Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PJ lives where now?

Greatest PJC pic ever by Garbage Time All-Stars (via BDL)

The Seattle PI recently spoke with Thunder legend/scapegoat/punchline PJ Carlesimo and curiously, he now lives in Seattle again.

That's weird. I guess I just assumed he would continue living in OKC and spend his time collecting canned goods for food banks. I mean, he did say moving to OKC was the “best thing to ever happen” to the Sonics, so I’m a bit perplexed over here. He also said Oklahoma City is “infinitely better geographically” than Seattle. I know that because Darnell Mayberry devoted an entire article to that quote.

Hey, great point PJ and the Oklahoman. Being relatively closer to certain NBA cities is a major credit to Oklahoma City. “OKC, we’re closer to the east coast than half of America”. We don’t have the jet lag and we save money on gas. Maybe we should just put all NBA teams in the geographic center of the country, or better yet in Oklahoma itself. ZERO JET LAG. Why don't they do this already? Say, for example, you like visiting both New York and Los Angeles. Where should you live? Nebraska.

Although on second thought this is the kind of thought process that might get you browbeaten by David Stern for being "such an American":

Ugh, Americans are the worst. I mean....I applaud your vision, taxpayers!

But anyway, why PJ decided to go back to Seattle is anybody’s guess. It's hard to even find a place that's infinity-times worse than any other place. Now he's living in one? I just figured he would want his kids to grow up in a town that promotes family values and not a 19th century fur-trading outpost run by Windows Vista. Everyone knows Vista sucks. Maybe he had an Earl Watson-type club incident or something? Lotta folks round here don’t take kindly to the bearded. But that’s only because they think they’re better then everyone. God-damned beardos and their bearded agenda will be the death of this country. C'mon, it's not like you’re born bearded or anything, it’s a lifestyle choice. So, what the fuck? Sorry the whole thing just grosses me out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday's Musings: 12-29

OKC talk...
Nenad To the Rescue
All of us Boomer fans received a much needed Christmas miracle when the Thunder made one of the most significant moves since the Celtics acquired KG and Ray Allen. Signing the 7 foot Serbian gangster was so significant that Presti and Clay left nothing to chance. Instead of over-night mailing the offer sheet to the Nets, "They sent a guy on a plane to hand-deliver it," Rod Thorn explained, with some amusement. "I'm sure that's been done before, but I really can't think of another time. I guess they were in a hurry." I'm glad we're amusing you.

Not Your Avg. Joe
Yet another insightful report from your and my favorite sports writer, Darnell Mayberry, caught my eye this week. My diminutive colleague recently revealed, "What went untold is the impact the (trade) report had on Smith and his family." How true, how neglectful we are in the media to dehumanize these hardworking gangly court-warriors. Just think how devastating a move would be on Yolanda Smith. How would the family cope with a completely new city, home, etc? A move to a 12th team would be truly shocking. But DM is right, Joe Smith is a "hot commodity" because of his "veteran savvy and skills"....or maybe it's just his expiring contract.

24 Seconds or Less
Proving to be the Yin to Jerry Colangelo's Yang, mastermind Sam Presti is building a team of giants to eventually dominate the NBA. Instead of speed, skill, or athleticism, Presti is banking on height alone. As the gaudy Chris Wilcox observed, "Right now, we've got nine big men. ... Something has got to happen." Yeah, like draft another one.

Around the NBA...
The OG
Speaking of Serbian gangsters, Darko Milicic was recently sent back to the IR for a broken knuckle. As a teammate once observed, “I’m telling you, Darko is a Serbian gangster,” Rasheed Wallace said. “Darko’s got some bodies back there. He can go psycho on guys.” No report on the cause of the injury.

The Stern Way
The NBA Cares. David Stern cares. And to prove it the NBA boasts at least 89 stand-alone player charities. The Salt Lake Tribune found: "Only about 44 cents of every dollar raised actually reached needy causes. The average NBA player foundation put just 51 cents of each dollar it spent toward charitable programs, well below the 65 cents most philanthropic watchdog groups view as acceptable...Up to a quarter of NBA player charities analyzed lacked even basic documentation required by the Internal Revenue Service." Hmmmm...public financing, charitable tax write offs, and gambling referees -- David Stern's family is looking more and more like Tony Soprano's.

Mr. Monday is an irreverent wit and anonymous foe to those he deems fit. When he's not busy anointing hippies "leafy-green" or "hybrid-driving, carpooling, mountain-climbers", he splits his time between the oklahoman and BiLB to keep those outside the truth filter in check. To read his oklahoman archive, pay a visit to blog.newsok.com/mrmonday, or refer here to his newest home in the blogosphere for the wry and the whimsical.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The 2nd Worst Show on Earth

“It will enhance public perception of the entire state,” gushed Brad Henry, Oklahoma’s governor, when we spoke. “We’ll be on SportsCenter every night.” (NY Times)

Just another PR triumph for Oklahoma City's second favorite NBA team.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kid Delicious v.1's

The new KD's. Put some spring in your ill-advised men's league 22-footers or shutdown 6 year-old bday parties. Your call.

