okc-thunder
Metta World Peace Suspended 7 games for Elbowing James Harden
Wednesday , Apr , 25 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Metta World Peace Suspended 7 games for Elbowing James Harden

The Lakers’ Metta World Peace has been suspended for seven games without pay for striking the Thunder’s James Harden in the head with his elbow, the NBA announced today. [...] “The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”

The suspension will begin with the Lakers’ next game at Sacramento on April 26. The remaining games of the suspension will be served over the next six games in which the player is eligible and physically able to play, including this season’s playoffs.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Justice wasn’t merciful.



Today, the NBA dropped the hammer on Metta World Peace by suspending the Los Angeles Lakers forward seven games for his lethal elbow to the head of Oklahoma City Thunder swing James Harden.

Harden is listed as day-to-day with a concussion and could return tomorrow or miss several months. There’s no set timetable for such an injury.

Peace, to his credit, immediately apologized to Harden and the Thunder, but tried to say the incident was an ‘unintentional’ outpouring of emotion after a dunk.

Say what?

The NBA, specifically Vice President Stu Jackson, deserves criticism for past rulings -just ask Phoenix Suns fans about the bitter taste from the Amar’e Stoudemire suspension so many years ago. This, however, is not one of them.

Peace’s elbow, intentional or not, has taken out the Thunder’s third best player and designated game-changer off the bench. Their chances at a championship aren’t the same.

The only fair punishment is to have Peace sit for a lengthy period. One or two games wouldn’t be 'stern' enough, especially if Peace returned to the court while Harden recovered.

So the NBA got this one right. Sadly, two of the league’s top teams, the Lakers and Thunder, won’t be at their best when the playoffs begin.

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Tuesday , Apr , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest: ‘I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden’

“On that play, I just dunked on Durant and Ibaka, and I got really emotional, really excited. And it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with the unintentional elbow. I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year. So I really hope he’s OK, and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. Such a great game, and it was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Metta World Peace’s elbow to the dome of James Harden has caught the attention of the suits at NBA head office and will surely result in a forced vacation and/or fine.

But the rapper, philosopher, and part time comedian’s poor judgement should alarm the Staples Center faithful. After all, the old Ron Artest -- the troubled and emotional forward for the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Houston Rockets -- got flagrant foul twos.

The Lakers supposedly got a mellow, friendlier Artest, albeit a less productive one on-court. For the most part, Metta World Peace has been like Barney when compared to the dude who rushed the stands and started the Malice N’ the Palace at Detroit.

That’s why his elbow was so surprising. It was unprovoked. It was intentional -regardless of what he says. And it could have been the difference between the Lakers winning and losing against the Thunder in what will surely be a playoff preview.

Recent reports indicate that Harden has a concussion. And Metta World Peace, to his credit, apologized.

Bottom line: the purple-and-gold aren’t as deep as the squads that captured back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. They can’t win with Metta World Peace on the sideline for any amount of time, so these sorts of slip-ups can’t happen.

Hopefully, it was a one-off. And Metta World Peace doesn’t turn back the clock again and become the old Ron Artest.

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Wednesday , Mar , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Fisher to sign with Thunder?

Derek Fisher is in advanced negotiations with the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Western Conference leaders after clearing waivers, according to sources close to the situation. Fisher is scheduled to clear waivers at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday. One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com that Fisher is "very close" to committing to sign with the Thunder once he becomes a free agent.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can we chalk one up for small markets?

It appears the Oklahoma City Thunder have beat the Miami Heat for Derek Fisher’s services, signing the table-setter for the remainder of the season and playoffs.

Fisher was recently bought-out by the Houston Rockets, who acquired the five-time champion at the trade deadline from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Apparently, the veteran favours the Thunder because it would allow him to stay in the Western Conference, where he has played his entire 16-year career.

This development is surprising. Remember, Fisher forged a relationship with superstar LeBron James and the Heat when he looked at signing with Miami as a free agent in July of 2010.  

Expect Fisher to back-up and play next to All-Star Russell Westbrook. He’s expected to sign with the Thunder Wednesday evening after clearing waivers. 

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Monday , Mar , 19 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat have edge over Bulls, Thunder in Derek Fisher sweepstakes?

Fisher is said to be strongly interested in joining the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat, according to one source close to the situation. The San Antonio Spurs, sources told Stein, have not yet ruled out pursuing Fisher because their planned signing of former Portland Trail Blazers guard Patty Mills has been held up by the fact that Portland has not yet renounced rights to Mills.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can a 38-year old guard averaging less than six points per game be the difference between winning and losing an NBA championship?

Well, the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and Oklahoma City Thunder think so. All are chasing Derek Fisher, an unrestricted free agent after receiving a buy-out courtesy of the Houston Rockets.

Fisher, of course, won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers before getting dealt to Houston at the trade deadline.

