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OKC Thunder: How Kevin Durant and Co. can be great before their time, but still starving artists

THUNDER PREVIEW — Gaze upon a portrait of a young team, but don't look away. It's changing before your very eyes.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 29, 2012
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/articleid/3723414/1/pictures/1866680">Photo - Thunder stars Kevin Durant, left, and Russell Westbrook are hungry for a championship after losing to Miami in the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City opens the season Nov. 1 at San Antonio.Art by Ray Tennyson/photo by chris landsberger
Thunder stars Kevin Durant, left, and Russell Westbrook are hungry for a championship after losing to Miami in the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City opens the season Nov. 1 at San Antonio.Art by Ray Tennyson/photo by chris landsberger

The baby Boomers still amaze their coach.

“Definitely raises eyebrows quite a bit,” said Scotty Brooks. “Just the effort and consistency they perform every night, every practice.

“It's something we have to continue to do in order to keep improving at the level we improve at. A lot of players don't do that consistently. I'm not saying we have the only guys in the league that do that, but we have a large group of players that give effort every single day.”

The Boomers are part starving artists. Starved for that championship, which was painfully evident last June, after losing four straight to the Miami Heat following a Game 1 win in the NBA Finals.

But the Boomers also are part tortured artists. They seem to be driven to change. Unwilling to accept the status quo, even when that status quo is NBA elite.

“They're very skilled, but they work with the effort that they're not skilled,” Brooks said, a compliment if ever there was one.

“For Kevin to be able to do that the things he does at 6-10 … he's as quick as most two-guards in this league that are six inches shorter than him. Russell, obviously, his skill and his ability, the way he comes back every year a little bit better. Serge has come back better.”

They are artists, they are young men nearing their primes and enjoy their portraits while you can, for they most definitely will change.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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