Lincoln Riley Texas Tech Postgame Presser, Plus Helmet Stickers

Here’s the OU-Texas Tech postgame presser with Lincoln Riley.

My helmet sticker list this week-end goes:

  • Entire Michigan State team for their inspiring win over Michigan.
  • Bo Nix for his steady play in guiding Auburn over Ole Miss, Arkansas, and LSU in succession.
  • Key Lawrence and Isaiah Thomas for their big defensive games in getting the OU defense kick started.
  • O State’s Spencer Sanders for his QB leadership overall these past two weeks.
  • West Virginia’s entire team for changing the narrative of their season these past two weeks with Big 12 wins over TCU and Iowa State.
  • Baylor for effectively ending Steve Sarkisian’s first season in Austin and reminding everyone in college football they really shouldn’t be headed to the SEC.
  • That’s my helmet stickers for Week 9.

My first impulse Top Six would go…

1 Georgia

2 Michigan St.

3 Oklahoma

4 Cincy

5 Alabama

6 Oregon

My rationale for not having Alabama in the Top 4 is that they lost to Texas A&M and their best win is over Ole Miss. I think they’re the best one loss team to date.

My rationale for not having Ohio State in my top six is they lost to Oregon at home and don’t have a quality Top 15 win as of yet over anybody.

My tip of the hat to the hottest team outside of Georgia goes to the Auburn Tigers with successive wins over LSU on the road, Arkansas on the road, and at home over Ole Miss.

On my Top 12 Poll on Tuesday… I’m thinking of Oklahoma State at No. 9 and Auburn at No. 8.

We’ll see as I further explore best wins and worst losses for my Top 12 teams.

Gameday-Week #9

Some great games on tap throughout the country today….especially in the SEC, Big 10, and Big 12. Not really anything in the ACC or PAC 12 which will determine the Commmitte’s first poll other than keeping an eye on Oregon.

In the SEC it’s the Cocktail Party with Georgia v. Florida, plus a very interesting night game with Ole Miss at Auburn. I wouldn’t dismiss Kentucky at Miss State as well.

Big 10-wise it’s Michigan vs. Michigan State and then at night on the ABC game it’s the Buckeyes of Ohio State hosting Penn State.

Some very interesting games in the Big 12. OU hosting the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas at Baylor in a critical game for the Bears. And a game which fascinates me is Iowa State at West Virginia with the Cyclones favored at 7.5.

I think I’ll take Ohio State and Auburn.

Have a great day taking notes as we prepare for the first poll of the college football season this coming week.

Should be some very intriguing games on Halloween Eve.

Tyler Herro Magazine

Since I have my own eclectic award winning blog…Best Thunder Content on An Underground Blog…I think I’ll start a Tyler Herro magazine here on the blog. If you’re Woj or me you can maybe get away with it

If you’re Little Nick Gallo or one of the other hired Thunder drones….I don’t think so.

Tyler Herro and the Miami Heat are on fire coming out of the gate. I mean Tyler is on fire with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove to Eric Spoelstra, Pat Riley, and the NBA basketball universe.

I’m talking All-Star hot…as in on fire.

Presti attempted to get Tyler back when he tried to dangle Chris Paul to the Heat. But Pat Riley knew what he had in Tyler. Trust me…Pat Riley knew what he had in Tyler Herro.

Comparing Pat Riley to Sam Presti is like comparing Barry Switzer to Mike Gundy.

I love this interview Tyler did with Rachel back when the Heat made it to the NBA Finals in his rookie season.

That’s the Tyler we’re going to see this season.

Rachel is by far my favorite female NBA analyst or reporter. Maybe Doris Burke comes in a distant second, but Rachel is my favorite. If Presti had a half a brain he’d hire a smart, cute NBA reporter like Rachel, then exile Little Nick Gallo to the analytics department, and give us Thunder fans something to look forward to during this season of tanking.

With all the money Presti is saving on basketball payroll….he could make Rachel an outrageous offer and make her the highest paid female basketball commentator in the league.

