Anthony Slater
Sports Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in 2010 and graduating in 2012. He's a hoops fanatic and, this past season, served as a key contributor to The Oklahoman's NBA coverage, consistently blogging about the Thunder and attending nearly every home game.

  • OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook's late-game defensive mistakes crucial factor in Game 2 loss

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Wed, Apr 20, 2016

    Russell Westbrook missed a mid-range jumper at the 5:38 mark of the fourth quarter on Monday night. Frustrated, he backpedalled slowly toward the defensive end, unaware of what was formulating behind him. Dirk Nowitzki snuck up on Westbrook. Serge Ibaka didn't alert him. Nowitzki chipped Westbrook with a backscreen beyond halfcourt, springing a five-on-four advantage. Moments later, Raymond Felton bounced it to a cutting Nowitzki, who drew help and bounced it to Salah Mejri, who dunked and roared as the Thunder looked around in confusion and coach Billy Donovan called timeout. The lead was cut to three. The comeback was on. “That's something we have to communicate, talk out,” Donovan said. “Because it was kinda

  • OKC Thunder: Mitch McGary declines comment, asks to keep two-week absence as "private matter"

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Wed, Apr 20, 2016

    Before the start of a road trip in early April, Mitch McGary mysteriously left the Thunder, the team describing it as a "personal matter" and not delving into any specifics. McGary remained away from the team for a couple weeks, until Game 2 on Monday night, when he showed back up at the arena and sat on the bench. He's been at OKC practice the past two days and is now officially back with the team. On Wednesday, he spoke with reporters for the first time, but opened with a statement. "You guys mind if I opened with a little segment?" McGary said. "I appreciate you guys interviewing me and I know you're concerned with where I've been the last few weeks. But I'd just like to leave that as a private matter and

  • Monty Williams not expected to return to the Thunder, will help coach Team USA

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    Ever since the tragic death of his wife in a car crash back in February, Monty Williams has been away from the Thunder, needing to care for his five children. A few months ago, the organization announced he wouldn't return this season. Moving into next year, Williams is not expected to return to the Thunder coaching staff, The Oklahoman has learned. His NBA coaching future remains uncertain. But Williams will return to coaching in another capacity. This summer, Williams will help out with Team USA as they prepare and play in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

  • Charlie Villanueva to Russell Westbrook: "If you want to go dancing ... go to a nightclub"

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne went through their typically elaborate pregame dance routine on Monday night. But right in the middle, Charlie Villanueva stood in the middle interrupted it. Westbrook pushed him away, kept dancing and the video went viral. Asked about it after the game, Kevin Durant called it "fake," Westbrook agreed and then added: "That's for the guys that don't play." Villanueva didn't talk to the media on Monday night. But on Tuesday afternoon, he responded with an online video, shown below. #PROcast EXCLUSIVE: "If you want to go dancing & stuff like that, go to a nightclub." - @CVBelieve to Westbrook.https://t.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: How concerning was the Thunder's Game 2 loss to Dallas?

    Anthony Slater,Berry Tramel,Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Game 2 Mavs-Thunder recap (<–Click Here) - The Thunder, shockingly, lost to the depleted Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 at home. But unsurprisingly, it happened because of some poor late-game play. What went wrong? What happened to Kevin Durant? What needs to be done to fix it? We discuss.

  • Thunder journal: Mitch McGary returns to Thunder practice; reason for his absence remains unknown

    By Anthony Slater and Darnell Mayberry Staff writers Aslater@Oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    After a mysterious two-week absence, second-year forward Mitch McGary returned to the Thunder on Monday night, showing up at the arena and sitting on the bench in street clothes.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: The Vertical's Chris Mannix discusses the Thunder's current state, Kevin Durant's free agency and Serge Ibaka

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Chris Mannix (<–Click Here) - The Vertical national NBA insider Chris Mannix joins the podcast to talk about his mini-documentary on Serge Ibaka and his daughter, his view of the Thunder's current state and what franchise's he believes have a legit shot to lure Kevin Durant away from Oklahoma City.

  • Five observations from the Thunder's stunning 85-84 Game 2 loss to the Mavericks

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    Here are five observations from the Thunder's surprising 85-84 Game 2 loss at home to the Dallas Mavericks: 1. Late-game woes...again: Russell Westbrook hit a mid-range jumper with 6:16 left, putting the Thunder up 78-71. Which was a mini-surprise in itself -- the Thunder only up seven that late. They'd entered as healthy, confident 14-point home favorites against a battered and flawed Dallas team. But some blah first half defense, some gritty Maverick performances and a whole lotta Kevin Durant bricks had left Dallas still in it when the closing minutes arrived. This season, that's been cause for alarm in OKC. The Thunder was the worst of the playoff teams in clutch situations.

