Kevin Durant could soon add another partnership to his growing portfolio as a pitchman. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s star forward is in talks with Panini America, the memorabilia company formerly known as Donruss, about becoming the worldwide spokesperson for the company’s basketball division, The Oklahoman has learned. Panini America, the NBA’s exclusive trading card and memorabilia partner, recently visited Durant and his representatives in Oklahoma City. A deal could be finalized soon. Durant also has sizable national sponsorship deals with Nike and Gatorade.
Krstic could miss last two gamesNenad Krstic missed his second consecutive game because of a bone bruise to his right knee. Krstic said he definitely will not play tonight at Portland and could miss Wednesday’s regular season finale against Memphis as well. "It’s nothing really serious, but it’s been bothering me in the second half of the season,” Krstic said. "I’ve always practiced and played, but I was playing through the pain. But the (team’s medical staff) has decided to rest me a little bit.” Krstic had been overcoming tendonitis in his right knee. The pain worsened Tuesday at Utah when he took a blow to his knee. An MRI after last Wednesday’s home game against Denver revealed a bone bruise just below his kneecap. "The last game I played against Denver, it felt like the most pain I’ve felt the whole season,” he said. Krstic said he expects to be back in the starting lineup for the playoffs.
National attentionIt appears the Thunder could be headed for a significant slate of prime-time television games next season. According to one league source, Oklahoma City could be featured in as many as 10 ESPN and TNT telecasts. With the Thunder assembling the biggest turnaround this season — 26 games — OKC could play a Christmas Day game on ABC, the source said. Oklahoma City had just three nationally televised games this season, excluding a host of contests shown on NBA TV. The season started with the Thunder scheduled for just one national broadcast before ESPN picked up a late November game against Milwaukee and this Wednesday’s season finale against Memphis.
Down in the D-LeagueKyle Weaver scored 27 points as the Tulsa 66ers won the three-game series over Sioux Falls with a 111-101 road victory. The 66ers play the Iowa Energy in the next round.