75,000 Attend OU Spring Football Game

Somewhere around 75,000 attended the OU spring football game on Saturday in wind conditions of 40 mph. Not an ideal day for football for certain. It was the largest crowd to ever attend an OU spring football game.

To put this number in perspective, the Thunder on most of their forty-one home games this season probably had somewhere around eight to nine thousand bodies in the Pay.com Arena to witness the Thunder lose by premeditated design. Nine Thunder crowds combined this past season pretty much equaled what the Sooners did on Saturday on a horrible weather day.

I think it will be very interesting to witness the Thunder attendance numbers this coming season if they do indeed tank for the third straight season in Oklahoma City while sitting some fairly nice young players to do so.

The Thunder have already dropped to 28th in NBA attendance…so for me this will be every interesting to observe as to where the disposable sports entertainment dollar is spent in the 2022-23 sports season in Oklahoma.

We’ll just have to sit back and see what Sam Presti does in the NBA draft this summer and see if he in anyway uses all that available cap space to give basketball fans in Oklahoma City a legitimate on court product for the first time since Chris Paul’s departure to the Phoenix Suns.

If he tanks again shamelessly what does that tell us what Sam Prsti really thinks about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as a No. 1 tier type plyer in the NBA. It would tell me he doesn’t believe Shai is that that type of a player. It would tell me he ranks Shai somewhere in the vicinity of a Khris Middleton type who needs a genuine star above him on the Thunder roster.

‘Scared money don’t make money’. Who said that?

KD on the Cusp of Being Swept by Boston

Not a huge surprise the Celtics will advance given I had the Celts above the roster shallow Nets on my Playoff Poll, but a sweep verges on the cusp of a disgrace for Kevin Durant.

The end perhaps for Kevin along with LeBron and Westbrook as well. I would think Harden’s future hangs with the immediate future of Joel Embiid’s thumb.

You gotta have a team around you in the playoffs when you’re playing against a good team every night.

There’s no space for Durant in this series. It’s like he’s out there playing with Perk, Andre, Steven, or Thabo. Two Nets aren’t having to play their man honestly. They’re waiting for Kevin every time he touches the ball. No space, no time, no baskets.

This is a lot like those OKC-Memphis series when the Grizzlies got in Kevin’s grill from the opening tip till the final gun. The only difference is this time it’s former O State player Marcus Smart instead of former O State/Eddie Sutton stopper Tony Allen.

This is what I’m talking about with Sam Presti. I hope he learns from this, from his previous roster mismanagement mistakes.

The Nets in reality are the 7th best team in the East and are very much playing like it.

Jayson Tatum is emerging as a superstar and Marcus Smart is that perfect blue-collar second tier type player to compliment him. Presti coveted Marcus Smart back in the day. My O State basketball guy told me Presti was always all over the notion of somehow getting Marcus Smart for the Thunder. Too bad it didn’t happen, but in my mind, Lu Dort has the chance of being Marcus Smart Lite if he becomes efficient with his shot selection.

Even as a Sooner, I always loved Marcus. He plays with passion and emotion. He’s a kid with a tough past who was raised by a single mom just like Joe Mixon. But through it all, like Joe Mixon he’s stuck with it and worked through the rough edges.

I’ll be torn if the Bucks play the Celtics.

Anyway…congrats so far to the Celtics who have turned their season around the last six or so weeks. It starts with defense, then physicality, then your finishers hitting their shots. This is not complex.

What Thunder Fans Should Learn from Golden State

I had a great Saturday in Seminole at the 87th birthday party of my wife’s godfather… Regis. It was lovely. A fish fry and great conversation. Trumpers and non-Trumpers…we all got along, and I was genuinely pleased by the maturity of the statements being made back and forth. Then we drove back home through the storms and made it back safely. A very nice Saturday including the late NBA games.

I’ve put this 2016 Golden State video on above because I honestly think the Thunder fanbase is one of the dumbest in the NBA. Which I feel is very disappointing considering the Thunder are now in their 15th year of existence in Oklahoma City.

