Anthony Slater
Sports Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as'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.

  • Video flashback: Wolves rookie Karl Anthony-Towns interviews Kevin a high school freshman

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Nov 13, 2015

    Timberwolves rookie Karl Anthony-Towns, the most recent No. 1 overall pick, has burst onto the NBA scene, flashing an impressively polished game for a 19-year-old. He's already battling and holding his own against the league's best stars. But not long ago, he idolized them. On Thursday night, Minnesota hosted the Warriors in a nationally televised game. As part of the broadcast, TNT dug up a flashback video of Towns, five years ago, interviewing the Thunder's Kevin Durant before a game in Philadelphia, calling KD one of his 'idols.

  • OKC Thunder: Early returns are positive for Enes Kanter and his big contract

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    Enes Kanter signed a max offer sheet with Portland this offseason, giving the Thunder three days to pick between two options — match or decline. Keep Kanter or don't. The argument against was simple. It was a four-year, $70 million overpay that included a dreaded player option at the back end. Even in a market flush with escalating money, the long-term pact seemed steep for a one-sided, defensively challenged skill set. But it was never much of a choice. The Thunder's eventual decision to match wasn't just a smart one, but an obvious one and, to them, the only one. The alternatives made it so. Let's say OKC, entering a crucial year in the franchise's history, declined to match, choosing to go cheaper on a big man.

  • Thunder journal: Stomach issues aside, Dion Waiters is on a roll

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Thunder gathered before the second half on Tuesday in Washington, the entire huddle turned and peered down the tunnel. Assistant coach Monty Williams even jogged toward the locker room, presumably to figure out if the injured Kevin Durant, back there nursing a hamstring strain, would emerge in time to start the third quarter. But the search and scramble wasn't for Durant. It was for Dion Waiters. “The back-and-forth was ‘Where is Dion?'” Billy Donovan explained. “Dion was supposed to start. I knew Kevin wasn't going to come out.” Instead, Donovan was forced to toss Kyle Singler in the game. Waiters emerged minutes later.

  • OKC Thunder journal: Dion Waiters misses second half start due to stomach issues

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    Another thing this halftime mixup would seem to indicate — Waiters will start in Durant's place on Friday night against Philadelphia.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: Recapping Kevin Durant's trip to Washington D.C.

    Anthony Slater,Erik Horne | Updated: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    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 - 11/11 (<–Click Here) -- It was an eventful trip to the nation's capitol for Kevin Durant and the Thunder. We recap the D.C. blowout and examine some of the other storylines surrounding this Thunder team. Archive Thunder Buddies - 11/03 -- We're already four games in to this Thunder season.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant to miss at least 7-10 days with hamstring strain

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    Kevin Durant's return to the Thunder lineup has been stunted by another injury. After eight encouraging games to start the season, Durant went down late in the first half of the Thunder's blowout in Washington D.C. on Tuesday night with a left hamstring strain. KD had an MRI in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, which confirmed the strain. The team announced he will be reevaluated in 7-10 days. Though the injury is concerning, particularly because of what happened last season, it's coming at a good time for the Thunder. Not only is it early in the season, but OKC is entering a relatively soft stretch in its schedule. Over the next 10 days, the Thunder plays the Sixers, Celtics, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Knicks, with

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant injury mars OKC's blowout of Washington Wizards

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    With Kevin Durant out, Russell Westbrook took over, compiling a triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Washington Wizards, 125-101 Tuesday night.

