Two seasons ago, the Thunder left Oklahoma City tied 1-1 with the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
By the time they returned home, the series and season were over, coming to a close with three consecutive crushing losses in South Florida.
Could the Thunder have flipped momentum and provided a bit more series drama if Game 5 was played in front of their home crowd? We'll never know.
The NBA Finals 2-3-2 home and away format is different from the typical 2-2-1-1-1 administered during the earlier rounds of the playoffs. It has been that way since 1985, implemented as a way to make travel easier for those covering and working the event.
And it has become unpopular over the years, with advocates for both the higher and lower seed arguing competitive balance issues both ways.
But that, finally, looks like it's going to change.
The NBA's Competition Committee — made up of a select group of owners, general managers, coaches and one player — agreed on Sunday to unanimously switch the Finals format back to a 2-2-1-1-1 home and away schedule, according to a report by the Boston Herald.
It still requires approval from the league's owners, but that's expected. It's not clear when this change would go into effect, if approved.
GRANT JERRETT TO SIGN WITH THE TULSA 66ERSWhen Thunder camp opened this weekend, there was one notable absentee.
Grant Jerrett, the 6-foot-11 second-rounder from Arizona who went to OKC on a draft night trade, wasn’t at Media Day and hasn’t attended the early practices.
That’s because Jerrett is expected to sign a deal and start the season with the Tulsa 66ers, allowing the Thunder to maintain his draft rights.
If he joined OKC in camp, and was subsequently cut – a likely scenario with a roster already stacked to the brim – the Thunder would no longer hold those rights.
So, it seems, there is a mutual understanding between the two parties. Jerrett, a 19-year-old sharpshooter with plenty of upside, is able to groom his craft for a nearby D-League team, allowing him to stay connected to the parent club.
The Thunder has done this with second-rounders in the past: DeVon Hardin in 2008, Robert Vaden in 2009 and Latavious Williams in 2010. But if Jerrett were to join the Thunder at some point in the future, he would need to sign a deal with the team before playing.
Vaden was the only of the aforementioned three to eventually join the Thunder.
REPORT: DURANT AND GATORADE TO PART WAYS
Kevin Durant's endorsement contract with Gatorade is up this week and will not be renewed, according to ESPN business analyst Darren Rovell.
Gatorade would not comment further on the decision, Rovell reported via Twitter.
This marks the first notable business move from Durant since aligning with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports this past June.
Forbes recently ranked Durant as the 17th-highest paid athlete in the world, bringing in more than $14 million per year in endorsements. He has deals with Nike, Sprint and 2K Sports, among others.
Kendrick Perkins on the defense: “With the players that we got and the length and athleticism on our team, we should be (No.) 1 or (No.) 2 in defense every year. We're shooting for No. 1.”
Reggie Jackson on how Durant has looked in the early practices: “KD is KD. Best scorer in the league by far. He makes it look so easy. It doesn't even make sense. Really I don't think anyone can guard him, you just try to do your best. Try to be a pest on him and hope you stop him.”
Kendrick Perkins on how the veterans have been setting the tone: “We do a great job of coming in, I know KD and Russ come in, practice start at 10 and they get in at 7:40 … I don't (laughs). I get in at 8:40. (But) I still get in an hour and half early.”