Chicago, Miami, and Oklahoma City want Fisher to play limited minutes and serve as a mentor in the locker room.

Miami, perhaps, has a slight edge over Chicago and Oklahoma City. Remember, the Heat nearly signed the veteran two summers ago before he re-upped with the then defending world champion Lakers.

Fisher won’t forget that James, the game’s greatest star, met him at Miami's airport and tried to convince him to migrate east to South Beach.

And perhaps James’ lobbying will pay dividends this time around.

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Sunday , Mar , 11 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Thunder won’t trade Harden and Ibaka for Howard?

Oklahoma City is not in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Not giving up Harden/Ibaka. Not happening.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why break up a good thing?

The Oklahoma City Thunder were wise to kybosh the Orlando Magic’s offer of Dwight Howard for James Harden and Serge Ibaka.

After all, Harden and Ibaka are key components of a young Thunder squad that currently has the NBA`s best record and seem poised for greatness.

There’s no point in breaking up their core for the temperamental Howard, who has little interest in re-signing with small market Oklahoma City.

Howard wants a major market to maximize marketing opportunities. Like Los Angeles. Like New York. Maybe Dallas -if he can partner with Deron Williams.

Oklahoma City, even though their building an incredible legacy, isn’t right for Howard.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Mar , 10 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Ibaka, Durant with blocks, Westbrook, Harden combine on fast-break

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Long and athletic. This is why the Oklahoma City Thunder are championship contenders.

Consider a sequence against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Thunder had three consecutive blocks and quickly moved from defense to offense for a fast break basket.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below. 

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Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Josh Smith’s epic facial on Serge Ibaka

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Josh Smith gave Serge Ibaka, who is known for poster-jobbing opponents, a taste of his own medicine during Saturday's Hawks-Thunder clash.

Smith crammed an epic facial on the Thunder big, energizing the Atlanta crowd and teammate Zaza Pachulia. Check it out …

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Friday , Dec , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron, Durant do the Flag Football thing

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Heat GM Pat Riley and Thunder GM Sam Presti must have had heart attacks while watching LeBron James and Kevin Durant’s flag football teams go at it.

Luckily, the two NBA superstars, who earn tens of millions of dollars to play pro basketball, didn’t get hurt.

And LeBron returned interception for a touchdown. His celebration dance wasn’t half bad either.

Click the link, watch the video, and come back to HoopsVibe News with thoughts and comments.


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Tuesday , Oct , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Durant drops 50 in Goodman League

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kevin Durant scored 50 points last weekend in Los Angeles.

Sadly, such a performance didn't help his Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Los Angeles Lakers because the NBA is locked-out. Instead it came in an exhibition match for the Goodman League.

Watch the video below, remember what are missing because of the lockout, and hope the powers that be find an answer. 

--O.Sandor 

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Sunday , Sep , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant: There’s no beef with Russell Westbrook

That’s going to happen. But I support him 100 percent. Of course, I hated when people were saying the stuff they were saying, and he hated it as well. I didn’t want it to get to his head. I hate when people try to creep into the group and try to break things up.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’re good.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant wants everybody to know there’s no beef between him and point guard Russell Westbrook.

In fact, Durant likes Westbrook as a player and person. Any friction was nothing more than teammates holding each other accountable.

Fair enough. Credit Durant for showing maturity and attempting to douse out any fires before they burn in Oklahoma City.

Here’s the problem: Thunder coach Scott Brooks has real concerns with Westbrook’s shot-first mentality, and left him on the bench for key stretches of the 2011 playoffs.

Brooks wants Westbrook to stop acting like he’s the first-option and to facilitate for others like a classic table-setter. The team knows this. They have to.

And what happens if Westbrook, a headstrong and confident player, ignores Brooks’ advice and continues looking for his shot instead of creating for Durant and others?

Then there may be a problem.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Perkins and Westbrook got beef?

After arriving from the Celtics last season and being looked at as the veteran leader Oklahoma City needed to take the next step to compete for a title, Perkins went hard at Westbrook with his verbal criticisms, often saying that the Thunder's playmaker couldn't match Rajon Rondo as a playmaker. Those words didn't sit well with Westbrook, who already had been criticized for shooting too much and was the subject of a benching heard-round-the-NBA when the Thunder played the Mavs in June.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chemistry matters. It can be the difference between a team competing and attending the Draft Lottery.

Such an intangible takes years to develop. So it’s surprising to hear that post Kendrick Perkins criticized point guard Russell Westbrook by comparing him to Rajon Rondo.

Perkins, who has acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder at the trade deadline, understands the importance of chemistry from his days with the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics were a nice balance of talent and chemistry, especially on the defensive end where their rotations and help were a thing of beauty.

However, Perkins and Rondo are best friends. And the blue-collar point post is known, and even respected for his temper, outbursts, and intensity.