  • OKC Thunder journal: Kevin Durant faces direct free agency questions from the Washington media

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    Since training camp started in late September, Durant hasn’t been peppered much with free agency talk.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant leaves Wizards game with left hamstring issue

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    In his annual homecoming, Kevin Durant was putting on a show for the D.C. fans, compiling 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the first half. But on a drive late in the second quarter, Durant came up gimpy, grabbing at his left hamstring after being fouled. He finished out the half, but never looked right, heading to the locker room with Thunder doctors by his side. Durant never emerged for the second half, with the team officially deeming it a left hamstring strain. Kyle Singler started in his place. Durant missed 55 games last season dealing with persistent foot problems. He'd played every game so far this year. Kevin Durant holds his left hamstring after drive in second

  • Q&A: Kevin Durant meets with D.C. media, talks about his return home

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    As the Thunder wrapped up shootaround on Tuesday morning, more than 10 cameras and 30-plus media members were awaiting Kevin Durant in the tunnel. He's back in Washington D.C., his home town, if you haven't heard. And the press there had questions. Here is his Q&A: Your thoughts about playing at home in D.C. for the one time per year? KD: "Looking forward to the game. Playing a really good team, fast team, gonnna test us on both ends of the court. Good to see my family tonight. Haven't seen them in awhile, played in front of them in awhile." You had some comments over the weekend about what last year was like. What do you mean by those comments? Because you know the intent of the fans here is good.

  • OKC Thunder: Despite 'disrespectful' undertone, expect loud recruitment for Kevin Durant in Washington

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    On Tuesday, Durant is scheduled to make his final pre-free agency trip to D.C. with the Thunder. A similar atmosphere will assuredly await his arrival.

  • Wizards Bradley Beal calls Thunder's Billy Donovan "one of the best coaches I played for"

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The action-packed NBA circuit has already reunited Billy Donovan with a batch of his former Florida players, including Mike Miller, Matt Bonner, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah. On Tuesday night, Donovan will coach against his former star shooting guard, Washington's Bradley Beal, for the first time. After Wizards practice on Monday, Beal reminisced about his former coach. "He was one of the best coaches I’ve every played for," Beal said. "I loved playing for him because he never guaranteed me anything. That’s the main reason I went there. He told me I had to earn everything and he was going to put me in the best position to succeed and I had to work hard for it. I appreciated that

  • OKC Thunder: Offense-heavy lineup seals much-needed Thunder victory over the Suns

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    When the group convened at the 7:56 mark of the fourth quarter, the Thunder led by 12. When the next substitution was made, at the 4:22 mark, the Thunder was up 22. In a spurt of fastbreaks and feathery jumpers, that offense-heavy five-man group sealed a much-needed 124-103 win over the Suns.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Suns

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Sun, Nov 8, 2015

    After three straight losses, the Thunder is looking to pick up a win against Phoenix. Follow our Thunder coverage team and more from around the web for up-to-the-minute updates on tonight's matchup.

  • OKC Thunder journal: Steven Adams a game-time decision vs. Suns

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Nov 7, 2015

    Midway through the third quarter of the Thunder's loss to the Bulls on Thursday night, starting center Steven Adams gingerly walked into the locker room. He didn't return with what the team called back soreness. Adams went through light contact drills at practice on Saturday. He's had some back issues dating back to the preseason, but the injury isn't considered serious, Billy Donovan said. He called Adams a “game-time decision” for Sunday against the Suns. ROBERSON 50 PERCENT ON 3S Entering the season, Andre Roberson had never hit a 3-pointer in more than two straight games. Currently, Roberson is on a 3-point streak of four straight games, converting four of his eight long-range attempts over that stretch.

  • OKC Thunder roundtable: What's the Thunder's biggest early-season issue?

    By Anthony Slater, Erik Horne, Jenni Carlson and Berry Tramel, Staff Writers | Updated: Fri, Nov 6, 2015

    Four writers from The Oklahoman discuss issues concerning the OKC Thunder.

  • OKC Thunder: Defense wilts late in a frustrating Thunder loss in Chicago

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, Nov 5, 2015

    Unlike Wednesday against Toronto, the Thunder scored plenty down the stretch against the Bulls on Thursday night. But in an eventual 104-98 defeat, OKC was scored on even more.

  • OKC Thunder journal: Kevin Durant explains why he called Russell Westbrook 'our best player'

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, Nov 5, 2015

    Durant is well-known for his humility. And he’s long been one of Westbrook’s biggest public advocates. But for a man who labeled himself the world’s best player months earlier, it was an eyebrow-raising comment that made its way around the interwebs.

