Russell Westbrook Introduced in Houston

I hope this works out for Russell. Even before the Paul George demand to be traded it was apparent Russell Westbrook needed a reset with the back quarter of his basketball career. He had gone as far as he could go in Oklahoma City. Isn’t it ironic seven years after the Harden trade Russell Westbrook finally has a slew of effective three point shooters around him.

Can Harden and Westbrook figure out the usage issues in my mind depends on Russell. This is Harden’s team. Some Little Nick Gallo clone won’t be hovering around Westbrook as if it’s his kingdom. Russell Westbrook will have to adjust to Harden’s game more than the other way around.

Can he do it? Of course he can. We saw it with our own eyes in 2012 when the Thunder won the West with Harden being the ball handler in the Western Conference Playoffs.

If Russell Westbrook is genuinely serious about winning a championship anywhere he needs to rethink his game and be less ball dominant and a better defender who does the little things.

Durant won an MVP with Westbrook and Paul George just had his best season as a professional with him so this shouldn’t be impossible if he can come to the understanding his clock is running out.

As an NBA fan this is going to be an awesome season to watch, Not necessarily as a Thunder fan, but for the West as a whole.

The Thunder for the first time in a decade are projected to not make the playoffs. I would assume they won’t be part of the NBA Christmas Day package. Presti has yet to pull the trigger on a full blown tank. In his heart he knows the little college market won’t take to a tank and he can’t send the team back to Seattle for two years of tanking. This require significant nuance by Sam Presti.

Howard… we know you’re not going to be POTUS…would you like to rent your team back for two years? We could call it Hurricane Tanking.

But for me as a basketball fan I can’t wait to see the Rockets, the Clippers, the Warriors, and the LA Lakers as they are now.

When I go to see the Thunder play these teams in OKC it in essence will be to see the visitors. But by the same token I’m curious to see if SGA is indeed a player the Thunder can build around and if Billy Donovan can do with this Thunder team what Doc Rivers did this past season with the Clippers.

Sam Presti’s Mid Summer Explanation

I’m not going to comment too much on this until I see the Thunder’s roster on December 15th.

I did think it was interesting though that Paul George used the phrase ‘one year experiment’ when describing his escape from rogue red Oklahoma.

Given the circumstances both parties did the right thing and hopefully the Thunder can sustain through the next ten years in a city which quite honestly like Utah doesn’t seem a cultural fit in the NBA.

Adam Schiff’s Five Minutes of Brillance

My dad was a very good trial lawyer in spite of himself. As a kid growing up he would tell me stories of how to conduct voir dire. Or how to lead a witness down a precise path of testimony on direct. Or what never to do to a hostile witness on cross examination. NEVER ASK A QUESTION IN WHICH YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THE WITNESS WILL ANSWER. NEVER.

Other boys my age had dads who would build go carts or construct tree houses with them. But not my dad. These were the bedtime stories he told me and I loved every minute of it.

So when I saw Adam Schiff cut thru the bullshit and deliver five minutes of brilliance on his direct examination of Robert Mueller it caught my eye and I will hence post it on my blog.

This is how a good lawyer leads his witness through his story. And in this case there was no jury voir dire. The nation of America is the jury.

I have no idea if America is smart enough to sift thru what they heard today. But if they heard these five minutes one would hope it was enough.

Nice job, Adam Schiff. My dad would be proud of you.

I need a cleansing after what I witnessed from GOP lawmakers today in D.C. I’m embarrassed to admit I was actually a registered Republican at one point in my life.

Why OU is Lucky to Have Jalen Hurts

This will be the No. 1 storyline this year in the Oklahoma sports landscape. Westbrook and Paul George are gone. The college market could never put a top tier shooting guard along them and in Oklahoma it won’t be the NBA team driving the sports news cycle in as much at some point you have to start playing games and can’t just trade away players for draft picks.

The Jalen Hurts story is a great one. He was 26-2 as a starter at Alabama and was part of two national championships and then got beat out by Tua for the QB job. He didn’t transfer. He hung in there and got a chance in the Georgia game. He led his team to victory with a miraculous comeback and now as a graduate transfer at OU he has an opportunity to close his college career on his terms with Lincoln Riley.

It doesn’t get much better than this and sports fans in Oklahoma will be able to forget what just happened with the Thunder this free agency season.

Heat Wave Hits Sixth Straight Day in Deer Creek

It’s the sixth straight day of heat indexes above 105 degrees out here at the Deer Creek weather station. Massive humidity readings are driving this . It was 93% humidity at 7:00am this morning.

I’m not thinking all that much about the OKC Thunder. They’re anecdotal to a certain extent at this point. I would guess both OU football and Cleveland Brown football and maybe even perhaps Houston Rockets basketball will be more watched this season than the Thunder by knowledgeable sports fans in Oklahoma. And, of course, you’ll have the diehard O State Aggie fans who for some reason will think this is the year of their Haley’s Comet season.