  • OKC Thunder: Steven Adams' late layup waved off, Mavericks escape Oklahoma City with Game 2 win

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, Apr 18, 2016

    Kevin Durant's layup was slightly blocked, his 24th miss of the night, but a flying Russell Westbrook tapped it over the rim to an awaiting Steven Adams with less than a second left to play hero. Adams grabbed and released, banking in an unlikely game-winner, counted on the court by the referee, sending the arena into euphoria. But upon review, Adams' putback was a split-second too late. The refs waved it off, flipping a narrow 86-85 Game 2 victory into an unlikely 85-84 defeat. The depleted Mavericks, outmanned entering the series and without more key players by Monday night, escaped Oklahoma City with a coveted split. They controlled the pace of the game, grinded down the Thunder offense and got the game exactly where

  • OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan and Rick Carlisle, former NBA teammates and long-time friends, meet as first round competitors

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Sun, Apr 17, 2016

    This is an unfamiliar stage for Donovan. But his first taste of playoff life is coming against a familiar counterpart.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Recapping the Thunder's Game 1 blowout of Dallas

    Anthony Slater,Berry Tramel,Erik Horne | Updated: Sun, Apr 17, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Thunder-Mavs Game 1 recap (<–Click Here) - Game 1 was a romp: 108-70 Thunder. What was so effective for OKC? How big an impact did Enes Kanter have? Will this Serge Ibaka remain? Can the Mavericks do anything to make this series competitive? We discuss.

  • Five observations from the Thunder's 108-70 Game 1 bludgeoning of the Mavericks

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Sun, Apr 17, 2016

    The Thunder blasted the Mavericks 108-70 in Game 1 on Saturday night. Here are five observations: 1. Defense sets tone: When the Thunder's defense slipped late last season, it made sense. Because of injuries, the personnel just wasn't there. But this season, the continued struggles were much harder to comprehend. Serge Ibaka played 78 games, Kevin Durant 72, Russell Westbrook 80. When healthy, this roster -- loaded with length, strength and speed at every position -- is built to be one of the league's best units. But it finished the season 12th, behind 11 other playoff teams, and played bottom-10 level defense for long stretches. After awhile, you just accepted it as fact. This wasn't a good defensive

  • Serge Ibaka re-emerges in Thunder blowout over Dallas

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer aslater@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Apr 17, 2016

    Following a quick pick-and-roll on the left wing, 6-foot-3 Devin Harris switched onto 6-foot-10 Serge Ibaka. Right as it happened, Ibaka sensed it, shooed away Andre Roberson and cleared his side of the floor for a post-up. Needing only two bumps and two power dribbles, Ibaka swung across the lane and poured in a smooth hook – completing the type of post move he's long avoided.There were many reasons for the Thunder's 108-70 romp of Dallas in Game 1 on Saturday night. Ibaka's surprising post-up was encouraging but not all that meaningful. It put OKC up 37 in the third quarter. But it served as an earned victory cigar for Ibaka, putting a cap on his strong night. There were many reasons for the Thunder's 108-70 romp of

  • OKC Thunder: Rookie Cameron Payne (hip soreness) out for Game 1 against Mavericks

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Sat, Apr 16, 2016

    The playoff career of Thunder rookie Cameron Payne will have to wait for at least one more game. Payne will sit out Game 1 of OKC's series with the Mavericks on Saturday night because of hip soreness. It popped up at practice in recent days. "We don't think it's anything too severe or too significant," Donovan said. "But the idea of playing him here tonight and maybe prolonging him being back to full speed, we feel like (giving him) today and tomorrow (off), we're optimistic he'll be ready to play on Monday.

  • Q&A: ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico discusses the Thunder's title chances

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Sat, Apr 16, 2016

    ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico handled Masters coverage last weekend. Then he circled the NBA circuit for a week and found himself in Los Angeles calling Kobe Bryant's last game, a legendary 60-point performance. By Saturday morning, he was in Oklahoma City, along with Hubie Brown, to call Game 1 of Thunder-Mavericks.