Whatever the case, this will be another thing the young Thunder address when the season begins.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Blake Griffin open to joining Thunder in 2014?

“We’ll see what happens,” Griffin said. “Right now my commitment is to the Clippers, and we’re working on making that team better. I know the Thunder are doing a great job here and everybody’s excited about them.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It sounds good. Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

And Griffin seemed open to signing with the Thunder when asked what he'll do when he becomes a restricted free agent in 2014.

This isn't just speculation; the dots do connect. 

First, the Thunder has a top player in Durant. Second, the Thunder is well-run -unlike Griffin’s current team, the Clippers. And finally, Griffin went to college in Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma City is one of the NBA’s smallest markets with few opportunities for marketing and branding. Los Angeles, even if Griffin is with the Clippers, is a massive market, which attracts sponsors.

So signing with the Thunder would be good for Griffin's NBA career, while staying with the Clippers would be good for his wallet.

Bottom line: rumors of Griffin’s departure will continue unless the NBA puts a franchise tag or other clauses in the new collective bargaining agreement. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Delonte West working at Home Depot during lockout?

It's official.. Pride 2 the side.. just filled out a application at Home Depot.. Lockout aint a game..

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: There's nothing wrong with working at the Home Depot, however, there's something wrong with Delonte West having to work at the big box reno' shop because of the lockout.

West is an active NBA player, and has earned $15 million plying his trade as a combo guard for the Boston Celtics, Seattle Super Sonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder), and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yet, West is (supposedly) broke because owners have shut the door on the players. So he's applying for a gig at The Dep'.

If true, this is unexcusable. West should have set money aside for the labour strife, which everyone could see on the horizon. 

Somebody should be looking after West's interests. Like his agent. Or the Players' Union. Remember, West has his issues.

Speaking of the union, West's situation isn't good for negotiations. If other players are living cheque-to-cheque, they may have to settle sooner than they'd like.

There's nothing wrong with working at Home Depot -unless you're West and the Players' Union, and are in the middle of a lockout!

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins claims ‘innocence’ in nightclub brawl

In a press released obtained by 12 News HD, Beaumont attorney Langston Scott Adams says, quote "Mr. Perkins has maintained his innocence to the charges and is recovering at home with family suffering from injuries he received during the incident."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, every story has two sides, I guess.

Kendrick Perkins claims he was an innocent bystander and sustained injuries during a brawl at a nightclub in Beaumont, Texas, and in no way instigated the incident.

Perhaps the Oklahoma City Thunder center is innocent. Perhaps not.

Regardless, nothing good happens at 3 am. As a professional, as someone who claims to be serious about his craft, Perkins can’t be out all hours of the night.

Especially when considering Perkins had a charitable event the next day, an event he organized with children and teenagers where he was hoping to present himself and other NBA stars as models to follow.

Sorry Perk’. Innocent or not, you’re guilty of bad judgment.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can Thunder and NBA punish Kendrick Perkins for drunken, Fight Club antics?

EARLIER SATURDAY-KFDM has confirmed that NBA star Kendrick Perkins was booked and released early Saturday morning into the Jefferson County jail around 4:00a.m. on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct. The charges are a class C misdemeanor. Per Texas penal code 12.23, an individual guilty of a class C misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500. Perkins posted bond of $150 shortly after being booked and was released.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps he’s secretly a member of Fight Club (but he won‘t talk about it). Perhaps he just saw Patrick Swayze’s cult classic Roadhouse. Perhaps he’s practicing for an upcoming MMA bout with Shaq.

The truth: the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins was arrested for being drunk, belligerent, and causing a scene/brawl at a club in Beaumont, Texas.

Worst of all, Perkins had to cancel today’s charitable event in Beaumont -which he organized and was to feature fellow stars like Kevin Durant, Stephen Jackson, and Rajon Rondo.
 
Way to go Perk'!
 
The Thunder can’t be impressed. These incidents are never good, but are especially damaging when the player represents a small market like Oklahoma City.

What can be done? The team and league have no power to disciplin during the lockout. And the Thunder just signed Perkins to a 4-year, $32 million extension this spring.

Perkins will take a hit in the media. That, however, seems to be it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Would Durant to Besiktas change Clay Bennett’s hardline on lockout?

Agent Aaron Goodwin told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that he has met with officials from Turkish club Besiktas and has likewise begun exploring opportunities for Durant in Spain and Russia.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Slide over George Costanza. This is ‘The Summer of Kevin’.

Clearly, Kevin Durant is making the most of his time away from his day-gig with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A typical summer would see Durant train under the eye of OKC officials. This, however, has not been a typical summer because NBA players are locked-out.

The scoring champ’ has been free to live a Costanza inspired life of pick-up runs and you tube clips (all that’s missing is taking a bite of a hunk of cheese.)