I’d love to do exclusive Thunder podcasts with her. This market wouldn’t know what hit it. Rachel is to me as to what Bette Midler was to Kramer.

That’s it for the first edition of the Tyler Herro Magazine.

I’m going to go ahead and preview my Gameday-Week 9 song because I love this rendition by The Petersons so much I want to hear it twice.

Kirk and Lee Corso should consider some music to liven up the set a little. I would think Gameday will be in Lansing, Michigan tomorrow.

My Top 12 Poll — Week 9

Here we are Week 9 and it just seems like yesterday the season was getting started. Before I get to my poll… I want to give a shout out to Kirk for his new book…Out of the Pocket: Football, Fatherhood, and College Gameday Saturdays.

The book was written by ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski and is a very readable book which goes beyond the scope of college football. If I were to describe the book I’d say it’s more of a book about Kirk’s relationships with his mom and dad. Of how the three of them came to terms with the divorce which took place when Kirk was eight years of age. Of how the divorce cratered Kirk’s confidence growing up and how he eventually reconciled with his parents.

It’s a relationship book written within the realm of Kirk somehow evolving into the face of college football even though as a young person he had a morbid fear of getting in front of his classmates and giving a speech. It’s a story of life, journey, and human resilence.

His relationship with his father is the part of the book which tugged at me. Nice book…not a Pulitzer winner, but a nice read given the times we live in.

My Top 12 Poll–Week 9

The committee’s first poll comes out next week. My major concern at this point is if the committee gives Alabama and Ohio State a free pass given each has already lost a game. This is why we need a twelve team tournament in my view. Don’t think for a second I would give OU a free pass, because I wouldn’t. It’s step up time for OU or else I would leave them out of my top four when that time comes. But for me it’s tough to do that right now given OU has the longest winning streak in the country while playing in a Power Five conference.

I don’t write this from an OU point of view because I’m not a homer, but I write it because the sport of college football would be enchanced if we see more than the same four or five teams in the playoff every season.

Hence…my twelve team poll with my three teams on the bubble.

1 Georgia

2 Cincy

3 Michigan

4 Oklahoma

5 Michigan State

6 Alabama

7 Oregon

8 Ohio State

9 Ole Miss

10 Kentucky

11 Oklahoma State

12 Notre Dame

On my bubble

13 Auburn

14 Iowa State

15 Texas A&M

Josh Giddy Joins Elite Company With 10 Assist Night

The rookie guard from Australia joined elite company with his 18 point, 10 assist game versus the Lakers last night. He became the second youngest player in NBA history to record 10 assists in a game.

The youngest to cross that threshold was LeBron James.

Josh and Shai seem to be meshing pretty well as the Thunder’s guard tandem. Josh being the primary elite ball handler and Shai being the elite scorer.

You kind of see roles starting to be defined between the two. Team building is fun.

The late pick and roll basket with Josh hitting Derrick Favors was a pure thing of basketball beauty.

Just a beautiful basketball play. Maybe a future defining play for the Thunder.

The separation of player tiers is starting to manifest itself with Shai, Josh, Darius Bazely, Lu Dort, Mike Muscala, Kenrich Favors, and Derrick Favors composing a decent first seven players.

Isaiah Roby had his best game of the season by far, but it was with him being on the floor for the most part separate from Poku, JRE, and Tre Mann.

Coach D in these last three games has been much better at not putting horrible combinations out on the floor at the same time.

One game is one game and this team is still going to lose a bunch of games, but to me at least you can start to see the beginnings of some team building for next season.

You could ‘almost’ say Shai and Josh are the first two star pieces of a Big Three player core for the Thunder’s future.

So let’s visualize the Milwaukee Bucks for just a second. The Bucks third core piece turned out to be Khris Middleton who was a second round pick.

Maybe make sure the third star knows he’s a third star type so you don’t repeat the Harden situation. Most championship teams know from within who’s the 1, who’s the 2, who’s the 3, and who are the role players.

My question to Sam Presti would be with all those draft picks you have why don’t you just let Coach D coach the team this season like a legit basketball team and find your third piece either through a trade or mid-first round pick which could be what the Clippers’ pick turns into depending on Kawhi’s return.

