Mo Williams, Utah has living NBA fossils Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson playing the point guard spots, and it’s hurt them at critical times. Maynor would be a solid answer for them, but reports are coming in that the Thunder are asking for too much. If any trade is going to happen, it would have to be a larger-scale deal for Al Jefferson or Paul Milsap, who the Jazz may be forced to trade because of salary reasons. Deals involving those players would have to include Jeremy Lamb, and they would likely include another big man with a big contract, like Nick Collison or Kendrick Perkins.
Verdict: Iffy at best. I seriously doubt the Jazz would let go of their great big man core for a bad replacement, a late lottery pick, and a temporary backup point guard. But hay, I’ve seen crazier things happen.
In what can be defined as a classic “look ahead” game, the Thunder were soundly defeated by the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night by a score of 109-94. You really can’t blame Berry’s Boomers for the crummy performance. With the Heat coming to OKC tonight for perhaps the biggest regular season home game in Thunder history, who really cares about an average Utah squad.
After the game, a reporter asked Russell Westbrook a question. And this happened:
Stupid episodes like that are why I can never get 100% behind Russell Westbrook. I know he’s an elite player, but he wears his emotions on his sleeves, and it just so happens those emotions mimic a screaming and crying eight-year-old whose Mom won’t let him get two scoops at Baskin-Robbins. Seriously, it’s time for Russ to grow up and quit throwing childish tantrums. He’s turning into the Regular Jim Traber of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Each time he explodes like this (i.e. running off the court, jawing with KD, etc.) it makes me wonder if Presti traded away the wrong all-star. Maybe he did. Would you rather have KD & Russ or KD & Harden? You can make a compelling case for both.
Anyway, I didn’t intend for this post to devolve into a fruitless debate over Harden and Westbrook (I’m team Harden). I just wanted to point out that based on Westbrook’s attitude, it’s not very surprising that he drives this car:
Image Courtesy of William Bennett Berry.
Hello again Thunder fans! I’m coming back to you after what has been two straight weeks of boring basketball. In fact, aside from the late comeback of Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, the Thunder haven’t played any really close games in about three weeks. It’s just been one blowout after the other. Even for the most die hard fan, those games can be difficult to watch.
Here’s a list of ways to make your time zoning out in front of the TV more enjoyable.
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