• Update: Stephen A. Smith responds to Kevin Durant's "he's lying" comment

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

      Update 2:15 p.m: Stephen A. Smith has responded to Durant's claim that he's making up stories. "At NO time did I ever say I SPOKE to K.D. Or his family. Or his brother, friends, teammates, etc. (although I can assure you all I have on several occasions in the past)," Smith posted on his Twitter account. "I said I HEARD from folks I know -- in a league I've been covering for 19 years -- that if he were to leave OKC as a free agent, these are the cities I was told he was considering. OKC. LA. Miami. DC. NY. I stand by it all. And that is that. His assertion that I was lying is not only FALSE, but totally uncalled for. Especially from a player who receives nothing but praise not only from me, but from

  • Steven Adams questionable for Thunder scrimmage

    Erik Horne | Updated: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    Steven Adams was back on the court Friday, but his status for the Thunder's scrimmage on Sunday remains in question. Adams (back soreness) was held out of contact for the second day in a row at Friday's practice, but was on the court post-practice with teammates walking through some instruction from assistant coaches Monty Williams and Mark Bryant. “I think it’s progressing in a really, really good, positive way," Billy Donovan said about Adams' back. "When they actually tell him he can come back, I’m not quite sure. "He actually did some stretching and running earlier in practice with the guys, but I think the contact part they wanted to give him an extra day.

  • OKC Thunder: A look ahead to 2017

    Jon Hamm | Updated: Thu, Oct 1, 2015

    Kevin Durant's pending free agency in 2016 is no secret. But teams are looking ahead to 2017, and fans should, too.

  • Steven Adams misses Thunder practice with back soreness

    Erik Horne | Updated: Thu, Oct 1, 2015

    In training camp, players will pick up bumps and bruises, but Thunder camp has been relatively injury-free for the first three days. But third-year center Steven Adams was held out on Thursday. Adams was experiencing some minor back soreness and didn't practice on Day 3 of camp. The team didn't commit to calling Adams "day-to-day," but said it's nothing serious.

  • Thunder coach Billy Donovan praises 'cerebral' Russell Westbrook

    Erik Horne | Updated: Thu, Oct 1, 2015

    On Thursday, Billy Donovan was highly complimentary of Russell Westbrook’s communication and digestion of the offense this week, which has made the implementation of new offensive schemes easier for the head coach in his first NBA training camp. “It’s amazing, you’re out there on the court with him – and he’s been in the league a while – but the stuff that I’m throwing out to him on offense; he knows his position and he knows the four other positions,” Donovan said. “I think that speaks volumes to just how cerebral a guy he is out there on the court and how much he sees.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant, MOKAN Elite announce partnership

    Erik Horne | Updated: Thu, Oct 1, 2015

    The Kevin Durant brand continues to grow. The Thunder All-Star announced a partnership with MOKAN Elite, Kansas City’s Nike Grassroots Youth Basketball Program. Durant plans to team up with MOKAN Elite to “create a unique platform for the top grassroots players across the Midwest.” “Excited to announce the start of my partnership with @MOKANelite! Big things ahead,” Durant said Thursday via social media.

  • NBA modifying its review system, adding referee in replay center

    darnell mayberry | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved modifications to the instant-replay process for NBA games, the league announced Wednesday. Beginning with the 2015-16 season, a current NBA referee will be staffed in the replay center in Secaucus, N.J., where he or she will make the final determination on select replay situations and facilitate the on-the-court review of others. The referee staffed in the replay center will make the final call on eight replay situations: whether a field goal was a 2-pointer or 3-pointer, made baskets at the end of periods, out of bounds, shot clock violations, goaltending/basket interference, clock malfunctions when no foul or violation occurs, 24-second shot clock resets and the

  • Why did NBA 2K16 rate Kevin Durant the NBA's fifth best player?

    Published: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Segments of the gaming community were outraged when it was revealed last month that Kevin Durant would have a 91 rating in the new NBA 2K16. It's the game's fifth highest rating for a player widely considered the NBA's second best player. Ahead of Durant is LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and James Harden. Mike Stauffer, the man charged with coming up with 2K16 player ratings, explained his reasoning for rating Durant fifth in a Q&A with grantland.com. "Some of the ratings that we looked at for when you're coming off injuries and...I know he's not listed at 7 feet, but when any 7-footer is having foot injuries, you're concerned with them coming back and being in the same form," Stauffer said. "I personally love Kevin Durant. I think his rating will be one that shoots up pretty high this season. Any rating is a projection. These rating a very fluid. If you're a 91, that doesn't mean you're gonna be a 91 all year."

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: What are your early training camp impressions?

    Anthony Slater,Erik Horne | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 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 - 09/30 (<–Click Here) -- Training camp is in full swing, meaning we're finally getting a small feel for this team. Erik Horne makes his debut on the podcast and we debate starting roles and, of course, Enes Kanter's defense, plus much more. Archive Thunder Buddies - 09/29 -- We were able to sit down with

  • Q&A: Thunder coach Billy Donovan talks about implementing his system

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Per NBA rules, Billy Donovan wasn't allowed to implement his schemes and sets this offseason.  Donovan was able to hang around his new players, talk life and basketball, even navigate some of them through individual workouts. But there couldn't be any team instruction and concept-based training.  That's been his challenge the past two days. During the start of camp, he's introducing his base ideas to the Thunder players, with more complex instruction to come later. "So far, so good," Russell Westbrook said. Here's a Q&A with Donovan about the subject: Enes (Kanter) mentioned to us that you’re starting to implement your offensive sets. How’s that

  • Kevin Durant to dedicate new basketball court at local elementary school

    darnell mayberry | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Thunder star Kevin Durant will unveil a new basketball court at North Highland Elementary on Monday, Oct. 5. The outdoor court will be the first North American court launch under the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation's "Build it and they will Ball" courts renovation initiative. The initiative's aim is to launch new and renovated basketball courts to inspire and motivate young athletes across the world. The mission of the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation is to enrich lives of youth from low-income backgrounds through various educational and athletic programs. "I'm so thankful for the role that basketball had in my life as I was growing up," Durant said in a written statement.