I wish I could write something differently, but that’s the way I honestly feel at this juncture. I pray for the Thunder because in my own selfish plans I want them to succeed so I can continue to see in person some of the best athletes in the world come thru Pay.com Arena which is twenty minutes from our house highway pretty much all the way.

I think if you’re a discerning NBA fan you should watch the Bob Myers interview above and catalog some of what he said in 2016 as the Thunder attempt to work their way out of the NBA’s small market version of hell and become semi-relevant once again.

You should glean much more from this video than what Sam Presti offered in his recent two hour plus version of how the Thunder got to where they are currently on the NBA food chain.

Luck, smarts, hard work, and determination are what separate winners from losers so to speak… in all walks of life.

The Thunder need to smarten up in a hurry. I could care less what the two most recently read books were by Sam Presti. You know why, because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read some of the books on my yearly lists. I thought the fact he name-dropped his two most recent reads was condescending considering how pathetic the Thunder’s last two seasons were to observe from an objective lens.

Sam Presti and Clay Bennett need to figure this out…it doesn’t matter what city you live in… it’s winning which puts paying customers in seats and purchasing things Thunder related.

Nobody in the end really gives a flying f–k what Sam Presti’s last two reads were considering he was the one who dropped the line “Scared money don’t make money.” Walk the walk, pal. You said, you own it.

Steven Adams only played 3:41 and was a -5 in the Grizzlies loss in Game 4 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Coach Taylor Jennings absolutely made the correct call as coach for one simple reason…that reason being he wanted his team to have the best possible chance of winning the game.

Note to Sam Presti…you need to be filling your roster with guys who can shoot combined with guys who can defend the perimeter like Lu Dort and Kenrich Williams. Get a rim protector who can actually play basketball on both ends of the floor and see what happens.

Let’s Go Warriors!

Milwaukee Destroys Chicago Bulls in Game 3, 111-81

Coach Billy Donovan obviously didn’t have his players ready to go in this one as the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks destroyed the Bulls without Khris Middleton by a score of 111-81 in Game 3. Lots of boo birds in Chicago on this one… and rightfully so. A pathetic performance by the Bulls.

Perk with Scott van Pelt on Sports Center suggested the Bulls’ front office return all proceeds from ticket sales to the people who paid money to attend this game. I’m proud of Perk, every time I look, he’s either with SVP or Steven A on First Take.

This isn’t Oklahoma City as far as sports media softness. I would think the very direct scribes in Chicago will be pretty tough on the Bulls after this performance.

If you look around these NBA Playoffs, injuries just halfway through Round 1 are playing a significant role for teams to adjust to on the fly.

Dallas without Luka, but with Jalen Brunson. The Milwaukee Bucks now without clutch scorer Khris Middleton, but with Grayson Allen and Bobby Portis. Phoenix without Devin Booker for the next three weeks. Joel Embiid playing with an injured thumb. Atlanta without Clint Capela. Kyle Lowery possibly down with Miami. Denver without Jaamal Murray and Michael Porter.

This is when contenders have to be able to have quality role players fill the production gaps.

And on Friday night in Chicago, Grayson Allen of the Bucks was the best role player in the league in a road game no less with A 22-point performance which led the Bucks to a surprisingly easy romp over the Chicago Bulls.

Bobby Portis stepped up as well with a clutch 18-point night and there you have Khris Middleton’s production covered by two of his teammates.

Giannis had a quiet night with 18 points and a +36. But as Jeff van Gundy said on the ABC broadcast, “If you’re a real NBA basketball fan and you don’t love Giannis…there must be something wrong with you.”

It’s so nice not having to listen to the Thunder broadcasts anymore this season. It’s invigorating to hear the excellent work at ABC, ESPN, and TNT this time of the year. It makes the games so much more fun to follow when you don’t have to cringe every other comment.

