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.

  • 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?

    Thunder Buddies podcast: How concerning was the...

    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

    Thunder journal: Mitch McGary returns to...

    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

    Thunder Buddies podcast: The Vertical\'s Chris...

    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

    Five observations from the Thunder\'s stunning...

    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

    OKC Thunder: Steven Adams\' late layup waved...

    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

    OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan and Rick Carlisle,...

    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

    Thunder Buddies podcast: Recapping the...

    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

    Five observations from the Thunder\'s 108-70...

    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

    Serge Ibaka re-emerges in Thunder blowout over...

    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

    OKC Thunder: Rookie Cameron Payne (hip...

    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

    Q&A: ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico discusses the...

    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

    Thunder: As the playoffs arrive, closing time...

    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

    Thunder Buddies podcast: Previewing the...

    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

    Thunder Buddies Podcast: A sitdown with Steven...

    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

    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?

    Thunder Buddies Podcast: What\'s at the heart of...

    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

  • OKC Thunder: Steven Adams and Enes Kanter – the Stache Brothers – have developed unique friendship in unlikely circumstance

    OKC Thunder: Steven Adams and Enes Kanter – the...

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

    Before a late November home game against Brooklyn, Steven Adams went to Enes Kanter with a mutual suggestion: Shave the beard, keep the mustache.

  • NBA Playoffs: The full Thunder-Mavericks Round 1 schedule

    NBA Playoffs: The full Thunder-Mavericks Round...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

    It's official: The third-seeded Thunder will face the sixth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Here is a look at the series schedule: Game 1 -- Saturday, April 16th in Oklahoma City: 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN Game 2 -- Monday, April 18th in Oklahoma City: 7 p.m. CT on TNT Game 3 -- Thursday, April 21st in Dallas: 6 p.m. CT on TNT Game 4 -- Saturday, April 23rd in Dallas: 7 p.m.




Anthony Slater Today at 1:31 AM RT @DarnellMayberry: Fantastic cover in @TheOklahoman sports section Monday. https://t.co/PrlZpTsQmb
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 10:57:42 PM CST Always funny how genuinely unaware Steven Adams is of statistics https://t.co/byislZ1dcO
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 10:55:12 PM CST Video from practice today: Hear from Kevin Durant and Billy Donovan in advance of Game 7 https://t.co/TPv0gekDFK
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 05:35:35 PM CST Billy Donovan had Andre Roberson hack early in the game. Then he got into foul trouble late.Does BD regret the move? https://t.co/1OgjmFhxD3
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 04:43:12 PM CST Practice report: Hear from KD and Donovan in advance of Game 7 https://t.co/TPv0gekDFK
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 02:22:20 PM CST Kevin Durant: "If you ask anybody coming into the season if you want one game to go to the NBA Finals, they'll sign up for that."
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 01:44:01 PM CST RT @SiriusXMNBA: After the break @anthonyVslater will join us for some insight on the #Thunder and where they go from here... @NoahCoslov a
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 01:38:53 PM CST Breakdown of the Thunder's five deadly turnovers that, could, loom large in this franchise's history (with video) https://t.co/dAJt6VSjwW
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 12:58:47 PM CST KD:"On the offensive end, you don't have to worry about me. I'm a professional scorer...I tend to figure things out" https://t.co/lk5B6tx5HG
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 12:44:56 PM CST Kevin Durant on the Thunder's mood today https://t.co/663vTxT8y9
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 12:20:58 PM CST RT @ErikHorneOK: Video analysis with @anthonyVslater on a crushing Game 6 Thunder loss and epic Warriors performance: https://t.co/ObBFA6KG…
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 11:51:28 AM CST Game 7 a different animal, but Thunder 5-3 on road this postseason. Won Game 2 and pivotal Game 5 in San Antonio, Game 1 in Oracle.
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 11:48:44 AM CST @pakman82 no doubt, wrote all about the turnovers here: https://t.co/dAJt6VSjwW
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 11:46:27 AM CST Billy Donovan on Game 7: "We've been able to play toe to toe with them. I think that's why there is some level of excitement from our guys."
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 11:37:41 AM CST This was the most cruising turnover -- force Klay miss, get rebound with under a minute to go, hand it right back https://t.co/RCiZk6Qcka
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 11:29:17 AM CST Klay Thompson made eleven 3s last night. On 18 attempts. Kevin Durant has made nine 3s all series. On 35 attempts.
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 11:25:48 AM CST Recap from last night https://t.co/N2vrgzb7Zu
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 11:07:17 AM CST Five observations from a crushing Game 6 loss -- the five KD/Russ turnovers that sealed the Thunder's fate https://t.co/dAJt6VSjwW
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 09:12:07 AM CST Video from Game 6: Analysis + interviews with KD/Russ, Donovan, Adams, Kerr and Thompson -> https://t.co/c2SaVSDVR1
Anthony Slater Sun, May. 29 2016 08:45:04 AM CST A closer look at the five deadly KD/Russ Game 6 turnovers that may cost the Thunder its season: https://t.co/dAJt6VSjwW

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