The Tulsa 66ers have been good to the Thunder the past few seasons.
On Tuesday, OKC fans will have a chance to thank them.
In the 66ers' inaugural Field Trip Day game, the Thunder's D-League affiliate will host the Iowa Energy at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Chesapeake Energy Arena.
A majority of the crowd, weather permitted, is expected to be filled with thousands of students from more than 85 schools across Oklahoma, spawning the “Field Trip” name.
But it is open to the public as well, with tickets $12 at the door.
There are no current Thunder players assigned to the 66ers, but there remains a chance that rookie forward Andre Roberson will be sent down for the game. Roberson has been shuffled back and forth four times between the teams over the past month, and this would seem to provide another convenient opportunity.
Former Arizona center Grant Jerrett is another potential attraction for Thunder fans hoping for a glimpse at the future.
After OKC traded for Jerrett's rights in the draft, he impressed in the Orlando Summer League. Jerrett is a 6-foot-11 center with shooting range out to the 3-point line.
And, he hopes, Tuesday will be his first game on a court that will eventually become his home.
“It'll be fun,” Jerrett said. “I heard it's supposed to be a big crowd, so that'll be interesting.”
DURANT PREFERS ‘KD' AS NICKNAME, BUT COULD USE ‘SLIM REAPER' FOR SHOE
Kevin Durant doesn't like the nickname “The Slim Reaper.”
“I'm here to shine a bright light,” Durant said. “I'm not here to be a guy of, I guess, death. I just like KD better.”
But what about capitalizing on the popularity of the nickname and collaborating with Nike once again on a special edition colorway of his signature KD line of shoes?
Durant has done this several times in the past with “The Weathermans,” a nod to his affinity for weather, the “Maryland Blue Crabs,” which pay homage to his home state, the “Peanut Butter & Jellys,” his favorite sandwich as a kid and the “Aunt Pearls,” in honor of his late aunt among others.
Could a “Slim Reaper” be next?
“To be honest, it's not really up to me,” Durant said. “If Nike wants to come out with something, then they're going to come out with it. They're going to ask me, but at the end of the day if they want to do it they're going to do it.”
Durant, however, acknowledged the potential demand for such a shoe.
“It's always opportunities for quick hits like that in the marketplace,” he said. “So you never know. But I never really thought about it.”
For now, Durant sounds appreciative of admirers tagging him with a nickname but maintains this one misses the mark in his book.
“That name is what it is,” Durant said. “It's cool to have a nickname somebody else gave to you. It's kind of weird if you make your own nickname up. But to have that out there, I guess, is cool … Everybody's been loving the name. I think I'm the only one that really doesn't like it too much.”
THORPE NIGHT AT THE ARENA
As part of his package for winning the Jim Thorpe Award, Michigan State defensive back Darqueze Dennard sat courtside at Monday's Thunder-Grizzlies game.
And he wasn't the only Thorpe Award winner in the arena.
Former OU and Dallas Cowboys defensive back Roy Williams, the 2001 winner, was also at the game. The two chatted and took a picture before the game.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Through 50 games, the Thunder is 39-11, the franchise's best mark at this point of the season since moving to OKC.
The Thunder faces Minnesota at 7 p.m. Wednesday in The Peake. OKC is 1-1 against the Timberwolves this season.