I think what I’ll write about next is Taylor Jenkins of the Memphis Grizzlies rightfully benching Steven Adams and why it was easily the correct coaching move.

You know, I love both Steven and Andre Roberson, but at some point, you either have to learn to shoot a basketball or accept the fact you’re a very situational role player with limitations in the NBA.

I love physicality and energy, but this was easily the dumbest play of the night as Jaxon Hayes killed his own team by getting ejected in the first half of a critical Game 3 versus the Phoenix Suns without Devin Booker.

Just an incredibly stupid play. It’s a good thing Charles Barkley wasn’t on the air Friday night, or he’d have Jaxon Hayes with the Minnesota Timberwolves headed to the USFL.

You can’t go out there and play like an unchained idiot.

Warriors New Death Squad Takes 3-0 Series Lead Over Denver

Klay and the Warriors are not only back, but they have three youngsters they’ve selected in the past two lotteries who can’t even get on the floor. Injured center James Wiseman, Johnny Kuminga, and Moses Moody are all potentially better than anyone the Thunder have drafted so far in their Tank-a-Quest minus maybe Josh Giddey.

It’s no longer the Splash Brothers. It’s more like the Splash Quartet of Steph, Klay, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins, plus do everything Draymond Green who make up the New Death Squad which takes small ball to a new extreme.

On Thursday night the Warriors took a 3-0 stranglehold on the road in their first round series versus the Denver Nuggets by a 118-113 margin. The Splash Quartet combined for 89 points with each of the four plus Draymond making a key play in the game’s final four minutes.

If second year center James Wiseman, who was the 2nd pick in the 2020-21 draft, ever gets healthy at the center position the Warriors will have a conventional lineup as well.

In the history of the NBA, no team has ever come back from 3-0 deficit so it would appear the Nugget’s injury decimated season is about to end with the Warriors moving into the Western Conference semi-finals.

This is a great stat. The road win by the Dubs marks the 23rd straight playoff series in which the Warriors have won a road game in a playoff series. Now…that’s sustainability.

It’s nice having Klay and the Warriors back in contention given the fact that Sam Hinkie-Presti and his tanking Thunder still appear to be two years away from even contemplating the possibility of having a legitimate NBA season in Oklahoma City.

If Memphis can close out the dumbest team in the NBA in the Minnesota Timberwolves, we have our Golden State-Memphis matchup in the semis.

Charles Barkley was absolutely spot on when he said the T-Wolves are the dumbest team in the NBA. Barkley wants to move the Wolves to the USFL and I would say …let’s send the Thunder with them. I’ve never seen any basketball coach sit there while his team gives up a 21-0 run and not call a timeout. Even Coach Mark for the tanking Thunder would not have done that.

Coach Mark…that’s what the Thunder’s fifth year maxed NBA vet Shai Gilgeous-Alexander called his tanking head coach in his exit interview. Kids in U-8 rec leagues don’t even do that. Little Nick Gallo’s influence once again showing why the Thunder are the most coddled NBA culture in the league. Nothing is changing in Oklahoma City until Sam Hinkie-Presti changes his support staff. I cannot believe Nick Collison could be a part of this nonsense.

Coach Mark….I love it. Game, set, and match. USFL or bust, baby.

Lake Sequoyah Arkansas…Near the Iconic White River

I have no idea where 405Baller is this Tuesday. They may have finally killed him over at the Daily Thunder. But not to fret…life goes on. Wish him the best though.

That kid had some hubris.

This is where we’ll be sometime in the future. We may live back and forth for a while between Oklahoma and Arkansas. But scenic Lake Sequoyah, a mere fifteen minutes from the University of Arkansas campus. Last time I looked…they a have pretty good basketball team on the upward trend as well. Just a great basketball facility at Bud Walton Arena.

The deck in our backyard overlooks the lake from the highest bluff at the lake. Eagles literally cruise around up there. It’s surreal.

Plus, I have Bill Clinton’s former barber as my fishing guide.

