Erik Horne
Digital News Thunder Beat Writer

Erik Horne is in his first season on the Thunder beat. Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013, following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The Ardmoreite, Horne reported on everything from prep sports, to rodeo, to OU pro days, to monster truck rallies.

A native of LaPlace, La. – located 25 miles west of New Orleans – Horne headed to Atlanta following high school, graduating from Oglethorpe University in 2007 as a four-year letterman in soccer. While in Atlanta, Horne worked two years as an intern then sports editor for SCORE Atlanta, providing coverage of the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons and high schools in the Atlanta metro area.

Horne lives in Oklahoma City.

  • OKC Thunder poll: Majority of readers say only a title will make season successful

    By Erik HorneStaff | Published: Tue, Oct 27, 2015

    The Oklahoman polled its online readers at, and more than 58 percent think only an NBA championship will equal a successful season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. There's high optimism on the return of Kevin Durant, the debut of Billy Donovan, and the final win total for the Thunder. And according to voters, this season is the most anticipated Thunder season … well, ever. What would you consider a successful Thunder season? Winning the NBA championship: 58.3 percent Advancing to the NBA Finals: 31.1 Advancing to the Western Conference Finals: 8.0 Making the postseason: 2.2 Advancing to the second round 0.46 What's your level of optimism for Kevin Durant's return from injury? Very

  • OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan undecided on starters, inactives ahead of Spurs

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Oct 27, 2015

    On the eve of his first regular season game as Thunder coach, Billy Donovan didn’t have any solid answers on who would start or which two players would be inactive against the San Antonio Spurs. Donovan went with a starting lineup of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams, and Andre Roberson in four of the Thunder's six preseason games. "Obviously, we've gone the same way pretty much except for the Memphis game, so we'll probably announce that tomorrow," Donovan said Tuesday, adding that inactives would also be decided closer to game time. "We wanted to basically get through practice today," he said. "We'll probably make that decision tomorrow morning right

  • OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook reflects on visit to Stillwater crash victims

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Oct 27, 2015

    Just days after a car crash during an Oklahoma State homecoming parade in Stillwater left four dead and numerous people critically and seriously injured, Thunder players have been quick to offer support to the victims and their families. Numerous photos surfaced on social media Monday of Thunder players visiting with kids at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center. On Tuesday, Russell Westbrook said it was the players’ decision to cancel a previous engagement in order to go to the hospital. “It was amazing to be able to go in there,” Westbrook said. “I saw two little girls … to be able to see their faces, see them smile, was just a blessing.

  • OKC Thunder: Stephen A. Smith picks Thunder for NBA Finals, Westbrook for MVP

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Oct 27, 2015

    A few weeks ago, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Thunder forward Kevin Durant had a rift through the media that had Durant claiming Smith was “telling stories” about his interest in the L.A. Lakers in free agency. But just because the two went at it a bit doesn’t mean Smith isn’t a Thunder believer. Smith went on ESPN’s First Take Tuesday and picked Russell Westbrook to win league MVP. Smith also picked the Thunder to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. "I got to go w/@okcthunder meeting @KingJames in the Finals." - @stephenasmith #NBAtake pic.twitter.

  • PHOTO: Nike unveils Kevin Durant's shoe for Thunder's home opener

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Oct 27, 2015

    Here's Kevin Durant's shoe of choice for the Thunder's season debut against the Spurs. On Tuesday, Nike unveiled opening-night colorways for the KD8, LeBron 13 and the Kobe X. According to Nike "Durant’s opening night shoe pays tribute to his team and hometown via an intermixed skyline and city map graphic depicting Oklahoma City with DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia). "The black-and-white design showcases the versatility of the KD8 Flyweave upper, which can be sublimated with graphics.

