Chet Holmgren ‘Survives’ First Encounter With Nikola Jokic

Oh, boy.

Depending on your usage of the word ‘survive’…. rookie Chet Holmgren to the best of my knowledge survived this contact with Nikola and is still alive and breathing today.

I can’t remember how much time was left in the game when this happened, but Thunder super homer analyst Michael Cage originally wanted a flagrant foul. This is when I promptly changed off of Bally Sports which is soon to be in bankruptcy court…and justifiably so.

If you’re still on board with Oklahoma City paying a billion dollars at a rate of 95 to 5 investment ratio to build a new arena…then bless your heart. Seriously….bless your heart.

That’s all I can really say about this game other than the fact I think Denver’s bench will be fine without Bruce Brown this season as we view the emergence of Peyton Watson and Zeke Nnaji.

I think when all is said and done Christian Braun will emerge as a Sixth Man of the Year finalist and former Thunder guard Reggie Jackson will have a serious shot at winning his second NBA ‘ship ring as a Denver Nugget. Who seriously saw that one coming?

Kevin, Serge, Reggie, and Jeff Green all now have rings. Just a thought, but wouldn’t Jeff Green be the perfect fit as a reserve big to actually help Chet understand the pro game and the Thunder as a whole understand where they currently stand in the NBA food chain?

Next up on my blog this week…Draymond’s return and Chris Paul’s first ever NBA game coming off the bench.

Enjoy the crisp Oklahoma fall weather today. Feels like Omaha out here today at the Deer Creek ranch. I love Omaha BTW, as one of America’s truly great underrated cities.


Smerconish Sunday

So much going in our world right now it can be intimidating. But this is where you have to keep your faith and strengthen your inner core beliefs.

Bitterly cold and wet out here at the Deer Creek ranch this morning. The weather is so adverse in fact we rescheduled the fishing/foliage trip to this week. Hopefully…we’ll hit peak color just right. I’ve even fed the deer and turkeys twice already today. The windchill is brutal.

It’s on days like this I think about Pauli. I have Hank as a surrogate dog in Seminole. I have Perk and Tucker as dual surrogate dogs in Denver, But I feel now I’m about a month away from deciding if I should or shouln’t have a dog. Plus, you know, I have the relationship with Roadie the cancer dog at Integris.

Getting ready to settle in after the Sunday news shows and drink more coffee and watch an NBA doubleheader of Denver vs. OKC and Houston vs. Golden State. How odd…OKC is only my third favorite team of this quadrant. But I will admit the Seattle Thunder is perhaps one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA this season. David Stern knows…even the NBA gods adhere to hoops karma.

Seattle Thunder….makes more sense with storms than the Sonics when you really think about it.

Do something kind today for another person.

BTW…congrats today to the Kansas Jayhawks for their best win in perhaps the history of their program. I’ll have to blog about that game sometime early this next week.


Lu Dort, Chet Holmgren Lead Thunder Past Cavs in Cleveland

A very nice road win for the Thunder as they roared back from ten points down late in the game on the road to earn a hard earned W. Granted, Cleveland was without two of its top eight rotational players in Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, but you’ll take any road win you can in the NBA.

Shai is always let me write both Lu Dort and Chet were my No. 1 and No. 2 stars in this game.

Lu never gets the credit he should from the Thunder fanbase, but I tell you this…I as a Warriors fan would LOVE to package a deal sending Lu to Golden State for Gary Payton Jr. and a second round draft pick. For all the Lu critics in Oklahoma…work on that one for me with Sam Presti.

As far as Chet….I gave him an 8.5 on my TSNS metric scale for his very nice bounceback game after his ‘struggle game’ in Chicago.

There will be moments of brillance from both Chet and Wemby this season…especially when they play against other light centers in the league such as the Cav’s Evan Mobley.

Great road trip for the Thunder. The Thunder home opener tomorrow against the Denver Nuggets should be a game which tells us much more about this team and what their season boundaries should be.

Have a serene autumn day watching college football.


Derek Lively Steals the Show on Chet and Wemby Opening Nights

It was opening night for the much ballyhooed starts to Chet and Wemby’s opening nights. But a funny thing happened on their way to the Basketball Hall of Fame…both Derek Lively and Cason Wallace looked more NBA ‘real game’ ready than Chet and Wemby.

