Nenad Krstic is officially a member of the Thunder after having his work visa approved Monday. And with a new team comes a new nickname. Krstic, the 7-foot center who was signed Dec. 30, is no longer affectionately referred to as "Curly” as he was during his four seasons with the New Jersey Nets. Thunder players have taken to the nickname "Krispy.”
While the nickname is more of a play off Krstic’s last name, it could carry a double meaning for how crisp Krstic has been in his first week of practice. "He’s looking good,” Desmond Mason said of Krstic, who could make his Thunder debut tonight against the New York Knicks. "He’s a skilled basketball player. I’ve played him before, and he can definitely shoot the heck out of the ball and has some great moves around the basket. So I’m excited for him to get on the floor and see what he’s going to bring to us. I think he’s going to be an asset to this team.” Thunder coach Scott Brooks did not say whether he would use Krstic tonight against New York at the Ford Center. Brooks has said since last Tuesday that he wants to ease in Krstic and allow him to learn the playbook and adapt to his new teammates. "He’s still blending in,” Brooks said. "He’s doing a good job of fitting in, and the guys are doing a good job of accepting the way he plays. He’s a good piece for us. He knows how to play...He’s a smart player. He makes good decisions with the ball. He’s not just a shooter, he can be a playmaker at his spot.” Brooks has praised Krstic’s basketball IQ in recent days, saying he has picked up the team’s offensive sets quickly and said his conditioning is better than he expected. "He’s coming along,” Brooks said.
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New York Knicks at ThunderTime: 7 tonight Arena: Ford Center. Television: FOX Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37) Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM. Probable starters