Why not let the team play legit basketball with legit rotations and hedge with the Clipper pick?

Anyway…great games by both Shai and Josh last night with the role players doing their jobs as well in coming back from a historic 26 point deficit.

I’m contemplating inverting Shai and Russell on my Thirty Player Pyramid if Shai’s game keeps trending in the next two weeks.

Here’s my suggestion to Adam Silver as a possible remedy to NBA tanking… why not make the GM’s of every tanking NBA team make themselves available to questions with the head coach at every postgame presser?

Thunder Derail Lakers for 1st Win of Season, 123-115

What a great basketball game for the youthful Thunder!!!!

This game had everything you’d want and then some from a tanking team like the Thunder. This game was lit!

Russell Westbrook is a walking Greek tragedy. I don’t know how else to describe his play or behavior in the second half. The outburst towards Bazely was silly at best. If I were Bazely I would have heliocoptered the dunk and then grabbed my crotch walking by Russell.

Put aside the Bazely dunk…Russell was 8-20 from the field, had 10 turnovers and was -12 on a night Coach Vogel needed leadersip with LeBron sitting out the game. I’ll be frank on here…Russell’s tenure on my Top 30 Pyramid this season could be a short one if I see much more of this bullshit. Kyle Lowery is still available for my Pyramid in that spot.

I love Russell and his little brother sent me a note when I started my blog…but this is complete bullshit.

  • Darius Bazely,,,great night even beyond the dunk…No. 1 helmet sticker. Keep working on your defensive footwork.
  • Josh Giddy…whoa. That perfectly executed pick and roll to Favors with the game hanging in the balance was something we’ll all be talking about two years from now. Sam Presti…for the first time since God knows when you actually picked someone who can play basketball in the NBA with a first round draft pick. Josh Giddy…No. 2 helmet sticker.
  • Coach D…great job on the two challenges and the adjustment made to stem the bleeding in your defensive lane after giving up 54 points in the lane in the first half. Here’s what I’ll say though…you don’t need to make an excuse for the dunk. Embrace the fact the kid had already forgotten his gaffe on the half court violation. Coach D…3rd helmet sticker.
  • Mike Jackson from for writing such a lit recap to make up for the fact there’s no adult content whatsover on the Daily Thunder. This is how Russell should have filled in for LeBron. No. 4 helmet sticker is mine.
  • Shai…you played like a star tonight. Don’t think I didn’t notice. But this is how a star is supposed to lead and play every night who just signed a max contract. You get the 5th helmet sticker, stud hoss.

Next up..I believe are the Warriors on the road in San Franciso for the 1-4 Thunder.

BTW…great crowd at Pay.Com Arena tonight. Glad I didn’t buy a Lakers’ shirt.

Bad Little Dude… I still love you though, We’re both hopelessly flawed. Tell LeBron it’s no big deal.

The wife is asleep in the other room as is the diva lab Pauli on the couch. I think I’ll slip out to the back patio area looking into the Deer Creek forest and see if I can smoke a victory cigar without catching the sofa on fire. A song for the upcoming California road trip would be nice as well. Better savor every win like it was Game 7 is my feel as of October 27th. Carpa diem.

My Top 30 NBA Players Pyramid

If I were advising Presti this would be my current list of ranked NBA players 1-30 for the upcomng NBA season. I have excluded both Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons from this list because both seem to possess serious emotional issues of delusion.

1 Giannis, 2 Lebron, 3 Steph, 4 Kevin Durant, 5 Luka, 6 Kawhi Leonard, 7 Anthony Davis, 8 Nicola Jokic, 9 Joel Embiid, 10 James Harden, 11 Jimmy Butler, 12 Paul George, 13 Klay Thompson (before injury) 14 Chris Paul, 15 Damian Lillard, 16 Devin Booker, 17 Jamal Murray, 18 Zach Lavine, 19 Jrue Holiday, 20 Donovan Mitchell.

