Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Thunder tweaks pregame rituals

Before NBA adjusted rules, Oklahoma City players needed almost 3 minutes to complete handshakes and fistbumps.
By John Rohde Published: October 21, 2012

OKC players have adjusted to the NBA's strict enforcement of 90-second rule where teams must be ready for the opening tip 90 seconds after pregame introductions have been completed.

Thunder players had the most elaborate pregame rituals in the league, which frequently required 2½-3 minutes. Before Sunday night's 108-101 against the Denver Nuggets at Chesapeake Energy Arena, however, OKC's starters were on the court and ready for the tip with five seconds to spare.

“I took it as a sign of a team that has great chemistry,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of his team's lengthy handshakes. “You never see guys who don't like each other hugging each other. It's a no-no in sports. When you have guys who … fist bump and do all their crazy things that they did, it was good. It gave us energy and juice before the game. We definitely have to adjust that. The league rules are 90 seconds. That was probably a third of our routine. We're going to have to get a guy who can choreograph one that's under 90 seconds.”

Last Tuesday night against Charlotte, Thunder forward Kevin Durant was still in the process of visiting each teammate when the opening tip took place.

“Kevin was running to the jump ball,” Brooks said with a grin. “I was laughing.”


Brooks said Durant will not play at Chicago on Tuesday night. Brooks said he also is considering sitting fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook.

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