  • Pro basketball: What's changed in the NBA? A look at this year's big moves, rule changes and rookie returns

    By Erik HorneStaff | Updated: Mon, Oct 26, 2015

    Basketball is back. Did you miss it? The NBA makes its return Tuesday night with three games and an early look at some of the game's best players, from the returning champion Golden State Warriors against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, to LeBron James' Cavs taking on the Chicago Bulls. But before you dive head-first into the league for another year, here are some changes you'll see this year and some storylines to keep an eye on: BIG MOVES BY COACHES, PLAYERS Ah, the intrigue of the new face in a new place. This goes for coaches and players. Two out of the five new coaches in the league are from the college ranks.

  • Thunder, Oklahoma State players visit Stillwater crash victims in hospital

    Erik Horne | Updated: Mon, Oct 26, 2015

    Following the tragic car crash at the Oklahoma State homecoming parade in Stillwater this weekend, athletes around the state have rallied together to support the victims and their families. The efforts of the Oklahoma City Thunder were on full display Monday, as photos began making the rounds on social media of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and numerous Thunder players visiting families at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma State football and soccer players were also in attendance.

  • Thunder journal: Mitch McGary expected to play against Spurs

    By Anthony Slater and Erik HorneStaff Writers | Updated: Mon, Oct 26, 2015

    McGary missed the Thunder's final two preseason games last week, but is all-go for the season opener at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

  • OKC Thunder: Redefining the concept of a 'good shot'

    By Erik HorneStaff | Published: Mon, Oct 26, 2015

    BILLY DONOVAN -- Under the new Thunder coach, OKC is out to take and make better shots.

  • Russell Westbrook No. 7 in ESPN's #NBArank

    Erik Horne | Updated: Mon, Oct 26, 2015

    For the past five years, ESPN has polled a panel of voters to rank who will be the best player in the upcoming season. Last year, Russell Westbrook ranked No. 4 in ESPN's #NBArank. This year, Westbrook has taken a slight step back, as voters have him ranked No. 7 going into 2015-16. ESPN unveiled Nos. 6-10 on Monday, and Westbrook is right behind Clippers guard Chris Paul, who comes in at No. 6. Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (No. 10), Clippers forward Blake Griffin (No. 9), and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (No. 8) make up the rest of the revealed Top 10. Nos. 1-5 will be announced at a later date, presumably with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James and Anthony Davis rounding out the list

  • OKC Thunder: Mitch McGary expected to play against Spurs

    Erik Horne | Updated: Mon, Oct 26, 2015

    Thunder coach Billy Donovan announced Monday that Mitch McGary will be available to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. The second-year forward went through full contact at practice on Monday. Since suffering a concussion against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 16, McGary on-court activity has been limited as he's had to pass the NBA's mandated concussion protocol and testing before returning to action. McGary missed the Thunder's final two preseason games last week, but is all-go for the season opener at Chesapeake Energy Arena. "He'll be cleared for Wednesday," Donovan said. "He did some light stuff on Saturday but was able to do some contact today. He was out

  • Thunder roundtable: Bold predictions for the upcoming NBA season

    By Anthony Slater, Erik Horne, Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson, Staff Writers | Updated: Sun, Oct 25, 2015

    Beat writers Anthony Slater and Erik Horne join columnists Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson for a Thunder roundtable.

  • PHOTOS: Russell Westbrook judges Halloween costume contest

    Erik Horne | Updated: Sun, Oct 25, 2015

    With a bowl of candy in front of him and a pumpkin to his left, Russell Westbrook was one of three judges to take part in a Halloween costume contest at the U.S. Cellular store at 2130 West Memorial Road in Oklahoma City on Sunday. All participants took home a $25 gift card to the Thunder apparel shop, but Derrick McIntosh of Edmond was the winner of a $100 gift card to the Thunder shop and a signed basketball from Westbrook. McIntosh dressed up as a "monster dunk." Clever stuff. Westbrook was joined in the judging by Thunder courtside reporter Lesley McCaslin of Fox Sports, and a U.S. Cellular representative. Fans also had the opportunity to pose for a photo with Westbrook. Check out