With the exception of being benched for a bit and having his ankles broken by Andre Drummond…Chet was okay. Likewise…Wemby was okay, but nothing special. It’s going to take some time for both of these guys with their frail bodies to be able to figure out space and time creation with their frail frames. But I would suspect both should show flashes of brillance here and there as they find their ways with their unique body shapes.

If I remember this correctly the Thunder actually drafted Lively from Duke and then swapped with the Dallas Mavs to pick Wallace. I had alot going on then, you know, fighting for my life and then emerging as a Stage 4 cancer survivor… but I think that’s the way it went down.

I may need to hit the Daily Thunder messageboard today and clarify that transaction with ‘Justin the Russian bot from Miami’. He should be here being my pupil and/or assistant like Molly is with Stephen A on First Take, but the glit and glom of being Little Nick Gallos’s second in command was too much to resist.

Just sayin’. Truth hurts.

As far as the Thunder’s lopsided romp last night…Shai was sublime and may move up on my current Top 8 NBA Players list if the Thunder can finish in the top six in the West and win a first round series.

The Chicago Bulls were brutal last night…as in BRUTAL. I would suspect or think if the Bulls play another couple of games at this level that former Florida Gator coach Billy Donovan, like Scott Brooks, will become a former NBA head coach as well.

Not a great time to be a sports fan in Chicago.

Anyway…I need to work out and then get ready to depart to southeast Oklahoma for a combo bass/crappie fishing afternoon and a foilage tour. And maybe hit the famous little Italian restaurant down there.

Life is good. Make sure and see some foilage this next week as we hit peak color.



Denver Nuggets Still LeBron’s Daddy in Season Opener

What a great night of sport as the Arizona Diamondbacks punched their ticket to the World Series by beating the heavily favored Philadelphia Philles on the road in Game 7. Arizona and the Texas Rangers will now meet in the World Series which begins on Friday night. If you had a ticket in Vegas before the season to have these two highly unlikely foes meeting in the Fall Classic…congrats because that would be a heckuva pick.

Now… on to the two NBA season openers.

The defending champ defending champ Denver Nuggets easily dispatched of the LA Lakers in a game in which once again the grotesquely overpaid Anthony Davis went poof into the night in the second half. I’ll even go a step further… behind LeBron’s solid play in 29 minutes it could once again be said Austin Reaves in fact might have been the Lakers’ second best player in this game.

As you well know, I love Austin Reaves from his days of being a Big 12 First Teamer at OU, but the fact of the matter is that if Anthony Davis can’t remove the passive-submissive parts of his basketball game these Lakers will not be all that much in this NBA basketball season.

Here’s some more Austin Reaves love on my blog two weeks prior to the Bedlam Game….Austin went undrafted in the same draft in which Cade Cunningham was the first pick of the draft. To date…..Austin has had the more substantial NBA career.

And to think, the Wizard of Oz who runs the process for Clay Bennett could have had Austin with one of those second round pics of his, but has Lindy Waters instead. Fate can be fickle, eh? Speaking of karma and fate…I wonder what the chances are of USC coaching phenom Lincoln Riley going either 7-5 or 8-4 with Heisman winner Caleb William’s father as his new defensive coordinator?

Insert pic of Mike J smiling while frolicking at Bonnie Brae Park in Denver with the grandchildren playing soccer with a walker stripping the ball away from Robert and Aubrey. If only Anthony Davis had that TSNS he could be something special.

Anyway….if Denver stays away from serious injury to any of its first six core of Jokic, Jamal, Aaron, Michael, KCP, or Christian–I would have to pick Denver as my solid favorite to repeat as NBA champions.

No other team in the league from my perspective has a top two combo remotely close to Jokic and Jamal. Tell me who’s second in this regard.

Maybe the two kids in Boston, but they still posess damaged basketball souls from last season’s loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. But we don’t know how much Jrue Holiday can repair those two tortured souls?

As far as the bench, it is true the Nuggets lost Bruce Brown to the Pacers, and Uncle Jeff to the Houston Rockets despite Coach Malone’s intoxicated plea for them to remain with Denver for the repeat effort. But the truth be told…. Reggie Jackson should be able to replace Bruce Brown and the young Zeke Nnaji could surprise as Jeff Green’s replacement.

