HoopsHype Oklahoma City rumors

April 19, 2014 Updates

“Everyone in the league knows about her,” said Caron Butler, a 12-year N.B.A. veteran who stayed at the Skirvin many times before he joined the Thunder this season. “Hopefully, she’ll haunt all the teams that come for the playoffs.” The legend holds that Effie was a housekeeper during the early years of the Skirvin, a luxury downtown hotel, before its 10 brick floors were expanded to 14 in 1930. W. B. Skirvin, the hotel’s widowed owner, supposedly had an affair with Effie and, when she became pregnant, ordered her to stay locked inside a room on an upper floor, even after she had the baby. At some point, the story goes, Effie went crazy, grabbed the baby and jumped, killing herself and the child. New York Times

Large men unafraid of attacking the lane, diving headfirst into the seats or lobbing pressure-packed shots shudder at the mere thought of Effie. More important, perhaps, they lie awake the night before a game, their prescribed rest undone by phantom pains. Is it any wonder that the Thunder had the league’s second-best home record? In the past few seasons, the Knicks blamed creaks and groans for a sleepless night before a loss. A Bulls player could not explain why his bathroom door slammed shut. A member of the Phoenix Suns woke to find his bathtub filled with water. New York Times

“I don’t think Effie exists,” said Steve Lackmeyer, a reporter for the newspaper The Oklahoman who co-wrote a book, “Skirvin,” about the hotel’s colorful history. That past includes the mysterious death of its first general manager, but years of research have found no record of a housekeeper named Effie, or of any housekeeper who leapt to her death, with or without a baby. “If you had a maid suffer a bloody ending, it would not have been kept quiet,” Lackmeyer said. “This was a small town.” New York Times

His teammate Eddy Curry said he slept just two hours one night. He was the only player assigned to the supposedly spooky 10th floor, and he spent most of his time in Nate Robinson’s room, afraid to be alone. “I definitely believe there are ghosts in that hotel,” Curry told The Daily News, which illustrated its article with a photograph not of the Skirvin but of the Bates Motel. New York Times

Weeks later, Chicago’s Taj Gibson said that his bathroom door at the Skirvin had slammed in the middle of the night for no reason. His teammate Derrick Rose was among the Bulls who heard strange bangs and bumps and became a believer. “It was scary last night,” Rose said. New York Times

Employees know all about the legend, though, greeting inquiries with a smile. (The hotel is known for its service, after all.) Some laugh it off as nothing but a story; others insist it is true. One banquet worker said she sometimes heard a crying baby, mostly in the basement or on the 10th and 14th floors. It is not scary, she said, because it is something she only hears, not sees. New York Times

March 24, 2014 Updates

Because however low the conversion percentage is for individuals, it’s still better than the alternative for their teams. This season alone, 51 points have resulted from halfcourt prayers. “A shot not taken is a field goal missed,” Caron Butler said. Oklahoman

February 20, 2014 Updates

While the Los Angeles Clippers and Knicks were known to be discussing a deal involving Shumpert, the Oklahoma City Thunder were also reported to be interested. According to a person with knowledge of the Thunder's situation, though, Shumpert is not expected to be dealt their way in these final minutes. USA Today Sports

February 6, 2014 Updates
February 2, 2014 Updates

All around laughed, while waiting to see if the potential league MVP would provide an actual answer. He did, sort of. "I haven't given it any thought," Durant said. "Growing up here, taking the train to down to Gallery Place, Chinatown to come watch these games as a kid, I never really thought about coming home to play. I love Oklahoma City. I love coming here and visiting. Hopefully...we can get a win tonight. That's all I'm thinking about." CSNWashington.com

January 23, 2014 Updates

Durant had 36 points to offset Tony Parker's season-high 37, and Oklahoma City survived a testy 111-105 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, their third win this season over the defending Western Conference champions. Durant is averaging 38.1 points in his last 11 games, helping the Thunder reclaim the Western Conference's record with a five-game winning streak and an 8-3 mark. "Kevin did his thing down the stretch, it was pretty remarkable," San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. USA Today Sports

Late in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 111-105 Wednesday win over the San Antonio Spurs, play was stopped for an extended period of time while officials reviewed video on a jump ball that featured some players getting tangled up. It was one of the most pointless video reviews you’ll ever see, but the mass of flying bodies did include this magical moment from Derek Fisher and a referee: For The Win

Kawhi Leonard is out for the remainder of tonight’s home game against Oklahoma City and beyond with a non-displaced fracture of his right fourth metacarpal, the Spurs announced. A timeline for his return has yet to be determined. Teammate Danny Green was recently sidelined for approximately four weeks with a non-displaced fracture of his second left metacarpal. San Antonio Express-News

December 14, 2013 Updates

Aldridge on the commercial with Lopez: “That was fun. First of all, he’s the worst singer I’ve ever been around.” Aldridge made fun of Damian Lillard’s singing in the locker room last week after their win against Oklahoma City and he said that Lopez indeed takes the cake. “He can’t get rhythms. We were trying to get him to do the part that I did and he couldn’t do it,” Aldridge said with a chuckle. The Columbian

November 13, 2013 Updates

Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins has returned to Texas because of the passing of his grandfather and will miss the Thunder's next two games, league sources told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. Perkins won't play against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center, nor against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in Oakland, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

October 22, 2013 Updates

Who do you want taking the final shot with the game on the line? General Managers around the NBA say Kevin Durant. For many years that question was one Kobe Bryant owned in the annual NBA.com GM survey, but for the second straight GMs picked the scoring machine out of Oklahoma City over him. This year 39.3 percent of GMs went with Durant, 32.1 percent with Kobe, while Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James each got 7.1 percent of the vote. NBCSports.com

October 10, 2013 Updates

The Oklahoma City Thunder waived center Daniel Orton, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Orton appeared in 13 games with the Thunder during the 2012-13 season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 8.0 minutes per contest. NBA.com

October 3, 2013 Updates

Kobe Bryant has the third-most popular selling NBA jersey worldwide, according to the league. Based on global sales from Adidas, LeBron James of the Miami Heat topped the list for the first time in his career. Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls placed second. The Lakers star finished ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, who was followed by Miami's Dwyane Wade at No. 5 and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks at No. 6. Los Angeles Times

August 13, 2013 Updates

The saying goes “One can judge a man by the company he keep.” That gem of a quote is credited to Euripides, 480 B.C. Yet, it could just as easily apply to Oklahoma City Thunder chairman Clay Bennett. Since bringing an NBA franchise to his home state, the Oklahoma City native has stayed pretty much in the shadows, letting general manager Sam Presti be the public face of the organization. However, the business mogul and civic leader gave Oklahomans a rare glimpse into his personal life when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. What stood out to them most about his induction was who he chose to present him. He went with NBA legend Bill Russell. Bennett didn’t choose the Hall of Fame center just to show off. He did it for the simplest of reasons. Russell is a friend. “I have had a very nice relationship with Bill,” Bennett said. “I thought it might be fun to bring him to Oklahoma. And let others hear and enjoy him as I have. He was very gracious to accept. I am honored he would be here.” Tahlequah Daily Press

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