Nenad Krstic on Thursday called Serbian media reports over the summer claiming that Orlando's Marcin Gortat would be traded to Oklahoma City before the end of the season erroneous.
While playing in Poland for their respective national teams this summer, Krstic and Gortat began what Krstic described as a friendly conversation in the presence of journalists. Gortat, Krstic said, mentioned that he could see himself playing with the Thunder.
“He just said he wants to be here because he thinks he can fit here,” Krstic said. “He actually said he can fit with my game because he can play inside and I can shoot outside. We just talked and they put in the papers that he wants to be here and he's coming here. It was a mistake.”
Gortat, Orlando's 6-foot-11 reserve forward/center, signed a five-year, $34 million offer sheet with Dallas in July. The Magic matched the offer to retain the then restricted free agent.
Adapting to social media rules
Nick Collison and Kevin Durant, two of the Thunder's most frequent users of the social networking site Twitter, said they won't have a problem adjusting to new rules that came down Wednesday by the league.
The NBA now prohibits its players from using cell phones, PDAs and other electronic communication devices during games, or 45 minutes before tip-off through the completion of postgame media availability.
“I think the rules are fine,” Collison said. “You don't want to do anything while you're working. That's basically all they said. They don't want anything on games, and for us, we don't want to do anything during practice.”
The NBA allows each franchise to institute additional rules, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Thursday “All of our rules will be kept in-house. But our guys understand that when we're in our building and focusing on getting better we can't worry about tweeting to the world.”
Harden, Collison sit Thursday with ankle sprains
James Harden and Collison both sat out Thursday's practice with ankle sprains and continue to be listed as day-to-day.
“They're moving better but still not ready to practice,” Brooks said.
For Harden, the No. 3 overall pick, Brooks said he isn't concerned with the rookie falling behind but said it naturally happens with each missed practice.
“You can keep up with what we're putting in on both ends of the court, but you still need to be out there,” Brooks said. “You do fall behind a little bit, but he's a smart kid that understands the game and he's watching practice. But you still need to be out there.”
Collison said his ankle is getting better but has been a slow recovery process after severely rolling it about two weeks ago in voluntary workouts.
“I've never had a sprained ankle before in all these years, really,” Collison said. “I had a lot of swelling and a lot of bleeding in it. The swelling's starting to go down and I can do more. But I'm still a ways away. I can't really jump. I can't really run yet. I'm just trying to work on some stability and get the swelling out. So I really don't know how long it'll be.”
At the end of Thursday's practice, players one by one stepped up to try and bounce a basketball 15 feet into the top shelf of a basketball rack. If someone made it, players wouldn't have to run. Cheers rang out when Jeff Green bounced the ball into the rack.
“I was an easy coach on them, but it was fun,” Brooks said. “They gave us 2 1/2 hours of aggressive basketball. I don't think they had much in them. I was hoping someone would make it.”
Brooks gave the team the night off Thursday after conducting two-a-days Tuesday and Wednesday. The team is scheduled to have two practice sessions today...Krstic returned to practice Thursday after getting the day off Wednesday. Krstic said he's physically healthy but a little mentally drained after getting married and a busy summer of basketball with his national team.