In a span of four days, the Thunder acquired two players who played collegiately in Arkansas.
Guard/forward Ronnie Brewer, obtained in a trade with the New York Knicks last Thursday, played three seasons at Arkansas before becoming the 14th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Veteran guard Derek Fisher, who re-signed with the Thunder on Monday morning, played four seasons at Arkansas-Little Rock and was the 24th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.
Three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant, who played collegiately at Texas for one season, said he believes players tend to play with more energy when they're closer to home or where they attended school.
Asked if he felt the same way, Brewer said: “I think so. Every time we traveled to OKC, no matter what team I was on, there's been people here locally or people making the trip from Arkansas, which is not that far. I always appreciate the support and to me it's just going to make me play with more of a sense of pride. Being way closer to home, I don't want to let anybody down on this team, the fans back home, either.”
Before the Thunder's 102-72 romp over Chicago, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about the shooting improvement of guard Thabo Sefolosha, who is shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range this season. Sefolosha's career 3-point percentage is 34.6 percent.
“It says a lot about how he's worked on his game,” Thibodeau said. “He continually gets a lot better.”
Thibodeau then included two more underrated Thunder players.
“They have three guys on their team who I think are sort of under the radar and they don't get the credit they probably deserve. … When you look at Sefolosha, (Kendrick) Perkins and (Nick) Collison, they bring a lot of toughness and intangibles to the team. They make the team function well. You can never overlook those guys. … It's a very well-put-together team. There's not many holes in it and they continually get better.”