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Oklahoma City Thunder VIDEOS

January 21, 2015 Updates

On the surface, the Washington Wizards’ decision to replace Ryan Saunders with David Adkins as player development assistant in July was unusual. Very rarely have coaches executed the leap from women’s college basketball to the NBA like Adkins did after five seasons on Brenda Frese’s staff at Maryland. The remarkable career progression, however, became an afterthought upon a perusal of Adkins’s coaching résumé: He was an assistant coach at Montrose Christian from 1999 to 2006, when Kevin Durant came through the Rockville private school. Durant, the reigning NBA most valuable player, is scheduled to be a free agent in 2016 when his contract with Oklahoma City expires and hasn’t rejected the possibility of returning to play for his hometown team. Washington Post

Wizards guard Bradley Beal admitted that he had “no idea” who Adkins was before the two met at the Las Vegas summer league in July, but Beal and swingman Martell Webster both credited Adkins for challenging yet enjoyable rehabilitation sessions that closely resembled game-like situations as they recovered from injuries to start the season. “He definitely pushes you to the max, man,” Beal said. “He wants the best for you, and he’s going to push you until your tongue is hanging dry. He’ll do whatever it takes to get you better.” Washington Post

Ernie Johnson had a bit of fun with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook on Tuesday night. After the Oklahoma City player answered reporters with simple sentences about "execution" a few days ago, Johnson decided to return the favor during an interview on NBATV. "Another really quick thing here, Russ," said Johnson. "How was the execution tonight?" The question resulted in laughs from both Westbrook and the rest of the NBATV crew. Sporting News

January 19, 2015 Updates

Jackson's name was initially included in the early reports of the three-team Waiters deal, supposedly going to New York. Those reports were false. But there's still a month before the trade deadline. "Just taking it in stride, figuring it out," Jackson said. "There's been a lot of speculation. I'm not sure what's going to happen, if anything happens. I'm not going to worry about it. Just make the most of my opportunity. I think that's what we're all trying to do, trying to find a way to grow stronger and grow better as a team. This playoff push all the time in this conference is very difficult." NBA.com

I asked Durant if he felt any need to reach out to Jackson and keep his spirits up. "We're all professionals here, man," Durant said. "We know the nature of this game. We're not here to ... this not day care. We're not babying anybody here. We all know that Reggie's such a good professional. He knows how to come to work every single day. He knows that him and Dion are going to have to play together. And Dion knows that. So we're not spending any of our energy on that type of stuff." NBA.com

"It's totally different, the environment," Waiters said. "Everything is great. The players have been welcoming from day one, and Russ and KD have been the best for me, especially. They're the first guys in the gym every day, two hours before practice. And my first week there, I tried to beat them every day. I think it's good for me, especially from a work ethic point of view. I think it's great. I never really had that. I always worked hard, but it's about working hard every day, doing the same thing. That's what it's about. And me seeing that with those guys, I couldn't believe that." NBA.com

"My ultimate goal is always to win a championship ... (but) whatever is the next move is the next move," Jackson told USA TODAY Sports. "I'm just going to be here and be the best player I can be, day in and day out. When I go on the court I hope it shows. I want to compete at the highest level, always trying to get better. But if you have to move, it is what it is. USA Today Sports

January 18, 2015 Updates

The original deal would have sent Stephenson to Brooklyn, Nets center Brook Lopez to the Oklahoma City Thunder and various Nets and Thunder players – possibly point guard Jarrett Jack and shooting guard Jeremy Lamb – to the Hornets. A knowledgeable source told the Observer Friday morning that the deal was dormant, if not dead. The Nets pulled away from negotiations and are now exploring other options to move Lopez’s contract. Charlotte Observer

January 17, 2015 Updates

Westbrook has apparently grown tired of the media and adopted the Marshawn Lynch plan of interview attack, answering each question basically the same way, regardless of what it was or who it came from. It started after he was ejected against the Suns a few weeks back. As he was prodded about the circumstances surrounding his two technicals, Westbrook continually said “It was a good win for us.” Oklahoman

Alex Kennedy: When Russell Westbrook was much younger, I tried to do a one-on-one interview with him on the road. Awful idea. I got all one-word answers. I don't blame players for not wanting to do some interviews. They have bad days and are people too. But being a jerk 24/7? That bothers me. Twitter @AlexKennedyNBA

 

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