The Oklahoman's Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch chat. Read the entire chat recap here. Participate in our Power Lunch chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at NewsOK.com/sports
Oklahoma City's Nate Robinson (3) celebrates during the NBA basketball game between the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA playoffs at the Oklahoma City Arena, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
On Thunder guard Nate Robinson's value in the NBA:
I think he has value now as an expiring contract next year. And teams know he can be a big-time spark offensively off the bench. But he also has a reputation of being a knucklehead, and some teams are turned off by that and may consider him unworthy of the risk. At this point, I'm not sure the Thunder can get much for him. But I learned a long time ago never to underestimate Sam Presti and the Thunder when it comes to trades. My gut says [we won't return to OKC].
On what the Thunder needs to do to win a title in the future:
Just keep doing what they're doing. The Thunder is on the right track and the right train to a title. More experience is the biggest thing at this point. A few guys have to get better at some things individually. But given good health, this team is going to be a champion sooner rather than later.
On if the Thunder had beaten Dallas and played Miami in the NBA Finals:
The Thunder's defense is no where near the level of the Mavs, so that alone would have made the Heat tougher for OKC than Dallas.
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in 2004.
Mayberry joined The Oklahoman’s sports staff in 2005 after a year at the Akron Beacon Journal, where he covered the University of Akron men’s basketball team, high schools and recruiting. Since arriving at The Oklahoman, Mayberry has become the leading authority on the NBA as the only traveling media member and the only reporter to cover every NBA game ever played in Oklahoma City.
He served as the paper’s beat writer on the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets from 2005-07, broke the news of the Seattle SuperSonics’ settlement negotiations with the City of Seattle in the summer of 2008, a development that allowed the team to relocate to Oklahoma, and has covered the Thunder since the franchise’s inception.
Mayberry and his wife, Courtney, were married in 2010 and live in Oklahoma City.