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.

  • OKC Thunder: Sam Presti unconcerned about Cameron Payne’s small school background

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Cameron Payne glanced at the list of draft picks in attendance on Thursday night, followed by the college they attended – Kentucky, Duke, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Kentucky again. “It’s kind of funny,” Payne said. “When I looked at the green room list at every single one of those (big conference) teams, and then you had Murray State, the lone mid-major.” When Payne looks at the Thunder’s roster, he’ll have the same realization. Nick Collison went to Kansas. Russell Westbrook, UCLA. Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin, Texas. Of the 15 players expected to be on the team next season, 13 are from major conference programs. Serge Ibaka

  • OKC Thunder: Undrafted Duke guard Quinn Cook expected to play on Thunder summer league team

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Seventeen seniors were selected during Thursday night’s NBA Draft. None of them were named Quinn Cook, the four-year guard who helped lead Duke to a national championship with his steady play. And it looks like the Thunder may benefit. Real GM’s Shams Charania is reporting that Cook has agreed to play for OKC’s summer league team in Orlando, which begins on July 4. During his productive career at Duke, Cook got better each year, averaging double-figures his last three seasons. As a senior on the Blue Devils recent championship team, he was integral, averaging 15.3 points and 2.6 assists, while shooting nearly 40 percent from three.

  • Thunder notebook: Sam Presti calls Cameron Payne's injury a 'short-term situation'

    BY ANTHONY SLATER Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Because of a finger fracture suffered during a pre-draft workout, Thunder first round pick Cameron Payne is not expected to participate in summer league.

  • OKC Thunder: Former Oklahoma State center Mike Cobbins to play for Thunder's summer league team

    Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Mike Cobbins recently completed a solid career at Oklahoma State, serving as the Cowboys’ lanky rim protector and occasional scorer the past few seasons. The first stop in his professional career? Just an hour down the road. Cobbins went undrafted on Thursday night, but will join the Thunder’s summer league team, which will begin practice […]

  • OKC Thunder: Sam Presti acknowledges passing of Bob Barry Jr. with lengthy opening statement

    Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    As Thursday night turned into Friday morning, Sam Presti finally emerged from his draft night war room, a touch after midnight, to discuss the newest members of the Thunder. But before fielding questions, Presti wanted to acknowledge the recent passing of KFOR sports anchor Bob Barry Jr. His full statement: “One thing before we get started,” Presti […]

  • OKC Thunder notebook: Cameron Payne unlikely to play in summer league with fractured finger

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    During a recent pre-draft workout with the Denver Nuggets, new Thunder guard Cameron Payne fractured the ring finger on his right (non-shooting) hand. The injury is not considered serious. Surgery isn’t needed. But the expected three-week recovery time means it is unlikely Payne will be able to play in summer league, which, for the Thunder, begins on the weekend of July 4. OKC’s injury curse has drifted into the offseason. Durant back on the court While the rest of the NBA world zeroed in on the draft, Kevin Durant has been out in California the past few days promoting his latest signature KD sneakers. And as part of that promotion, he went on a brief Snapchat binge, sending out photos and videos of his

  • OKC Thunder: Confident Cameron Payne excited to join the Thunder

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    From the fitted navy blue suit jacket to the white dress pants to the floral pocket pin to the blindingly shiny watch, Cameron Payne’s draft night outfit screamed confidence. Much like the Thunder’s established star point guard, its newest point guard fancies himself as a stylish dude. “I can be a bit spiffy,” Payne said. But his outfit wasn’t the only thing doing the talking on Thursday night. Payne was, too. Moments after the Thunder selected him 14th overall, Payne stepped off the stage, strolled into a nationally televised interview and referred to himself in third person, the universal sign of an athlete

  • Q&A: Thunder draft pick Cameron Payne talks draft night, his fit in OKC and more

    Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Moments after he was selected 14th overall by the Thunder on Thursday night, Cameron Payne stepped off the stage, stared at a national TV audience and confidently referred to himself in third person. “I can be the next success because I’m coming in with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “There is no ceiling […]

  • Live Coverage: 2015 NBA Draft

    staff reports | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Who will the Thunder take at No. 14? Follow live coverage of the NBA Draft with The Oklahoman and more writers from around the nation

  • VIDEO: Kevin Durant back on the court taking flat-footed shots

    Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    While the rest of the NBA world is preparing for the draft, Kevin Durant has been out in California the past few days promoting his latest signature KD sneakers. And as part of that promotion, he went on a brief snapchat binge, sending out photos and videos of his travels and workouts in the shoes. For […]

  • OKC Thunder: Why drafting a point guard could make more sense than selecting a wing

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Sam Presti and the Thunder front office have never operated with just next season in mind. They take a long-term approach. Because of that, it seems far more likely OKC either snags a point guard or trades out of the 14th pick to net a future asset.

  • The arrival of Billy Donovan gives the Thunder a unique voice during draft preparation

    Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Ninth-ranked Kansas was battling 15th-ranked Oklahoma right down the road and it fell on a Thunder off-day. So Scott Brooks decided to go to one of the weekend’s premier college basketball games. He reported back pleased, pumped about the raucous environment and thrilling finish. The lefty freshman from Kansas, Brooks said, was one of a few players who caught his eye. But he couldn’t remember his name. It was Kelly Oubre, one of the nation’s biggest prospects and a possible Thunder draft target should he fall to 14 on Thursday night. That was a microcosm of the relationship between Brooks and college basketball.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast Draft Preview: Who should OKC take with the 14th pick?