21 Rudy Gobert, 22 Russell Westbrook, 23 Trae Young, 24 Khris Middleton, 25 Draymond Green, 26 Bradley Beal, 27 Bam Adebayo, 28 Jason Tatum 29 Ja Morant, 30 Domas Sabonis.

My next five on my Pyramid Bubble would be… 31 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 32 CJ McCollum, 33 Karl Anthony-Townes, 34 Brandon Ingram, 35 Tyler Herro (no one else would do this except me, but I have a gut feel with Tyler).

I’ll need to go back and evaluate my list in a month and see who I missed, but for now this is how my 2021-22 Top 30 NBA Player Pyramid would roll.

My Pantheon Top 10 has been morphed since I last scribbled it on here. This is my new Top 10 Pantheon….

1 Michael, 2 Bill Russell, 3 Kareem, 4 LeBron, 5 Magic, 6 Kobe, 7 Bird, 8 Shaq, 9 Wilt, 10 Steph. All one namers except Bill Russell. Our affinity for the one namers reveals our deep affection for the way they played the game.

You youngsters and new Thunder fans to the NBA game must read ‘Wilt’ by Gary Pomerantz to have an understanding of his greatness. It’s a tremendous hoops book and centers around the night Wilt scored a hundred points in Hershey, Pennslyvania. Epic…just epic.

  • Note: My gut feel tells me Shai could be better than #31, but his place on my list was held in check because quite simply we haven’t seen him play in a real NBA game with competitive ramifications since 2019. And in reality–in those Bubble Playoffs with Chris Paul his play was nothing special or worthy of note.
  • Note: Klay gets a pass from me until we see how he’s moving by February. Klay is gold on my blog.

Note: Kobe scored 81 points in 2006 in a game versus the Toronto Raptors. Gary did this interview before Kobe’s historical game.

Lakers, Austin Reaves in OKC Tonight

Everyone will be talking about Russell’s return as a Laker which is fine, but I want to feature former OU All-Big 12 First Teamer Austin Reaves on my blog today.

I want my blog to be different from the normal genre of Thunder blogs. That’s not what I want my basktball/sports/music/journey of life blog to be about. I want a reader to learn something different when they stumble upon my modest underground blog.

In my mind…Austin was the third best guard in the Big 12 last season only behind Cade Cunningham and Davion Mitchell.

He did everything for Lon Kruger and kept OU afloat as an NCAA team which played pretty well against Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs in the second round.

Austin transferred to OU from Wichita State after his freshman season and was OU’s best player during his stay in Norman.

Kruger knows how to coach the guard position since he himself was an All Big 8 guard back in his playing days. Add another Lon Kruger guard to the current NBA mix…Trae Young, Buddy Hield, and now Austin Reaves.

Hard to believe Sam Presti didn’t even give Austin a look given he played in the Thunder’s own backyard and has more toughness to his game than Theo Maledon and Tre Mann combined. Whatever. But Aaron Wiggins should be okay down the road I would think.

There’s a toughness and resilence in Austin’s game which I admire. Plus, he’ll never back down from a tough moment or bad play. He is the epitome of the basketball phrase…’next play up’.

I saw Coach Kruger have to pull him back several times, but Lon Kruger was smart enough to not diminish the best part of Austin’s game which is that chip on the shoulder he plays with every game.

I think one of the reasons OU blue chip point guard Devion Harmon transferred to Oregon was the fact Austin just beat him out for the role of being OU’s go to guy in clutch situations. I think it hurt Devion’s feelings. Hopefully, Devion shines as an Oregon Duck this season playing for Dana Altman.

Austin was supposed to be an early second round pick, but didn’t get drafted. He made the Lakers’ roster and is now getting serious rotational minutes with the Lakers. He played thirty minutes in the Lakers’ win over the Spurs last night.

When you think about it he’s the perfect kind of guy to mix in with LeBron, Russell, AD, and Carmelo in that he’s Coach Vogel’s blue collar scrapper with something to prove every time he’s on the floor.

I would think there should be a pretty good crowd tonight for the Lakers and if you’re there be sure and watch all the little things Austin does when he’s on the floor. He’s Nick Collison playing guard is what he is….except he shoots better than Nick.

Nick’s dad was a high school coach in Iowa, I’m guessing that somwhere in Austin’s family either his father or maybe an uncle was a basketball coach.

He plays like he grew up talking hoops every morning at the breakfast table.

Good luck, Austin. Don’t change who you are.

After Dark

0-4…baby. Didn’t see what the Pistons did tonight, but for now the Thunder are in sole possession of last place in the thirty team NBA.

But you know what…there were multiple silver linings for the NBA Journal:

  • The Bally Sports telecast went blank for most of the third period so the Thunder fans didn’t have to see their team relinquish their only lead of the season so far beyond 2-0 versus Utah.
  • Poku looked girthier.
  • Little Nick Gallo was especially poignant with his pregame interviews.
  • JRE started in place of Derrick Favors and was good…I thought.
  • Shai had a thirty point something game.
  • Golden State didn’t cover the Vegas spread.
  • So this was really in essence a win of sorts for the Thunder.
  • Next up… Russell and Austin Reaves and the Lakers tomorrow night in OKC.
  • Hope you enjoy the songs. There is life beyond basketball.

Steph, Golden State in OKC Tonight: My NBA Journal

This will easily be a game I watch tonight. Golden State and Memphis are the two teams I’ve adopted in the West this season. OKC is tanking and Golden State appears to be getting its footing again with a 3-0 record and a much better roster than last year’s team.

I have no idea whatsoever why the Thunder fans inside Pay.Com Arena are cheering for their team in that the goal is for the Thunder to lose every game if possible. I mean…I think to myself why as a Thunder fan would you pay to attend a game and then cheer for the team to do the exact opposite of what Sam Presti wants them to do? That makes no sense whatsover.

I’m clearly cheering for the Warriors tonight and later in the week I’ll be cheering for the Lakers when Austin Reaves and Russell come to town. I might even buy me a Lakers shirt and attend that one. Who would have thought one week into the season Austin Reaves could be the best point guard on the Lakers’ roster this season? Let’s go, Austin…I’ve been bragging about you.

Vegas has Golden State as a road nine point favorite tonight. You really have to be a sick person with an addiction to bet on games involving a team which is tanking.

I wouldn’t want either part of this. You have to figure Steve Kerr if he even allows Steph to play against the dumpster fire Thunder…will be quick to get him out of the game and not risk injury.

You also have to figure Sam Presti will have a hardon the rest of his life for Warrior GM Bob Myers stealing Kevin Durant on July 4th of 2016. Thus, sending the Thunder down this dubious dark path they are now traveling as the zenmasters of tanking.

Isn’t it odd Presti’s former Assistant GM Troy Weaver is now the GM for the worst team in the East currently with the Detroit Pistons. The Piston fans have yet to see either Cade Cunningham or Jerami Grant play in a game this season. Sore ankle, dinged elbow… Presti taught him well…didn’t he?

I from time to time watch the video of Game 6. It was the last sporting event my father was able to attend with me before his death later in August. The game has an emotional tie to me even though the Thunder lost.

I mean sure…we were devastated the Thunder choked like that and lost the game, but on the other hand we had to acknoweldge how special Steph and Klay were that night on May 29th, 2016. As in historically special.

LIke watching Gretzky or Bobby Orr or Barry Sanders or Roberto Clemente or Michael Jordan in their primes. Game 6 was/is still clearly the defining game for me as a Thunder/NBA fan.

It bothers me the Oklahoma City fans still boo Kevin Durant. They seem to have no sense for the history and beauty of the game beyond just the Thunder.

Without Kevin Durant the Thunder to date have still not won one single playoff series. I wonder how many of them have taken the time to study the history of those two Seattle teams which made it to the NBA Finals.

I wonder how many know who Downtown Freddie Brown or Dennis Johnson or Jack Sikma were ?

I’m rambling. So I need to close. Never give a sucker an even break and kick him when he’s down. Light’em up, Steph.