• Oklahoma City Thunder: What happened to TV analyst Grant Long?

    BY MEL BRACHT | Published: Sun, Aug 10, 2014

    Deep financial problems contributed to the departure of Thunder TV analyst Grant Long, who had held his position with the team since it moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The Thunder announced his resignation on July 21. Earlier this year, Long filed for bankruptcy in federal court. His initial paperwork included two out-of-state casinos that Long said he owed more than $300,000 — $195,000 to the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and $125,000 to Bally’s Park Place. The bankruptcy case was later dismissed. According to records in his filing, Long earned $166,000 from the Thunder in 2013 and $193,000 in 2012. He listed his assets as $65,500 in personal property, including $40,000 for a 2009 Cadillac Escalade and $20,000 for a

  • A look at the TV analysts for each NBA team

    BY MEL BRACHT | Published: Sun, Aug 10, 2014

    NBA team TV analysts for 2013-14 season: Western Conference Dallas Mavericks: Derek Harper, Jeff Wade (home games). Harper, 52, played 16 seasons as a guard in the NBA, including 12 with the Mavs. The quirky Wade, nicknamed “Skin,” co-hosts a Dallas sports talk show. Denver Nuggets: Scott Hastings. Hastings, 54, played 12 seasons in the NBA as a 6-10 power forward. Golden State Warriors: Jim Barnett. After 29 seasons on the TV team, Barnett, 70, who played 11 years in the NBA, plans to reduce his schedule this season. Houston Rockets: Clyde Drexler (home games), Matt Bullard. Drexler, 52, a 10-time All-Star, finished his career with the Rockets. The 6-10 Bullard, 47, played nine season with the

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Who readers think should be the next Thunder TV analyst

    By Erik Horne | Published: Sun, Aug 10, 2014

    The Oklahoman asked for reader submissions on who should be the next Thunder TV color analyst. Here were some of the responses: Derek Melton (@d_rok20) via Twitter: “How about @JRsBBQ (Jim Ross) him and Brian Davis would be awesome.” Brian Lowry (via Facebook): “Kurt Thomas. He's buddies with Nick Collison from the Seattle days and still has a good feel for the league since he retired recently. I doubt Desmond Mason wants to give up on all the work he's put into his art, but you never know.” Rachel (@Rach585) via Twitter: “It should be @dmasonart (Desmond Mason)! A perfect fit for the broadcast team.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Why Kevin Durant's minutes must be better-managed this season

    By Darnell Mayberry, Staff writer | Published: Sat, Aug 9, 2014

    Kevin Durant’s admission made waves only because of what it means to USA Basketball this summer. Overshadowed is what it will mean for the Thunder next season. After that carefully-crafted, 97-word statement, the Thunder seemingly has no choice but to better manage its biggest star’s minutes.

  • Kevin Durant replaced on Team USA by Kings forward Rudy Gay

    Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    Rudy Gay has been called to replace Kevin Durant on the USA Basketball roster battling for one of the final 12 spots to go to the FIBA World Cup. Durant withdrew from Team USA on Thursday, citing fatigue. That's opens the door for Gay, who offers versatility by being able to play both forward spots in international competition. The U.S. needs as many frontcourt players as it can get following Durant's withdrawal and Paul George's injury. Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge have all pulled out of Team USA duty this summer as well.

  • Sports Illustrated picks its most regrettable covers

    Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    Sports Illustrated has published more than 3,000 covers, and they can't all be winners. Here's a list of the ones they'd like to have back. SI categorizes its cover gaffes into "politically incorrect," "Why? (We don't know.)," "Oops (Our biggest screw-ups.)," "Animals," and "Generally weak topics."

  • Kevin Durant defends Kobe Bryant on Twitter

    Erik Horne | Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    Kevin Durant said a few weeks back that he was deleting Twitter from his phone. That doesn’t mean he’s staying off social media all together, however. And just because he pulled out of Team USA for the summer, doesn’t mean he’s removing himself from basketball barber shop talk. Durant got into a healthy debate with […]

  • ESPN suspends Dan Le Batard for LeBron James billboard 'stunt'

    Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    ESPN television and radio host Dan Le Batard was suspended for two days after he paid for billboards in Cleveland that mockingly read “You’re Welcome LeBron; Love, Miami” and displayed the two title rings he won with the Heat, according to USA TODAY. The billboards were a sly reference to James’ famed letter to Cleveland, which seemed to thank everybody except for Miami fans and their four years of support. The top line was written in Comic Sans, of course. “Dan LeBatard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday. His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”  

  • Kevin Durant to withdraw from Team USA Basketball

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Updated: Thu, Aug 7, 2014

    Thunder forward Kevin Durant announced Thursday that he is withdrawing from Team USA Basketball this summer. Kevin Durant statement - pic.twitter.com/5gslzSYEHt — Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) August 7, 2014 //   // As recently as this week, it was reported that no more players would withdraw from Team USA this summer following George's injury. The injury to Paul George in a Team USA scrimmage is reportedly not the reason for Durant's decision. Durant joins the long list of stars to withdraw from Team USA this summer. Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook was one of the first to pull out of the player pool earlier this summer. Early last week, Durant spoke of sticking around

  • Markel Brown is answering your Twitter questions Friday

    Published: Thu, Aug 7, 2014

    Former Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown will answer questions live on Twitter at 2 p.m. on Friday. Brown, a second-round pick of the Brooklyn Nets, will take over the Nets' Twitter account. You can get your questions in to Brown with the #AskMarkel hashtag.  

