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Oklahoma City Thunder VIDEOS

April 2, 2015 Updates
April 1, 2015 Updates

Westbrook squeezes himself into a third-grade chair at Eugene Field Elementary School and reflects on the hotly contested race for the trophy he has eyed since training camp. “It’s been one of my main goals all season,” he says. “I want it.” There are more predicable candidates, but he continues undaunted in his pursuit of the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. He may have a better shot at MVP, but before rejecting his Kennedy candidacy based on postgame interviews Marshawn Lynch would find chilly, consider that Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation has created reading rooms at three Oklahoma City elementary schools this season and launched a reading challenge in which students from 78 local schools compete to read for the most minutes. Sports Illustrated

Kevin Durant made some of his strongest comments yet about his future free agency, going as far to say he wants to have his jersey retired in Oklahoma City. "I love it here, man. I love my teammates, I love the city, I don't really think about anywhere else," Durant told Revolt TV in a recent interview. "I hear it all the time, don't get me wrong, and once you hear it you're kind of like [looks up, thinking]. But for me, I love staying in the moment, and I'm one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career. ESPN.com

Several teams — including the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets — have already set up their salary structure to make a run at Durant next summer, when the league will be overwhelmed by significant increase in the cap. And Durant has been constantly pestered by fans, reporters and even associates about his future plans. “I hear it all the time, don’t get me wrong, and once you hear it you’re kind of like,” Durant said, looking up and thinking. “But for me, I love staying in the moment, and I’m one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career.” Washington Post

“We give these people hope here, because when you think of Oklahoma City before us, it was the Oklahoma City bombing, natural disaster,” Durant said. “If we ever win a championship, I feel we’ll be heroes. I feel like we’d resurrected a city that was down and that felt like nobody cared about them. It’s beautiful because they don’t take us for granted… I got confidence because our fans are going to back us and I’m never going to take that for granted.” Washington Post

But if you ask Scott Brooks, or any teammate, the raw numbers don't tell the story. The development that draws the raves is his leap in maturity and leadership, stepping out of the shadows as a brooding loner whose competitive spirit sometimes got the best of him. Maybe it's because of a humbling 2013 in which the previously indestructible Westbrook went through three knee surgeries, missing the postseason and then 36 games the following season. Or maybe it's just natural maturation. ESPN.com

March 31, 2015 Updates

On the final day of transfers, Kanter moved from his former team, the Utah Jazz, to his new team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. “One of the things I first noticed about OKC Thunder is its professionalism. It is a sense of professionalism that encompasses everything, from the way the team is led to the way the system in general runs,” he said. “You could say I have really found a very comfortable atmosphere here. This team also really has a more successful cadre than what we had on the Jazz. It is a situation that not only makes playing more satisfying, but also allows you to think about building a more successful career. Of course, what we have before us on the horizon is the target of a NBA championship. I don't know if that will happen this year. We have a team that has the potential to do this. Let's just say ‘Inşallah'.” Today's Zaman

“What's more, no one should think, ‘Ah, that Enes Kanter, he's just pursuing fame and fortune, not even one part of his mind is on Turkey these days.' In one sense they are right as Turkey does not lie in just one corner of my mind but right in the middle of my heart. I want everyone out there to know that I am doing my best to see that our flag becomes one which is respected no matter where you go in the world,” he said. “Maybe this was a very long answer, but the topic really bothers me, which is why I wanted to express this all one more time. Let all the basketball lovers reading this know that this year and in future years when I am playing, I will definitely be suiting up in our national team uniform. With pride.” Today's Zaman

March 30, 2015 Updates
March 29, 2015 Updates

Kanter appeared to be walking away from the media earlier at the team’s shootaround, before being corralled by someone from the Thunder staff, just outside the locker room. Then he basically dissed the Jazz and its organization. “The difference is I like playing basketball there, that’s the most important thing,’’ he said. “I never liked playing basketball before in my NBA career. That’s the first time I felt like playing basketball for my team, for the fans, for my teammates, for coaches — everybody.’’ Deseret News

“Almost everything was a frustration,’’ he said. “It wasn’t just a one or two-game frustration it was a three-and-a-half-year frustration.‘’ “It wasn’t just basketball stuff,’’ he continued. “It was (the) professionalism. After seeing OKC, I was like ‘This is how NBA teams are.’ It was like you’re in a dream and you don’t want to open your eyes you don’t want to end that dream. Oklahoma City has been like that for me.’’ Deseret News

Kanter wasn’t totally negative in his comments, saying he still “respects” the coaches and players in Utah, that he still has some friends here and that “I’m really happy for both sides,’’ after the trade. But he didn’t shy away from saying how much better things are for him in Oklahoma City. “I love it,’’ he said. “It’s something I never experienced before and I actually love playing basketball there and am so comfortable. Everything — the fans, the coaches the team . . . it is amazing. Everything fell into place and I never felt anything like that before. It’s just so different.’’ Deseret News

 

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