Incredible fishing, a college campus not far, the best trout fishing in this part of the country in the White River. A great base to follow the Sooners throughout the South once they finally join the SEC.

The fall color is breathtakingly stunning as well.

My wife asked, “But won’t you miss the Thunder?”

“Honey, they’re dead. Sam Presti killed the Thunder the day he lost Kevin Durant to Jerry West. They’ve become the Sacramento Kings. I can still go to four games a year to see my favorite stars in the league when we’re in the city and pay thirty cents on the dollar.”

So it is what it is. Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

A river runs through it…so to speak.

But the rest of the NBA is lit. Never better. So that’s good. Always look for the positives. Seattle and Las Vegas both need an NBA basketball team.

Sam Presti’s Exit Interview

Oh, boy. Here’s Sam Presti’s 2022 exit interview from Monday. Anything I’m writing on here is with complete detached emotion. I have quite a bit going on in my life. Sports have always been a passion for me. What Sam Presti said in this interview in no way has an impact on my life.

My take from all of these words being said by Sam Presti is that in all likelihood the Thunder will be tanking again next season somewhere after the first 28-30 games are played.

This will not affect me in any manner.

I’ll do exactly what I did this past fall and winter. I’ll maybe attend 4-6 Thunder games to see some up and comers from other teams. I’ll follow college basketball. And I’ll follow 4-6 NBA teams who are trying to ring the bell.

I’ll become emersed in college football and the NFL. I will not in any way allow my spirits to be dimmed by Sam Presti’s tanking Thunder.

As a grandfather of two, I will make sure my priorities are in line and look out for my mother as well.

My lab Pauli will be my side and hopefully our retirement home which is being built currently at Lake Sequoyah ten miles east of Fayetteville will be completed a year from now.

My cup runneth over. What Sam Presti does or doesn’t do has virtually no tangible impact on my life. As in none.

I’ll keep the blog domain to cover the other sports and spend very little time on the Thunder unless they fool me and play a real basketball season of 82 games. I’ll occasionally say something snarky directed towards the Daily Thunder human rabble as well because deep down in places they hate to admit exist…they love me doing this. They need me on that fence as their antagonist. They want me on that fence.

Actually, I feel fortunate I got to watch the Thunder with Durant for a decade be the ‘It Team’ in America.

What Sam Presti never said in this morass of mealymouthed words is the sentence by which everything Thunder should be measured from the past and into the future.

Four words.

Portland took Greg Oden.

Otherwise, all this bullshit we heard on Monday is just window dressing because most of the people in Oklahoma are too stupid to know any better.

And heading into the 15th year of Thunder basketball, Sam Presti’s Thunder still have never won a first-round playoff series in their existence without Kevin Durant carrying their lunch boxes to the team bus.

So, if I were an NBA securities trader like on Wall Street, based on this wussy interview Sam Presti just gave in the land of Oklahoma’s passive submissive sports media…I’d bring OKC’s projected win total down from 36-38 games towards the 29-32 range.

It was a stellar day for OKC Jim and not so stellar for 405Baller. It affected me not in least…because I have a life. A very nice in fact.

Carry on, Thunder Nation.

My grandson is visiting tomorrow and Wednesday. I can’t wait.

Celtics Beat Nets at the Buzzer 115-114

I thought this week-end was a fantastic beginning to the road to the NBA Finals.

Nothing really surprised me other than the fact the margin in which Minnesota beat Memphis on the road in Game 1. Then maybe next was Atlanta being completely horrible without Clint Capela and Trae Young having his worst game of the season.

Memphis is going to have to adjust in Game 2 with how they allocate the minutes of Steven Adams against Karl Anthony-Townes.

The Maxey kid for Philly turned in a stunning performance which must be mentioned as we observe the Sixers moving forward.

And then Jordan Poole with the Warriors has to be mentioned as well. If Steve Kerr can figure out how to play Steph, Klay, and Jordan Poole together in a small ball lineup with Draymond as the big then to me that makes the Phoenix vs. Golden State potential matchup in the Western Conference Finals something all of us as passionate NBA fans should be salivating over as we pare down the field.