  • Kevin Durant gives first look at NBA2K15

    Published: Thu, Aug 7, 2014

    Kevin Durant gave us a first-hand look at some video from NBA2K15, set for release Oct. 7 on multiple platforms. Durant pubbed the video above via his Instagram account on Thursday.

  • Kevin Love is going to Cleveland and how it affects the Thunder

    erik horne | Published: Thu, Aug 7, 2014

    The trade can't be completed until Aug. 23, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports thath the Minnesota Timberwolves have an agreement to send Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick. West to East. That's the biggest effect on the Thunder and the league. Love moving to the Cavs is another feather in the lesser conference's hat. The Love move emphasizes NBA team's desire to lump a trio of stars together for a championship run. There have been Super Friends trios throughout NBA history, but the trend of trading and pairing up three elite players fired up with the Boston Celtics in 2008 (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce), continued with the Miami Heat (James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade) and carries on with the Cavs. The big difference between the Western Conference super trios in that time and the East's is that the Spurs and Thunder created theirs in house. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker for the Spurs. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka for the Thunder. The Washington Wizards are thinking Super Friends 2016 with KD-John Wall-Bradley Beal. If that happened, the power balance would shift for sure. But as for now, the West is still king in talent and depth, particularly with questions in the East about Derrick Rose being able to stay healthy in Chicago and Paul George's gruesome injury sidelining him for probably all of the 2014-15 season. Love's move doesn't effect the Thunder in terms of how they're going to get out of the West. It's still San Antonio and everyone else.

  • Greg Oden arrested on battery charges

    Published: Thu, Aug 7, 2014

    Former No. 1 NBA draft pick Greg Oden has been arrested in Indianapolis on misdemeanor battery charges. Police in the suburban community of Lawrence say the 26-year-old was arrested early Thursday on two preliminary counts of misdemeanor battery and remains jailed. Oden was selected first overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, one spot ahead of Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

  • New billboard takes aim at LeBron James

    Published: Thu, Aug 7, 2014

    It looks like someone's still a little bitter over LeBron James' decision to leave the Miami Heat and sign with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, according to The Post Game. Miami resident and popular ESPN personality Dan Le Batard made headlines last week when he tried to buy a full-page ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in an attempt to troll James and Cavaliers fans. The Plain Dealer rejected Le Batard's request, and so the host of "Highly Questionable" took matters into his own hands. A billboard recently popped up a quarter mile east of Highway 8 in Akron with a message strikingly similar to the one in the proposed newspaper ad, The Post Game reports.

  • Tell us who should be the next Thunder TV analyst

    Erik Horne | Published: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    There will be a new Thunder TV team in 2014-15. We need to get this figured out. The combination of Brian Davis and Grant Long had become a Thunder television staple since the team arrived in 2008. But with Long resigning in July after six seasons on the Thunder broadcast, there’s a void that needs […]

  • Marcus Smart, Kevin Durant get plenty of love on NBA Rookie Survey

    Published: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    The results from the NBA's Rookie Survey are out, and Marcus Smart is thought highly of by his fellow classmates. At the league's annual Rookie Photo Shoot Sunday, 38 rookies were asked eight questions about the rookie class. Smart tied for best rookie defender with K.J. McDaniels of Clemson. Each player received 13.5 percent of the vote from their peers. The former Oklahoma State guard also was voted third in the "best playmaker" category behind Tyler Ennis and Kyle Anderson, and was second in the "funniest rookie" vote behind Twitter star Joel Embiid. Smart stole the show at the rookie photo shoot after he did a hilarious scavenger hunt for ESPN's SportsNation. Twenty-five percent of rookies said Kevin Durant was their favorite player in the NBA. Durant beat out Kobe Bryant (19.4 percent) and LeBron James (12.5). Thunder teammate Mitch McGary tied for second in the "most overlooked" rookie category with 8.3 percent of the vote. More than 50 percent of the rookie class thinks Milwaukee's Jabari Parker will be the rookie of the year. Seven years ago, Durant was the rookie of the year choice in the survey.

  • Blake Griffin working out, says 'back is not fractured'

    Published: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who pulled out Team USA practices to allow a small fracture in his back to heal, continues to work out and expects to be ready for next season. The former OU star told the Los Angeles Times "It's less than a hairline, and my back is not fractured. I can still come out here, and I can do my workouts, and I can do everything I used to do. I just shouldn't be playing and practicing every day." Griffin  withdrew from Team USA on July 24 to rest up for the NBA season. He was one of  several high profile NBA players to pull out of Team USA camp this summer. "My whole thing is I didn't want to go inot [Clippers training] camp and put myself in a worse position."

  • ABA memories: Don't believe Will Ferrell

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    For the Wednesday Oklahoman, I wrote about David Vance and the birth of the blocked shot as an official statistic. You can read that column here. But the occasion gave Vance and I reason to look at all kinds of great memories about the ABA. The American Basketball Association spent nine years as an upstart […]

  • David Vance's Kentucky Colonels were the ABA's marquee franchise

    BY BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Aug 5, 2014

    For four seasons, the Colonels’ front line included Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore, both of whom became NBA stars after the 1976 merger and are in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: City can lay claim to the league's top shot blocker and the man who invented the blocked shot stat

    BY BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Aug 5, 2014

    David Vance and Serge Ibaka share more than an area code. Both are preeminent figures in the story of basketball shot blocking.