    Anthony Slater | Published: Mon, Jun 15, 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 […]

  • OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan, Mitch McGary could learn from Steve Kerr, David Lee in these Finals

    Anthony Slater | Published: Sat, Jun 13, 2015

    OAKLAND – All season, as the former All-Star’s playing time slowly diminished to basically nothing, David Lee’s friends and family would tell him the same thing. “Every time I’d see someone, they’d say, ‘Man, you’re really not playing that much, I’m sure you can’t stand Steve,’” Lee said, referring to first-year Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “I’ve answered by saying that, in fact, I get along with him very well. Off the court, he’s great. And on it, he’s been very honest with me about my role.” It’s an important coaching quality that Lee, a former Florida Gator, also sees in new Thunder coach Billy Donovan.

  • How Maurice Cheeks’ relationship with Westbrook makes an OKC return appealing for Thunder

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    The Thunder was up 25 at home on the shorthanded Grizzlies back in February of 2013 and Russell Westbrook committed what seemed to be a meaningless 5-second violation midway through the third quarter. But the turnover set him off. He snapped at Thabo Sefolosha, who had cut into his area during the post-up, bringing an extra defender. Then he had a shouting match with the Thunder bench on his way back down the court. A timeout was called moments later. It only escalated the situation, bringing Westbrook closer to the people with whom he was arguing. It was a blow-up that blew up across the web that night. Westbrook seethed on the end of the bench, punched the back of the

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Mike Miller talks Billy Donovan, reveals what he told Kevin Durant about his new coach

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Jun 8, 2015

    When Donovan’s name popped up as a possibility for the Thunder job, Durant reached out to Miller

  • The Oklahoman at the NBA Finals: Thunder-flavored notes from Game 2

    Anthony Slater | Published: Mon, Jun 8, 2015

    Game 1 of these NBA Finals was an overtime thriller. But it ended with a thud, as Kyrie Irving went down with a knee injury that knocked him out for at least four months and seemed to erase some of the sizzle and competitiveness from this series. Wrong. Game 2 topped Game 1 and, after the […]

  • The Oklahoman at the NBA Finals: Thunder-flavored notes from Game 1

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    The NBA Finals tipped off with a bang on Thursday night, opening with an overtime thriller in Oakland, which the Warriors eventually won 108-100. The Oklahoman is in the Bay Area for the first couple games. Here are some Thunder-flavored nuggets from Game 1: -Most players have their pet spots on the floor. Especially shooters. They can be […]

  • VIDEO: Kevin Durant spaces out about Jolly Ranchers in new Sonic commercial

    Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    Kevin Durant’s not in this year’s NBA Finals, but his face is still popping up. During Game 1, Sonic released its latest commercial with KD. And it’s a good one. Here it is:

  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks lottery format, player health and more

    Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    OAKLAND — About an hour before Game 1 of the NBA Finals tipped in Oracle Arena on Thursday night, commissioner Adam Silver held a state of the league type press conference, fielding questions on a variety of topics, ranging from player health to lottery reform to the need for a new arena in Oakland. Here’s […]

Anthony Slater Thu, Sep. 03 2015 11:03:04 PM CST Someone alert Russell Westbrook. Rocky is back at it (via @WillBrinson)
Anthony Slater Thu, Sep. 03 2015 08:50:27 PM CST Is Pistol Pete drunk?
Anthony Slater Thu, Sep. 03 2015 04:59:17 PM CST Our college football beat writers OSU: @kylefredrickson @jjhelsley OU: @jasonkersey @ryaber
Anthony Slater Mon, Aug. 31 2015 11:05:20 AM CST RT @hillcienda: Good hoops talk between OKC Mayor @MickCornett and Oklahoman sportswriter @anthonyVslater
Anthony Slater Sun, Aug. 30 2015 05:23:03 PM CST RT @russwest44: My Mrs. ❤️ 8.29.15
Anthony Slater Thu, Aug. 27 2015 06:18:09 PM CST Russell Westbrook will reportedly get married to his long-time girlfriend this weekend:
Anthony Slater Thu, Aug. 27 2015 01:48:39 PM CST A better look
Anthony Slater Thu, Aug. 27 2015 01:45:35 PM CST Enes Kanter: 6-foot-11 Sultan Kosen: 8-foot-3
Anthony Slater Mon, Aug. 24 2015 10:30:48 AM CST ICYMI- How Billy Donovan built Florida hoops into a national power:
Anthony Slater Sun, Aug. 23 2015 09:52:44 AM CST How Billy Donovan built a wavering program into a stable national power at Florida:
Anthony Slater Sat, Aug. 22 2015 07:19:09 PM CST Part 4 of the Billy Donovan series: How he built a national power at Florida -
Anthony Slater Tue, Aug. 18 2015 03:41:40 PM CST Mildly interesting preseason schedule for the Thunder (particularly Enes Kanter). Things to know:
Anthony Slater Tue, Aug. 18 2015 01:14:25 PM CST RT @NewsOKThunder: Complete Thunder preseason schedule released:
Anthony Slater Tue, Aug. 18 2015 12:49:51 PM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: The Thunder has announced its preseason schedule.
Anthony Slater Mon, Aug. 17 2015 07:41:17 PM CST ICYMI: New Thunder podcast with Billy Donovan -
Anthony Slater Mon, Aug. 17 2015 01:16:33 PM CST New Thunder podcast: Billy Donovan talks Wall Street days, building a dynasty at Florida and more ->
Anthony Slater Sun, Aug. 16 2015 10:36:33 PM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: From @anthonyvslater: How a short stint on Wall Street led Billy Donovan to coaching
Anthony Slater Sun, Aug. 16 2015 10:25:02 PM CST Part 3 in our series on Billy Donovan -- Wall Street and his early coaching days:
Anthony Slater Sun, Aug. 16 2015 11:48:51 AM CST @devotedhoops No problem, thanks for reading.
Anthony Slater Sun, Aug. 16 2015 11:48:31 AM CST How a small stint on Wall Street helped lead Billy Donovan into coaching: