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Thabo Sefolosha will likely play elsewhere next season

The wounds are fresh. The stings still sore. Sometimes, you learn stuff. Here are 10 things I learned about your favorite squad.
by Berry Tramel Modified: June 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm •  Published: June 2, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (25) goes past Los Angeles' Jamal Crawford (11) during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 11, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (25) goes past Los Angeles' Jamal Crawford (11) during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 11, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

6. Kevin Durant stands by his man.

Talk of a coaching change seems a little silly. The Thunder’s not making a change without the OK of Kevin Durant, and everything Durant says is supportive of Scotty Brooks.

During his MVP speech, Durant praised Brooks’ unselfishness. Sunday, Durant used other language. “That’s our guy,” Durant said. “I’m riding with him.”

Everything the Thunder does is built toward making Durant want to sign a new Thunder contract two summers from now. Durant continually goes above and beyond in his praise of Brooks. That’s pretty good job security.

7. Perry Jones is confused.

In the wake of Durant and Jackson separately proclaiming Jones the best athlete in the NBA, Jones talked repeatedly of learning how to play with that athletic ability.

“Definitely have to do the best I can to learn how to play with my athleticism and make that work in my favor,” Jones said.

Huh? Jones hasn’t been playing with his athletic ability? It’s not like he’s talking about harnessing that talent, the way Westbrook sometimes has to. Jones is talking about using his athletic ability. What’s he been doing lo these many years?

8. Kendrick Perkins knows he’s slipped.

Perk is a prideful man. So it’s no small thing when he says, “I know this off-season is going be the biggest off-season of my career,” Perkins said. “It’s my first time ever going be approaching a time when I’m going to be an unrestricted free agent. So definitely got to come back in better shape and try to get back to the basketball that I played in Boston.”

I’m a charter member of the Gran Torino Fan Club. But Perkins isn’t getting back to his Boston days, when he would average a double-double in a playoff series. NBA players don’t improve at age 30. The best Perkins can hope for is holding his 2014 playoff pace, which wasn’t bad.

9. Caron Butler is gone.

Butler and Grant Jerrett were the only Thunder players who didn’t address the media. Jerrett has yet to play. I think Butler has played his final game. Butler actually started two games in the Memphis playoff series but didn’t play at all in Game 6 against the Spurs. Butler will be 35 in the 2015 playoffs.

If Butler was coming back or wanted to, he’d have poked his head in the media room.

10. Derek Fisher likes us.

Us being the media. In what amounted to a farewell speech, Fisher eloquently thanked even the media, for shining a light on him and keeping him honest. Fisher easily kept his composure, but a couple of press-row regulars found a tear on their laptops.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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