  • Billy Donovan "humbled" by reception in OKC

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Billy Donovan said it’s been a “very, very humbling” four months coaching the Thunder. Interesting choice of words. Donovan wasn’t talking basketball. He was talking personal.  “The community has been really remarkable in terms of helping myself, helping my kids, my wife adjust. Very very grateful for all the help that so many lended, reached out, to make this a smooth transition.” Donovan lauded the Thunder organization for being a great place to come to work, but he really stressed the reception by Oklahomans as impressive. “When you’ve been in a place for 19 years, you establish so many relationships,” Donovan said of Gainesville, Fla.

  • Kendrick Perkins says he'd be a 'big, grumpy policeman' if not in the NBA

    Published: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    When he was with the Thunder, Kendrick Perkins was known as one of the best defensive centers in the league, a 6-foot-10 center famous for his menacing scowl. Now with the New Orleans Pelicans, the 31-year-old is running with the joke. On Tuesday, Perkins told Jim Eichenhofer of pelicans.com that if he wasn't a basketball player, he'd be patrolling the streets. "I could see myself being a big, grumpy policeman," Perkins said. Also, Perk's beard is looking strong.

  • Thunder rookies sing 'Happy Birthday' to Kevin Durant

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    Reporters asked Kevin Durant 15 questions on Tuesday after the Thunder's first preseason practice. Not one was about his birthday. Durant turned 27 Tuesday, but every question he was asked was about his health, the new system, his conditioning, the coaching staff, and other Thunder on-the-court topics. Eventually, the topic of Durant's birthday was brought up to coach Billy Donovan and veteran forward Nick Collison. Donovan didn't get a chance to do anything special specifically for Durant, but he did get to hear the Thunder players sing to their teammate. "We've got a couple guys with some good voices," Donovan said. "I was kinda outside the huddle. It sounded funny, though.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Kevin Durant talks about his eventful summer

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 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 - 09/29 (<–Click Here) -- We were able to sit down with every Thunder player at Media Day on Monday. Here's our 5-10 minute interview with Kevin Durant, Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka, D.J. Augustin, Mitch McGary, Nick Collison and Anthony Morrow. Part 2 will come out later. Archive Thunder Buddies – 09/24– Media

  • Kevin Durant wants to be 'totally focused' playing defense

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    When Kevin Durant comes back to the Thunder lineup, the offense will undoubtedly see an improvement. What often gets overlooked is how Durant will impact the defensive end for the Thunder. “I think that’s an underrated part of my game,” Durant said Tuesday. “I feel like I can guard 1 through 4. I can switch with bigs and point guards, and I can use my length a lot.” Durant’s 6-foot-10 frame and athleticism will be welcomed with open arms by a Thunder defense that saw its shotblocking and steals numbers drop off last season. From 2013-14 to 2014-15 Thunder’s total blocks decreased from 501 to 454, and total steals from 678 to 598.

  • Happy birthday wishes pour in for Kevin Durant

    darnell mayberry | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    Today is Kevin Durant's 27th birthday, and the internet world went out of its way to wish the Thunder star a happy birthday. While a who's who of celebrities, companies and corporations weighed in, Durant's teammates sang him happy birthday following the first day of training camp Tuesday. Apparently, a few Thunder players can sing, too. Here's a sampling of those who  wished Durant a happy birthday today via Twitter. Check out the cool photos and graphics of Durant that accompany many of the birthday wishes. Happy birthday today to Kevin Durant! pic.twitter.

  • Kevin Durant says it'll 'take some time' to get comfortable, hasn't lost 'feel'

    Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    Kevin Durant celebrated his 27th birthday on Tuesday with the opening of Thunder preseason camp, and after one practice, the feel is there, even if his body isn’t completely. “I feel great, actually,” Durant said, wiping sweat from his face. “It’s really different being out there in a practice setting. I haven’t been there in a while. It’s definitely going to take me some time to really get comfortable out there again.” Durant’s conditioning will be in focus early this season as he continues his return from a broken right foot. Durant hasn’t played in an NBA game since Feb. 18, and has spent a majority of the summer resting and rehabbing.

  • Kevin Durant on the Royal Ivey hiring: "If I wasn't here, he'd still be on the staff"

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    This offseason, the Thunder promoted former player Royal Ivey to its staff.  He's a former Longhorn and one of Kevin Durant's best friends. So the connections to KD's lingering free agency decision were made.  Was Ivey hired to keep Durant happy? Durant resents that sentiment.  "Royal has been putting in work," Durant said. "He's been in this league for more than a decade, worked for the Blue last season. He knows us. He's been here for awhile. So I don't like when guys say I'm the reason he's on the staff. He deserves it. If I wasn't here he'd still be on the staff.

  • The Oklahoman changes Thunder coverage team

    Mike Sherman | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    After 10 seasons covering the NBA, including nine as a beat writer, Darnell Mayberry is moving into a new role. He'll coordinate Thunder coverage while serving as the NewsOK Sports web editor. This new role will allow The Oklahoman to continue to leverage Darnell's experience and knowledge covering the Thunder and NBA while extending his skills to other topics vital to readers. Anthony Slater, who previously worked with Darnell on the Thunder beat, moves into a more prominent role covering the Thunder. Anthony will be joined on the beat by Erik Horne, who previously covered the Thunder and other sports as our NewsOK Sports web editor. Erik is a strong writer with excellent ideas and judgment.