Jalen Hurts, Baker Mayfield, James Harden and Russell Westbrook will be the storylines. Shei Gilgous-Alexander will answer Berry Tramel’s questions and no one will care.

I’ve always secretly wondered if Clay Bennett was giving Tramel the thumbs up to help drive Russell Westbrook out of Oklahoma City with all the Tramel press conference antics.

I could honestly care less either way because the team wasn’t working and wasn’t going anywhere and that’s precisely why Paul George asked to be traded.

Yesterday.. I was wearing my Auburn War Eagle ball cap inside a 7-11 and this cute girl smiled and said, “Roll Tide.”

I said, “OU has your quarterback.”

She said, ” We have the one who beat him out.”

I then said, “And Clemson still has the quarterback who beat his ass in the national championship game.”

She smiled and walked away.

See what I mean?

The Thunder have become anecdotal and life is still very good.

For some reason I woke up this morning and this is the music I’m still caring around inside my head all day.

I find women holding a flute extremely sensual.

Summertime OKC Thunder Tanking Meditative Music

It’s difficult at times being the only honest Thunder blogger amid the sea of Clay Bennett puppets such as Little Nick Gallo and Low Energy…so you must have some down time and reflect or you’ll lose all your brain cells.. Re-energize yourself as if you just attended a Donald Trump rally in West Virginia or Lawton.

This is a secret tip for all you aspiring Thunder bloggers. This is my best trick. Twenty or so minutes of this and I’m good regardless of whatever bullshit I’ve either read or heard in the little college market in which Baker Mayfield will be the most followed athlete this season with the departures of Westbrook and Paul George.

Try it…you might like it. It’s very refreshing. Almost cleansing.

See how many times you can spot Alex Abrines in the video.

Where Will the Thunder Rank in the Oklahoma Sports Landscape if They Tank in a Big Way?

Clay Bennett and his team won’t rank high. Tanking in a big way and for very long will not play in a place like Oklahoma.

The Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis tank which put Clay Bennett in a position to tank for the rights to Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden primarily took place while the franchise was still in Seattle in wait of being shipped to Oklahoma by the Thunder ownership group.

Only one season of tanking took place in Oklahoma and in that initial season in Oklahoma the Thunder went 23-59, but it was a fun mini-tank. Scott Brooks told the kids to run back faster and play harder. He screamed at them to play defense. Can anyone in their right mind a decade later imagine the expressions on the three faces of Durant, Westbrook and Harden now if a coach talked to them like Scott Brooks did back in the beginning?

They’d walk. Their agents would demand a trade. The hard core truth is Oklahoma isn’t much a place for an NBA star once they reach their third contract in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. The tenets of slavery per se are gone and a star is free to escape a place like Oklahoma which went almost seventy per cent for Donald Trump.

If I were a black star in the NBA would I play in Oklahoma if I didn’t have to?

Not a chance.

Truth hurts.

Can you imagine former Clay Bennett employee Berry Tramel or Little Nick Gallo or Low Energy Royce Young ever writing what I just wrote?

Not a chance.

But anyway, where will the Thunder rank if they go too far and too long into a tanking mode?

I’d say it would go something like this: 1 OU football, 2 O State football, 3 maybe the hoops program between OU and O State which emerges as the alpha dog this year after both have good recruiting classes in place, 4 the Cleveland Browns, and then maybe the Thunder if they tank beyond this one season.

Tanking will not play in Oklahoma. John Blake was not a tanking move, but rather just a horrific decision on a coaching hire. Travis Ford was not a tanking strategy either, but again it was just another bad coaching hire after Bill Self said ‘no thanks’.

OU didn’t stockpile draft picks during the John Blake Era in Norman. Rather it brought empty seats, apathy, and malaise.

This is just me thinking out loud, but if I were the Thunder ownership group I wouldn’t tank hard and I wouldn’t tank long.

How Berry Tramel Became Known Nationally in NBA Circles

Berry Tramel was on the Sports Animal this morning and he was hilarious. Of course much of the talk centered around his ‘Next Question’ routines with Russell Westbrook.

To Tramel’s credit he readily admitted no one really on the national NBA circuit knew of him all that much before because in essence he’s made his career covering college sports in Oklahoma. Tramel admits the opposite is now true because of his post game side shows with Russell Westbrook not answering questions while Little Nick Gallo guarded the face of the Thunder franchise.

So did Tramel just troll Westbrook to gain some attention and maybe get some hits for his newspaper?

I would say probably to a certain extent. I mean none of the questions Tramel ever asked really had anything attached of any real significance if you follow basketball at all. Not one question did I hear which in reality would be one I would have asked.

But still it was great comedic theatre in the age of the internet where let’s be frank anyone will do anything to get or attract hits.

Someone on the morning show asked Tramel if he planned on attending Westbrook’s first presser in Houston.

My response would be, ” Go for it.” Give your readers some entertainment because they’re not going to get all that much in the next eighty-two games where things stand now.

Take Little Nick Gallo along as the puppet prop he genuinely is and go full bore with it and see what happens with the numbers and the clicks.

Why not?