As far as the Warriors’ close loss to the Phoenix Suns last night, I’ll say this about both teams….I don’t want to write anything further about either team on my blog until I see all the pieces in place on the floor. I have both Golden State and Phoenix in my Top 6 in the West, but I want to see Beal play with Kevin and Booker in a real game. And likewise, I want to see what the Warriors look like with Draymond and Chris Paul togther on the floor when it matters

I think I’ll now go see the Thunder play the Bulls in Chicago in Chet Holmgren’s first REAL NBA game.


My Modest Thunder Preview

Here’s the thing I’ve taken most from from my Stage 4 cancer situation…. Life is like a book per se. You have a prologue, the book itself which contains multiple chapters, and then you have an epilogue. The truth of the matter is I don’t know how many chapters I have left in my book.

I don’t know if I have enough chapters left to wait for Sam Presti and his ever evolving process to turn into something which might resemble a special or memorable NBA basketball season in Oklahoma City.

MJ the Book is somewhere in the epilogue. How many pages that epilogue is remains to be seen. I hope it’s a mega alpha epilogue, but I’ll just have to see.

I watched about five minutes of this Sam Presti pre-season presser and became hoplessly bored and stopped watching. I did like the line where Presti said, ” Some people don’t even know what they don’t know.” I like that.

I might insert that from time to time with the Berry Tramel Taco Bell line here on the modest blog which is getting ready to focus on the Golden State Warriors, LA Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat.

You have to understand…when I spent Father’s Day week in Denver in the midst of the NBA championship parade it was like an epiphany for me. It was like God saying, ” Mike enjoy this. Carpa diem, bud. I’m looking out for you. You don’t have to follow that nuanced tanking bullshit any longer. I’m not sure how many pages you have left. My sway can sometimes be calibrated.”

I’m not at all upset with the Thunder. That 2012 season will be one for the ages which no real NBA fan should ever forget because freaking godforsaken OKLAHOMA CITY made the NBA Finals with Kevin Durant showing everyone in the basketball world it’s okay to dream big.

My take on the Thunder is this…I have no take. I have no projection what soever on how many games this still brutally young team might win this season in that the Western Conference has only one team in the Portland Trail Blazers who look to be worse than a season ago.

Here’s what I would say about the Thunder. This team has some fabulous young men who will provide many exciting minutes and maybe even challenge the Minnesota Timberwolves for second place in the Northwest Division. To me that would be a great acheivement for this Thunder group beyond the fact the Thunder still posess 15 first and 22 second round draft picks in the next seven years.

You see…I can write that above paragraph because I am smart enough to understand what it is I don’t know about what lurks in the recesses of Sam Presti’s basketball anal retentive mind.

So….the NBA season starts this week and my basketball heart will be shared in equal parts between the Golden State Warriors, the Denver Nuggets, Austin Reaves, and Jrue Holiday as a Boston Celtic.

But when the Thunder do something noteworthy… I will write about it on my completely honest underground blog which isn’t owned or steered by Little Nick Gallo and that bunch.

In closing, in thinking about this GOP Speaker of the House nonsense….you know what the Dems should do….they should nominate either Liz Cheney or Adam Kensinger and dangle these phony make believe conservatives and see who votes how on that ballot.



Katherine Clark Nominates Hakeem Jeffries…. Again

I’ve been off my blog for a little over a week now because I’ve been equally distressed about Ukraine, Israel, and the MAGA movement in our own country.

From my perspective as of today (10/20/2023)….the three greatest threats to American democracy go in this order….1 Trump and the MAGA rabble, 2 China 3 Putin, and 4 Middle Eastern terrorist groups. But I clearly have Trump and his group of domestic terrorists at the top of my list.

Fifth on my list would be all of us, regardless of party, as a country coming to grips with our budgetary issues which must be addressed.

Here we sit a little over two weeks with the GOP House still leaderless…and these people just failed on a third ballot to elect the massively unqualified Jim Jordan as the Speaker of the House.

IF EVER there was a time for me to evoke the epic Berry Tramel Taco Bell quote on my blog this is it….’JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE WORKED AT A TACO BELL DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD BE MANAGING A TACO BELL.’

