Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma City Thunder’

Victor Oladipo dunks on camper

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just when we saw a kid sink a jumper over Russell Westbrook, and we thought that the basketball campers were done getting embarrassed by NBA players, Westbrook’s new backcourt mate decided to step up and defend the honor of NBA players. Check out this video of Victor Oladipo giving a camper a chance to block a dunk, resulting in a sky-high clash of the titans…and perhaps some vindication for the honor of NBA players…

So Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne think they can dance?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most popular things I’ve ever posted on social media came a few months ago during the first round of the Playoffs, when I found myself with a front row seat for Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne and their extensive pregame dance routine. (This time interrupted by a few Mavericks players.)

Tonight's Westbrook Dance Party had an interruption.

A video posted by Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) on

Westbrook and Payne did this before most games this season, so the Thunder decided to have a couple of professional dancers take a look at their moves and see just how good they are…

A recent history of NBA players writing open letters

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. And that’s never more clearly felt than of late, as we are currently in the midst of a time of change in the NBA. Free agency has seen a bunch of NBA players change franchises and cities, and while at this point we’re used to seeing guys move cities at the drop of a hat, it’s still often difficult for a player to leave behind the fans and people who have helped them reach their current status. So how better to reach out directly and let people know exactly how you feel than via an open letter?

The open letter is not a new form — athletes on the move have done things such as taking out ads in newspapers to publish open letters for years. But the advent of the internet has allowed for new forms and forums.

Here are some of the letters we’ve seen over the last few weeks…

KEVIN DURANT
In a letter on The Players’ Tribune announcing his departure from Oklahoma City for Golden State, Durant said he will always miss the relationships he built in Oklahoma City…

I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging.

It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.

I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.

(more…)

Kid beats Russell Westbrook with halfcourt shot

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Since it’s summertime, NBA players are hosting eponymous basketball camps all around the world. And these things tend to devolve into a one-on-one contest between the NBA star and an unlucky camper. For instance, we already saw Aaron Gordon drop a camper, and James Harden embarrass another kid with a trick dribble.

So this time it was Russell Westbrook‘s turn, except things turned out differently this time. With the game tied at 2 and the game on the line, this camper named Kyle drove to the basket and saw his shot get blocked. He then decided to try the halfcourt jumper for the win, and Kyle managed to finally turn to tide for all the embarrassed campers out there…

Curry, Cavaliers top NBA merchandise list

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots against Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Seven of the 2016 NBA Finals on June 19, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERStephen Curry may have lost in the NBA Finals, but he remains on top in at least one metric for popularity: jersey sales.

In the newest rankings of most popular NBA jerseys, based on overall sales on NBAStore.com from April through June, Curry remains in the number one spot, where he’s been since the end of the 2014-15 season. Also in the top five are Cleveland’s LeBron James, recently retired Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson.

Meanwhile, when it comes to team sales, fans are clearly celebrating the recent title for the Cavaliers, as Cleveland is atop the most popular team merchandise list for the first time since January 2015. The Cavs are followed by the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Also worth noting, Andre Iguodala (No. 14) makes his debut on the jerseys list while teammate Draymond Green (No. 7) earns his highest ranking ever. Also, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (No. 11) and Portland’s Damian Lillard (No. 13) place for the first time since June 2015 and April 2015, respectively.

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
6. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
8. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
9. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
10. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
11. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
12. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
13. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
14. Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
15. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Miami Heat
8. Toronto Raptors
9. New York Knicks
10. Boston Celtics

USA Basketball unveils Men’s Olympic team

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The term “unveiled” is often employed to describe the introduction of something new, and at its definition, “unveiled” suggests literally taking the lid off of whatever it is that is being displayed. Yesterday in New York City, the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team was, quite literally, unveiled at a community center in Harlem. A group of kids were gathered for an announcement, when suddenly a door was raised, revealing all the members of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team…

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After the announcement, a few kids were asked for their reactions. Clearly, and understandably, they were still pretty fired up about it…

Huge mural of Steven Adams unveiled in Oklahoma City

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Oklahoma City center Steven Adams had a breakout postseason for the Thunder, establishing himself as one of the best young centers in the NBA. And now he’s being recognized on a larger-than-life scale. The New Zealand artist Graham Hoete, a.k.a. Mr. G, who is known for his wall-sized murals of various celebrities, turned up in Oklahoma City and today is unveiling a huge mural of his countryman Steven Adams. The mural is about as intimidating as Adams himself…

STEVEN ADAMS | MR G | OKLAHOMA CITY | 2016 | AOTEAROA REPREZENT Thank you Lord 🙏💪🙏

A photo posted by mrghoete.art (@mrghoete.art) on

A photo posted by mrghoete.art (@mrghoete.art) on

Thunder fans cheer team after Game 7 loss

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Oklahoma City Thunder pushed the defending champion Golden State Warriors to the limit in the Western Conference Finals, taking a 3-1 lead before ultimately losing the series in an epic Game 7 matchup. And when the Thunder returned to Oklahoma City a day later, thousands of fans showed up at the airport to cheer for the team and let them know that despite the loss, they appreciated the wonderful ride they’d been on this season…

Klay Thompson has Jedi powers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Tonight it’s finally time for the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder to play Game 7 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT) in the Western Conference Finals, with everything on the line. Win and go to the NBA Finals, lose and go home. But to get to a Game 7, the Warriors first had to win a wild Game 6 in Oklahoma City a few nights ago. The Thunder led most of the way, but Warriors guard Klay Thompson got hot in the second half and started raining threes, finishing with 11 made three-pointers, an NBA playoff record. How did he get so hot? Was it his form? His technique? Or maybe it was all a Jedi mind trick? Because as it turns out, Thompson wore a pair of Yoda socks to the game.

As Thompson told The Vertical after the game, “”I brought my Yoda socks to bring out my Jedi powers.”

The Force is strong in that one.

Thunder fan pays tribute to Steven Adams

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the breakout stars of this postseason has been Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, who keeps getting injured but somehow stays on the court to provide rebounding and set solid screens, all while looking like a swashbuckling pirate captain. With his long hair, tattoos and curly mustache, Adams has cultivated a signature look, and last night in Oklahoma City for Game 4, one young female fan managed to replicate Adams’ look so well that even Adams was impressed…