  • Thunder: As the playoffs arrive, closing time lingers as the Thunder’s biggest concern

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Apr 15, 2016

    Once a problematic trend, closing time has become a recurring nightmare in Oklahoma City.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Previewing the Thunder-Mavericks series

    Anthony Slater,Berry Tramel,Erik Horne | Updated: Fri, Apr 15, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Thunder-Mavericks series preview (<–Click Here) - The Thunder and Mavericks play Game 1 on Saturday night. In advance, we break down the matchups extensively, from the point guard to the center to the bench to the coach. Will this series be competitive? We discuss.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: A sitdown with Steven Adams and Enes Kanter

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Apr 15, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies - Stache Bros (<–Click Here) - In advance of the NBA playoffs, we sat down with Enes Kanter and Steven Adams -- the Stache Brothers -- to talk about their unique relationship, their excitement for the playoffs and, of course, their glorious mustaches.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: NBA Playoff preview

    Anthony Slater,Jenni Carlson,Erik Horne,Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- 04/14 (<–Click Here) - With the playoffs here, the NewsOK sports crew sits down to discuss each series, particularly the Thunder's against the Mavericks. We fused our typical 25-minute Thunder Thursday hangout into a podcast. Enjoy.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: What's at the heart of this growing Reggie Jackson, Russell Westbrook spat?

    Anthony Slater,darnell mayberry,Erik Horne | Updated: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- 03/30 (<–Click Here) - Things got weird in Auburn Hills on Tuesday night when Reggie Jackson celebrated in the Thunder's face and Russell Westbrook didn't like it too much. What's at the heart of this growing feud? Legendary Thunder Buddy Darnell Mayberry joins the podcast to discuss the rivalry, plus he reveals his favorite




Anthony Slater Today at 12:20 AM Final four in the West set: Thunder vs Spurs begins tomorrow night, Blazers vs Warriors begins on Sunday afternoon.
Anthony Slater Fri, Apr. 29 2016 10:38:34 PM CST Is this the same dude who got into it with Durant in Charlotte this season? https://t.co/xs3gcVUvb9
Anthony Slater Fri, Apr. 29 2016 09:08:54 PM CST RT @KevinDing: Lakers have agreed to terms with Luke Walton to be their next head coach, according to team sources.
Anthony Slater Fri, Apr. 29 2016 07:25:58 PM CST Thunder vs Spurs this season Serge Ibaka's 106 minutes on floor: +41 Serge Ibaka's 38 minutes off the floor: -24 (Ibaka rested final game)
Anthony Slater Fri, Apr. 29 2016 07:23:50 PM CST Serge Ibaka has a history of terrorizing the Spurs, but LaMarcus Aldridge changes the equation: https://t.co/upUE6s9giS
Anthony Slater Fri, Apr. 29 2016 06:09:39 PM CST Tim Duncan won his first NBA title on June 25, 1999. Steven Adams turned six years old 25 days later. They will guard each other tomorrow.
Anthony Slater Fri, Apr. 29 2016 11:07:33 AM CST Thunder practice video -- hear from Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams and Kevin Durant: https://t.co/c7q4D3FfWj
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 09:44:20 PM CST On Saturday https://t.co/XdxxIGf2jW
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 09:42:46 PM CST Thunder-Spurs Game 1 tip time official: 7:30 CT on TNT.
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 09:40:33 PM CST Josh Doctson is gonna be a stud.
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 08:59:30 PM CST @trentonsperry If you cast The Rock as a DE for the Miami Dolphins, a rabbit could write the script. I'm in.
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 08:54:40 PM CST I think Laremy Tunsil just wrote the second season of HBO's Ballers.
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 04:23:19 PM CST ICYMI: How did the Thunder extract this much out of Enes Kanter the player? By embracing Enes Kanter the person: https://t.co/Lok8umxNsm
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 02:22:20 PM CST RT @darrylhowerton: Cool video interview with The Stache Brothers, Steven Adams & Enes Kanter ... https://t.co/V7GvnDPfQK
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 02:15:35 PM CST RT @NewsOK: How the Thunder embraced Enes Kanter the person & extracted the most out of him as a player https://t.co/7gBc9VTkGt https://t.c
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 02:03:11 PM CST Chatting all things Thunder right now with the @NewsOKSports crew. Join us right here: https://t.co/tELkfZVquc
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 01:44:01 PM CST Steven Adams: "Been working on my 3s. Might pop one out this series. Never know, mate. Never know." https://t.co/oEVgknYfAL
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 01:30:47 PM CST Steven Adams on Tim Duncan is predictably fantastic https://t.co/POrzL9Y1c8
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 01:04:08 PM CST The quotes in this series won't be near as fun https://t.co/UO2Pagucuo
Anthony Slater Thu, Apr. 28 2016 01:00:31 PM CST Kevin Durant on the growth of Kawhi Leonard https://t.co/QRK5jJyK1w

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