Desmond returns as a KingFormer Thunder fan favorite Desmond Mason, who played at Oklahoma State and the Hornets while they were in Oklahoma City, signed with Sacramento. Mason returns to the Ford Center tonight and for next week’s season opener. "You build relationships,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "Desmond is a terrific guy. We love what he did for us. But it’s part of the league, things you can’t control. You move on.”
TONGUE LASHINGAt the end of Wednesday’s practice, Brooks put players through a spacing, ball-movement drill. After players went through the drill half speed, Brooks went into a tirade with several expletives. He stressed players must go all out in every drill all season. "When it’s called for, and we’re slipping, he’s a passionate guy,” Nick Collison said. "He knows we’re at a point where we can’t develop bad habits and become lackadaisical.”
KELLEY WAIVEDThe Thunder waived Tre Kelley. In three preseason games, Kelley averaged 1.3 points, 1.0 assist in 7.0 minutes. That leaves the roster with 17 players. Ryan Bowen, Michael Ruffin and Mike Harris are battling for the 15th and final roster spot.
DEFENSIVE COLLAPSEHouston and San Antonio went a combined 25-of-39, a blistering 64.1 percent on 3-pointers in lopsided wins over the Thunder. Assistant coach Ron Adams’ defensive philosophy is a "shell defense,” where four players have at least one foot in the lane. Brooks said teams sometimes aren’t that hot beyond the arc if they’re unguarded in an empty gym. But he stressed defensive breakdowns left opponents wide open. "We have to do a much better job of containing the ball,” Brooks said. "We can’t let the ball dictate our defense. We were late on closing, allowing penetration deep into our shell. "That corner 3 is a 40-percent shot. We have to do a better job of guarding that. We will. Our staff saw the breakdowns.”