The good press has made Durant the star of the lockout, which contributed to Besiktas floating him an offer to suit up for the Turkish club.

Here’s the question: how does Clay Bennett - the shrewd businessman and owner of the Thunder - feel about Durant heading abroad and generating revenue for another owner?

Bennett is one of the hardline owners who will sit the entire season to attain a hard cap and 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income.

Durant assuming wear-and-tear and risking injury in a second-rate league in Europe may frustrate Bennett enough to change his perspective. 

It’s one thing if his prize asset, Durant, is state-side. It’s another if he’s generating millions of dollars for another league.

Hopefully, Durant joining a foreign club pushes Bennett off his stance. Then ‘The Summer of Kevin’ would have been a success.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo: Celtics ‘affected’ by Kendrick Perkins trade

“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something,” Rondo said. “I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For all intensive purposes, it ended the Boston Celtics’ season.

Last February, Celtics executive Danny Ainge sent center Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green.

In theory, it made sense. Perkins was coming off a nasty knee injury. He wanted a multi-year, big-ticket contract. And Green, a talented player, would be around long after The Big Three retired.
 
The reality was different, though. Perkins, even when injured, formed a large part of the Celtics’ identity as a tough, defensive-minded club.

And Perk’ did the little things: he banged, he glared, he rebounded, he blocked shots, he sometimes delivered cheap-shots, and he intimidated. In short, he did what an aging Kevin Garnett is no longer capable of.

So it didn’t matter who Ainge was getting back. And it didn’t matter that the O’Neals, Jermaine and Shaquille, never got healthy.

Boston had lost their identity, their way. It was plying the middle for an upstart Oklahoma City club.

Ainge can do his part by acquiring a body to plug-the-hole down-low. The current crop of Celtics need to forget Perk' -if they want one final run at a championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jul , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtics interested in Kurt Thomas?

Every team could use an enforcer and, in that category, there's no better free agent available than Thomas. As with every veteran free agent, Boston will use its championship potential as its best pitch.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: They need a post. He needs a championship. So the Boston Celtics and Kurt Thomas seem a fit.

In February, the Celtics traded starting center Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green. The green-and-white clearly missed Perkins' toughness, defense, and rebounding.

Nenad Krstic, who was included in the Perkins-for-Green deal, recently signed a long-term deal in Europe, while Glen 'Big Baby' Davis, when not fishing for lobsters, seems determined to leave when the lockout ends.

The Celtics have a hole down low. Thomas, a cross between Perkins and Davis, might be the answer.

Like Perkins, Thomas has presence. His shoulders are wide. His elbows are razor sharp. And his screens are lethal.

Like Davis, Thomas has skill. As a senior, he led the NCAA in scoring and rebounding. And he has a jump-shot, especially off pick-and-pops.

Then there's Thomas' demeanour. He's always professional, but has no problem calling out a teammate in the wrong –like Stephon Marbury.

The only downside is age. Thomas is 39, so the veteran-laden Celtics wouldn't get younger or more athletic.

Everything else works. Perhaps the Celtics and Thomas join forces for one last run at a championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jun , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook?

Demps laughed at Internet speculation there has been trade talks between the Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder regarding point guards Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

“(Thunder GM) Sam Presti and I, our offices used to be right next to each other, so we still text each other all the time, and I can assure you that has not been a conversation we’ve had,” Demps said, cracking a smile as he spoke to reporters.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Losing players in free agency leads to speculation. Losing games also leads to speculation.

It`s no surprise there was speculation that the New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder were considering swapping Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook.

Paul can opt-out of his contract next summer. He can leave New Orleans as a free agent. The Hornets will get nothing back. 

Meanwhile, Westbrook, fair or not, became the scapegoat for the Thunder losing the Western Conference Finals to the Mavericks.

Critics felt he was trying to get his offense at the expense of teammates. And critics felt his score-first mentality will make it difficult for the Thunder to take the next step.

A trade makes sense for both parties, right?  Well, wrong.

Hornets GM Dell Demps denied ever having a conversation about swapping point guards with Thunder GM Sam Presti.

It`s a no to the inquiring public. The real, unofficial story could be different.

Demps and Presti came up together with the San Antonio Spurs. They were tight. And still are. Demps admitted they text each other all the time.

Know this: NBA executives are no different than you or I. They do business with executives they trust and like.

For instance, Kevin McHale, when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves, wrapped Kevin Garnett in a bow and gave him to former teammate and friend Danny Ainge, who was and still is boss of the Boston Celtics.

For instance, Jerry West played a part in Pau Gasol leaving Memphis for Los Angeles. West was once the front office Tsar for both the Grizzlies and Lakers.

If Paul for Westbrook happens, it will be because of the relationship between Demps and Presti.

After all, what's a swap of All-Star table-setters between friends?

--Oly Sandor.

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