  • OKC Thunder: Why Serge Ibaka is the most unique big man in NBA history

    By Erik Horne Staff | Published: Sun, Oct 25, 2015

    Mark Jackson gets paid to talk, but even he was tongue-tied when it came time to find an apt comparison to Serge Ibaka. The ESPN analyst sat silent, straining to sift through a memory bank of nearly 1,300 games as a player and another 200-plus as a coach. He's played with one of the best shotblockers of all-time as well as one of the better long-range shooting bigs of his era … but Ibaka is the best of both worlds and Jackson is stumped. “Forgive me for not being able to remember one,” Jackson finally says. “but it just shows you the greatness and the impact Serge Ibaka has on the floor.

  • Thunder Poll: What are you doing in anticipation of the season?

    Erik Horne | Updated: Sat, Oct 24, 2015

    The NBA season is just days away. Ready? Fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder have probably been ready since February. For the first time since 2008-09, there was no playoff basketball from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Co. The return of a healthy team, along with the impending free agency of Durant and the introduction of a new coach (Billy Donovan) has anticipation for the Thunder's first tip on Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena at all-time high levels. I wanted to measure the pent-up demand for Thunder basketball. I'm asking NewsOK readers questions about the return of the Thunder as well as gathering some feedback on what people are doing in anticipation for this season of massive importance.

  • Thunder journal: Kevin Durant, Billy Donovan praise Gregg Popovich pick as next USA Basketball coach

    By Erik Horne Staff | Published: Fri, Oct 23, 2015

    Popovich is slated to become the head coach in 2017, following Mike Krzyzewski, who will step down as coach after the 2016 Olympic Games and move into a special advisor role with USA Basketball.

  • Kevin Durant, Billy Donovan praise pick of Spurs' Popovich as next USA Basketball coach

    Erik Horne | Updated: Fri, Oct 23, 2015

    Kevin Durant had a surprised look on his face Friday when he was informed that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would be taking over as the head coach of USA Basketball. Popovich is slated to become the head coach in 2017, following Mike Krzyzewski, who will step down as coach after the 2016 Olympic Games and move into a special advisor role with USA Basketball. “He got it? He did? Oh, that’ll be tight,” Durant said. “Hopefully I can play past next summer. “I’m a huge fan of Coach Pop, (he’s) well-respected and he deserves it, so I’m happy for him.

  • Kevin Durant ranked 6th among athletes in Forbes' Fab 40

    Erik Horne | Updated: Fri, Oct 23, 2015 has Thunder forward Kevin Durant ranked among the biggest brands in sports. Durant is ranked sixth in the athlete category of Forbes’ Fab 40 – an annual list of the world’s most valuable sports brands by teams, athletes, businesses and events. Durant’s brand value of $18 million ties him with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt for sixth in the world. Only LeBron James (third, $27 million) ranks higher among NBA players. According to Forbes, Durant’s entrance into the Fab 40 list for the first time is spurred by his 10-year deal he signed with Nike last year, which could be worth an estimated $300 million.

  • OKC Thunder: NBA veteran Antonio Daniels brings 'gift of gab' to Thunder broadcast this season

    By Erik Horne Staff | Updated: Thu, Oct 22, 2015

    Since retiring in 2011 following a successful 13-year career in the NBA, Daniels has quickly put his talent for talking to good use.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: What's the Thunder's salary cap future look like with Kevin Durant's free agency looming?

    Anthony Slater,Erik Horne | Updated: Thu, Oct 22, 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 - 10/22 (<–Click Here) -- Civilian capologist Jon Hamm joins the show to discuss Kevin Durant's contract options. Why is it a bad idea to sign an extension? What's a 1+1 player option deal? What else looms over the Thunder as 2016 approaches? We talk about it all. Archive Thunder Buddies - 10/15 -- Three preseason