As of halftime of Friday night's 105-94 victory over Detroit at Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Thunder had sold 1,000 of the team's navy blue alternate jersey since it was unveiled Thursday.
Game night sales were 40 percent higher Friday than on an average night. The arena merchandise shop will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, plus during that night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, one of the league's fashion trendsetters, said he approved of the alternates. “They look nice, man,” Westbrook said. “A nice blue, navy blue. It's a nice uniform. I like it.”
In a NewsOK.com survey, however, 58.5 percent of voters did not approve of the alternates.
“You're going to have people who like them and people who don't, but I'm pretty sure they're going to get the jersey,” Westbrook said. “Somebody's going to get it. They're different, and that's one thing about an alternate. You want to switch the colors up, make it look a little different, and that's what they did.”
Three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant said he was ready for something new.
“Been putting on the same uniform for five years, you know,” Durant said with a smile. “So a different look, I guess, is always good. I like that the ‘Thunder' (lettering is vertical). Navy blue is a big change from the orange and blue, so I like them.”
The Thunder Girls also wore a new navy blue uniform for the Pistons game.
Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka has sizzled offensively the last four games, averaging 19.3 points while shooting 31 of 46 (. 674) and 14 of 15 (. 933) from the free-throw line.
He had a career-high 25 points against the Pistons, which gave him the first back-to-back 20-point games of his career following a 21-point effort at Chicago on Thursday night.
This came after Ibaka shot 5 for 18 (. 278) from the field the first two games of the season. Thunder coach Scott Brooks credits Ibaka working overtime at the practice facility.
“It's no coincidence,” Brooks said. “The more you work during the season, the less likely those (shooting slumps) are going to be as frequent or as long. You knew sooner or later those shots were going to fall.”
Brooks on the firing of Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown on Friday after a 1-4 start: “Mike's a personal friend. It's too bad it happened. Mike's a great guy, a great coach and the way he's made his name in this league is through work. He will bounce back and get back at it because he works too hard and he's a good coach.”
Reserve Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet was inactive for Friday's game with a sprained left ankle. Former Bishop McGuinness High School standout Daniel Orton was activated in his place, but did not play. … Thunder reserve guard Kevin Martin entered Friday's contest tied for fifth in the league in 3-point percentage (. 636), but converted just 2 of 9 against Detroit. Teammate Thabo Sefolosha was fourth at (. 667) and went 0 for 1. … The Pistons dropped to 0-6 on the season, having played five straight road games after opening the season at home with a loss to Houston. Detroit's road swing ends Saturday night against the Rockets. … The Thunder won Friday despite being out-rebounded (41-38), plus being outscored in the paint (50-40), on second-chance points (19-11) and in fast-break points (17-15).
Durant on urging Ibaka to shoot whenever he is open: “We're just trying to get Serge as much confidence as we can. We believe in him. Once you get somebody confidence and opportunity in this league, with the hard work he puts in, the sky's the limit. We need that from him. He's taking pressure off everybody.”