Good Lord… Jim Jordan doesn’t have enough smarts or character to manage a Sonic, a Taco Bell, or even a Pizza Hut…let alone to be the third living person in presidential succession.

Are you people in rural Oklahoma, Alabama, and Mississippi f–king kidding me?

Jim Jordan makes Steve Scalise look Chruchhill-esque.

The video above is House member Kathrine Clark from the state of Massachusetts. This speech was actually given nine months ago when Americans webt through this very same bullshit with the GOP House when it took them FIFTEEN ballots to confirm the very sketchy Kevin Mc Carthy to the Speaker’s position.

I just got off the phone with my Congresswoman Stephanie Bice and voiced my extreme disappointment with her third vote as of today to confirm Jim Jordan to the Speaker position.

As I stated…this vote should go in this order…. 1 country, 2 the individual’s integrity, and 3 party affliation.

God bless America and our precious democracy.

Please defend it.


Chet Holmgren-Wemby First Meeting

I haven’t watched a sporting event since late Saturday night when it first became apparent to me what was going on in Israel. What a tragedy. This is horrible and will only get worse. It’s starting to resemble a Tom Clancy novel….and that’s not good. My prayers are with ALL of the innocent people in the region being swept into this.

As far as the Thunder…after seeing their ownership’s proposal numbers on the new arena in OKC…I will be writing very little about this franchise on my blog. I don’t take these guys seriously any longer. After Covid and the three years of tanking to present such a bullshit proposal to a city like Oklahoma City is as laughable as a Michael Cage hot take on a telecast. Or as laughable as Little Nick Gallo and the manner in which Royce Young sold out followers on his blog by taking a job with the Thunder.

But I will tell you this, on my blog..I will be completely fair and objective to the current players on the Thunder roster because they had no hand in this. They were drafted by this organization and will have to stay here at least until they hit their first TRUE free agency opportunities.

I don’t really have much to say yet in regards to Chet and Wemby, but as far as the Thunder… when I see exceptional yoing talent NBA talent I will be writing about it on my blog this NBA season.

And OKC has about six or seven young players who have a chance to be special even if they end up in Seattle or Las Vegas.


Sooners Prevail in RRR…34-30

Best game of the season in college football this season, bar none. I mean, I have never seen a game have that much in the first quarter…ever.

Back and forth…ebb and flow, and yet Dillon Gabriel gets it done on a 75-yard drive in one minute with no timeouts to win perhaps the most meaningful Red River Rivalry in my lifetime.

I cried after the game. That was just awesome how Dillon put the Sooners on his back and said, “Boys, we’re not walking out of here today as losers. This is our day.”

That’s what I meaning about quarter-backing and leadership.

I could care care less about the polls. OU now has control of their own destiny moving forward.

I’m so proud of OU’s phsicality in this game. They hit Texas in the mouth from the opening play and never backed down.

We’re heading for a Sunday in Seminole and I need to decompress with day of family, maybe a litle fishing, a Dog Named Hank, and a great meal.

I feel blessed to have wathced that game yesterday.

I’m very proud of Coach Venables, Dillon, and every other member of the team. Extremely proud. Good thing we have an off week this week.

Have a beautiful Sunday and enjoy the win.


RED RIVER RIVALRY–Pregame Thoughts

I spent the day at Integris yesterday getting blood labs and then two shots at the infusion room. Then got the honor of being photographed with a caramel poodle named Rodie who’s the the cancer karma dog at the Cancer Center. Then I had a killer workout. I think Megan is going to be my primary PT when I get to the point of my knee rehab beyond cancer. Fingers crossed. I need the fire.

This was another touching moment for me like when that kid and his mom gave me their lucky penny at North Park Mall.

It’s all about karma, baby.

Then I watched O State play extremely solid football as they have finally it appears settled in with the notion Alan Bowman is their starting QB. It’s all about QB play at the end of the day whether it’s the Big 12, the SEC, or the NFL, baby. Always. This is about leadership and who will follow that lead.

So off that paragraph….that’s who I think wins today in the Cotton Bowl.

Is it Ewers or Dillon Gabriel who elvate their games enough to LEAD their team not only to a 6-0 start, but to a crossroads to the place where both teams want to be at the goal acheiving part of the season in early December.

Gook luck to both teams.

May the better team prevail with honor.