Chris Paul is Chris Paul…so I didn’t find his 4th period all that shocking. That’s who Chris Paul is…it’s what he does.

I see possibly seven teams at this point who could make it to the NBA Finals depending on how Memphis adjusts its big man minutes in Game 2.

I haven’t looked at how Vegas has it after this week-end, but I’d go in this order after Easter Sunday:

1 Milwaukee

2 Phoenix

3 Golden State

4 Miami

5 Boston

6 Philly

7 Brooklyn

Bubble gap

8 Memphis

But with Memphis I’ll write this…they need not only adjust, but Ja Morant has to step up his game in a big way if they want to be taken seriously as a legit contender. Atlanta better get Clint Capela back if they hope to be competitive.

As far as Kyrie flipping off the Boston fans. No big deal. If you grew up going to John Marshall playing other inner-city teams, it’s no big deal. Just make sure you win the damn game if you’re flipping people off.

I just love this time of the year.

Happy Easter

Hope everyone had a peaceful, introspective Easter. I had a little speed bump this morning, but then closed my eyes and remembered what day it was.

Growing up as a high school student, this story written by Richard Bach and narrated by Richard Harris always seemed to slow me down and remind me of why we’re purportedly here on the journey.

It always calms me even when I’ve had to deal with a knucklehead and kind of recalibrate myself down to where I need to be.

Hope you had a peaceful Easter.

NBA Regular Season Awards

Since the Thunder have tanked two seasons in a row, my consumption of other NBA games has increased accordingly. With the exception being the Chris Paul season. That was actually watchable basketball.

The playoffs started yesterday. The Utah, Philly, and Golden State wins I expected. The Minnesota road win kind of surprised me. Memphis literally could not defend Anthony Edwards or Karl Anthony-Townes. I fear Steven Adams is in for a long series if he’s allowed to be on the floor versus KAT.

Anthony Edwards hasn’t surprised me at all. I actually had him as my Rookie of the Year last season by a thin margin over LaMelo Ball.

I’ll never forget…I made that choice and one of the ‘Wonderfuls’ over at Daily Thunder promptly commented over here I was a clueless idiot. Sigh. Bless their hearts.

Enough of that.

My 2022 NBA Regular Season Awards

Coach of the Year…Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns.

MVP…Giannis of the Milwaukee Bucks with Embiid and Jokic tied for second.

NBA General Manager of the Year…Zach Klieman of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Most Improved Player of the Year… Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors.

Comeback Player of the Year…Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

Rookie of the Year…Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Star on the Horizon…Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Defensive Player of the Year…I think it was Giannis so I’m double-dipping on this one. Draymond didn’t play enough games.

Team Which Surprised Me the Most…. Easily the LA Lakers. I would never have fathomed the Lakers could be this bad for 82 games.

Number of Games the Thunder Could Win Next Season…It depends on if Sam Presti wants to have a real season of basketball in Oklahoma City next season. If he makes one nice trade, they could win over forty games. I’ll say 36 wins next season. That would be a +12 for the season.

Over/under on how many times dr el prez calls the Daily Thunder staff feckless, weak, docile, flaccid, subservient, and passive submissive…. 122. (This one didn’t count because I enjoyed talking to Budapest Barbie the other night).

Happy Easter and have a great time watching these NBA Playoffs.

Editor’s note:

Monday…I’ll review the better NBA Playoff games from this week-end. Then on Tuesday, 405Baller and I will take a look at Kevin Durant’s farewell letter on July 5th, circa 2016 to see how its held up historically.

Hopefully, the Daily Thunder’s alpha transvestite, Budapest Barbie, will be able to take a break from sucking Brandon’s dick and join us for a lively discussion. Some of these Daily Thunder dudes…they make me crazy. You gotta draw that line in the sand with them. I’m having to do what Royce Young should have done seven years ago.