Thunder Starting Five, 12.16.13

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Scott Brooks’ Tie brings you the scoop on Oklahoma City Thunder news off the court.

It’s been 7 months since we last ran a starting five. Now that the season is moving along nicely, the internet presses are firing on all cylinders, bringing you NBA news at qualities ranging from “deserving of journalistic awards” to “thoughts from Bill Simmons.” Speaking of Bill Simmons…

PG. James Harden went from a household name in Oklahoma City to a title so heinous it rivaled Voldemort, “he who shall not be named,” in the Harry Potter series. One sports writer and personality, Bill Simmons, was one man who would never give up mentioning James Harden in the same sentence as the Oklahoma City Thunder, and honestly still continues to do it. So, here it is, the Bill Simmons article from October 2012 (right before the Harden trade in November) that started the trainwreck that is him talking about Thunder Basketball. This article is rather funny, now, looking at what we’re doing on the court with our regeared roster.

OK, so imagine you’re James Harden. Your team already took care of Durant and Westbrook, gave $48 million to someone who couldn’t start for Spain’s Olympic team (sorry, I had to), and guaranteed Kendrick Perkins $25.4 million over the next three years (yes, the decimal was in the right place). Now they’re telling you, “You can stay, Glue Guy For Our Perennial Contender, but only if you take less.” from Bill Simmons via Grantland

SG. Maybe we were skeptical at first. Our first NBA Finals in Oklahoma City, and Russell Westbrook showed us how Russell Westbrook likes to dress. Now, it’s become a phenomenon in Oklahoma City, and a permanent side show for the NBA Playoffs. Let’s face it, we want to know what kind of eccentric, off the wall, and sometimes baffling things that Russ will wear. According to GQ, however, LeBron James is the “Most Stylish Athlete,” an honor spanning all sports. Russ? He finished 12th. Man, I thought GQ knew style.

Westbrook, meanwhile, has generated an insane amount of buzz with his post-game outfits, he’s admitted to being a shopaholic, and he put in plenty of hours at New York Fashion Week during the offseason. from Ben Golliver via Sports Illustrated’s Point Forward

SF. It’s that time of year, NBA All-Star voting has begun, and the first round of votes have been tallied. LeBron obviously received the most votes. KD only sits a shade under 2000 votes behind. Remember, though, the NBA All-Star Game voting, since the fans control it, is not always about the most deserving players getting on the court. Hell, Kobe hadn’t played more than a game (and he was AWFUL), but he received more than 500,000 votes, which is third overall. Oh, and Derrick Rose received over 200,000, which is more than Russell did. Serge isn’t even in the top 15 in the West frontcourt.

Balloting concludes on Jan. 20, with the starters being announced live on TNT on Jan. 23 during a one-hour edition of Inside the NBA with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. from Mark Strotman via Comcast Sportsnet Chicago

PF. The Thunder have only lost 4 games this season (Clippers, Warriors, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers), and have one of the best records in the NBA thus far. The loss to the Los Angeles Clippers may have, at least in part, stemmed from the ejection of Serge Ibaka for a tiff he got into with Blake Griffin. Matt Barnes (who might be David Stern’s Hep-A project) has apologized on twitter to his teammates, the Clippers organization, friends, family, and most importantly to us, Serge Ibaka. Also, if you missed his angry tweet after getting ejected, it’s in this article, and is hilarious and schoking at the same time.

NBA player Matt Barnes Ibaka altercation was caught on video, which you can watch below. This left both Clippers forward Matt Barnes and Thunder forward Serge Ibaka being ejected for their altercation during the L.A 111-103 victory at the Staples Center on Wednesday last week. via Online Social Media

C. I was able to link a few of these last season. Three fans hit the halfcourt shot last season, earning them $20,000 from MidFirst Bank. Shameless plug, MidFirst Bank is an official partner of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and you can score a sweet, official, OKC Thunder check-card or credit card (I switched to MidFirst for this reason). This season, two fans have already drained the shot for their oversized check. The Chesapeake Energy Arena, where magic happens.

The NBA hardwood might be the dominion of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and other super humans, but for a brief moment each game, mere mortals are allowed to take a shot. And every time a fan toes that line at The Peake, you expect it go in. That’s the kind of hot streak Oklahoma City fans have been on.

In the last 28 home games — dating back to the first of the shots made last spring — Thunder fans are shooting 17.9 percent from half court. from Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman

The Sixth Man. Derrick Rose won’t play, so there’s a bonus. But you control who gets on the court in this season’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. Don’t want to see Kobe struggle with the reality that he’s too old? Want to make sure Serge gets the respect he deserves? Think Blake Griffin has become a flopping, whiny, little diva since he left the Sooner State? You have the power. Vote every day. There are only 36 days left. VOTE HERE!

Well friends, until Wednesday… Check me out on twitter, @ThunderTie, in the meantime. Thunder Up!



In the spring of 2011, right as the Thunder were locked in a tough Western Conference Finals battle with the Dallas Mavericks, a silk tie was hand woven in a small mom and pop tie shop in western Italy. A "congratulations on making the Conference Finals" gift from Sam Presti to Coach made what I do possible. And the legend continues... 2014