  • Five observations from the Thunder's 103-98 loss to the Raptors

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Thu, Nov 5, 2015

    Here are five observations from the Thunder's 103-98 loss to the Raptors on Wednesday night: 1. Late-half crumbling - With 5:11 left in the first half, the Thunder led by eight. OKC went into halftime trailing by one. With 5:13 left in the fourth quarter, the Thunder again led by eight. OKC lost by five. Combined those two stretches and the Thunder was outscored by 22. That's 10 crucial minutes that were just botched. The more memorable of those meltdowns, of course, came in the fourth quarter. In the final five minutes, the Thunder didn't make a field goal, missing all six of their shots. There were grumblings from fans about the isolation ball, the lack of movement and creativity. And I get that.

  • OKC Thunder journal: Billy Donovan and Joakim Noah set to reunite on Thursday in Chicago

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Nov 4, 2015

    In advance of the game, Noah was interviewed by and had some great things to say about his former college coach.

Anthony Slater Today at 9:32 AM Josh Huestis and Mitch McGary assigned to the Blue, meaning Steve Novak will be active in Atlanta tonight.
Anthony Slater Sun, Nov. 29 2015 06:22:49 PM CST If he stays healthy, Kobe Bryant's final road game in the NBA will be in Oklahoma City -- April 11, 2016.
Anthony Slater Sun, Nov. 29 2015 05:51:20 PM CST Scheduling quirk: Thunder's FIRST multi-game road trip starts tomorrow: at ATL, at MIA. No 3+ game trips until January.
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 09:04:40 PM CST First half Bedlam recap or Semaje Perine highlight? Both
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 08:00:57 PM CST Mike Gundy makes his own style. Pretty sure he's wearing baseball batting gloves right now.
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 01:20:33 PM CST Issue uploading the new Thunder podcast onto iTunes. So only way to listen right now is through this link:
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 01:18:39 PM CST Pre-Bedlam listening: New Thunder podcast recapping Reggie Jackson's unpleasant return to OKC + more ->
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 12:36:16 PM CST 3v3 post-practice battle going on right now: McGary, Payne and Singler vs Huestis, Novak and Royal Ivey.
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 12:22:53 PM CST Thunder big men working on backdoor passing, different offensive moves
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 09:58:39 AM CST @gnilly97 @DarnellMayberry Soon
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 09:51:10 AM CST New Thunder podcast dropping within the hour.
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 09:14:18 AM CST End of my question about Drummond is where KD called him Detroit's "best player" and KCP their "2nd best player"
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 08:55:35 AM CST Postgame video analysis of the Thunder's win over Detroit + some great interviews with Westbrook/Van Gundy/more:
Anthony Slater Sat, Nov. 28 2015 08:51:28 AM CST It was an unpleasant homecoming for Reggie Jackson. Recap from OKC with some telling postgame quotes:
Anthony Slater Fri, Nov. 27 2015 11:48:17 PM CST Stan Van Gundy, never afraid to roast his team, killed Detroit's rebounding against OKC tonight
Anthony Slater Fri, Nov. 27 2015 11:41:23 PM CST It was an unpleasant homecoming for Reggie Jackson. Recap from OKC:
Anthony Slater Fri, Nov. 27 2015 10:37:34 PM CST Thunder defense a quiet key tonight. Pistons held to 32 points on 11-of-46 shooting (24%) in the second half.
Anthony Slater Fri, Nov. 27 2015 10:13:15 PM CST Here's the exchange between @ErikHorneOK and Russell Westbrook on Reggie Jackson: "Who?"
Anthony Slater Fri, Nov. 27 2015 10:10:42 PM CST Reggie Jackson on boos cont... "They wouldn’t boo me if I didn’t do anything and build some memories here."
Anthony Slater Fri, Nov. 27 2015 10:10:19 PM CST Reggie Jackson on the boos: "I love to be hated. It’s flattering, the greatest honor of them all. It’s love and spite all at the same time."