UPDATE: More perspective on KD 1.0's set to debut tonight. Marketing 101: No press is bad press:
  • Deadspin: "Finally... sweet Jesus, Kevin Durant. Do you design your shoes in the dark?"
  • FanHouse: "Kevin Durant Came Out With These Shoes, Ronald McDonald Immediately Pissed"
  • FanIQ: "Kevin Durant's Shoes Are A Complete Nightmare"
  • RealGM Wiretap Archives: "Durant's Nike Shoes A Ronald McDonald Disaster?"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Introducing your Springfield Excitement!

The Simpsons had an terrific episode last Sunday. Here's the plot: First, Mr. Burns acquires a professional basketball franchise (the Austin Celtics) from that billionaire cowboy and moves them to his hometown of Springfield. Soon after he decides the only way to bring in the fans is with a brand new arena at the taxpayer's expense. So far, awesome. Next, the noble townspeople hold a referendum on building this "decadent monument to excess". Behold as the liberal naysayer is crushed by the awesome power of #1 draft pick and dominant Ketchikan center, Mok Mu:

Kiss Cams? Draft picks?? This debate is over. Make way for the new home of the "Springfield Excitement"!

Almost as good as "Energy" (Darnell's choice) but not quite as powerful as "Thunder" if you ask me. Singular is in. And I dig the blue and orange jerseys. Here's the scene on opening night, which was no doubt the greatest night in Springfield history:

"Welcome to the American dream, a billionaire using public funds to construct a private playground for the rich and powerful!"

Doesn't look like they won, but that's cool. Everyone's just pumped to have a team. They've got an exciting young nucleus and a potential superstar in Mok Mu. Not to mention an energized fanbase with impressive bee-attendance figures nearing 500,000. Hopefully they can sustain it as the season progresses.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Guess who got named Oklahoman of the Year? (Updated)

This is how you sell merchandise

That's right, yours truly has been named the best person our state had to offer this year. No joke.
"No one came close to Clay Bennett as we set about selecting this year’s Oklahoman of the Year,” said Louisa McCune-Elmore, Oklahoma Today editor-in-chief. "His accomplishment presents an extraordinary moment in the life of Oklahoma, probably among the most important achievements in our capital city’s history.”
Yes, bringing the 2-24 shell of a basketball team to OKC at the expense of another region's fanbase, civic heritage and cultural identity is quite possibly the most important achievement in our city's history. That should fill us all with pride. They weren't "Real America" anyway. And it's good to know we have our priorities in line.

I'm also honored by Oklahoma Magazine's dedication to that most Christian ideal: "The end justifies the means". Who gives a shit how we got a team? We got one, didn't we? They're right there in the blinding rainbow uniforms getting their asses kicked. Who cares if we had to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, extort, and kiss ass to get it? Jesus would have done the same thing, because Jesus is major-league. Sure, our state ranks 47th in teacher salaries, but maybe they should have worked harder on their jumpshots in the off-season. Oklahoma media circles know that the people who truly need greater recognition are the uber-rich profiteers who feed at the public trough. They're the ones getting us all this national respect, at least according to the vague assumptions in my wife's newspaper. You're welcome, Oklahoma.

UPDATE: More national respect from Deadspin!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clippers Lower the Boom

And lower the Boomers to 2-24. With the Thunder's second home loss of the year to the lowly Clippers, Scotty Brooks is now 1-12 as head coach. That's the same record achieved by mentor PJ Carlesimo that led to his firing and the end of his illustrious NBA career. Does this mean Brooks is next on the chopping block? I have no idea, because I'm in way over my head.

It was cool to see Eric Gordon light us up, though. Presti decided to pass on him because Westbrook is more defensive-minded. So far that approach is working out great. The defense under Brooks, as "Thunderguru" shows, is "historically bad". Seems like it's a lot harder to build a San Antonio-style defensive power without Tim Duncan. Will Kevin Durant become the Duncan-esque lynchpin of a suffocating team-defense? I prefer not to think about it, because it only reminds me that I have no business owning a basketball team.

At least the Thunder faithful were once again out in force, with 18,275 in the stands. That's pretty good even though it once again wasn't a sellout. Wait, what? Oh, Mike Baldwin says there were actually only "around 16,000" on hand. I guess that's around 2,275 less good. And as far as I know is a new season low. Good thing they don't report actual attendance figures, am I right?? Lolz.

If it's any consolation, I've spoken with Big Stern and he's assured me we're getting the first pick in the draft. Suck it, bitches. Obviously we'll take hometown cross-dressing hero Blake Griffin and play him, where, center? So we can complete our undersized front-court of Griffin and Green? Or we could play him at his natural PF, moving Jeff Green to the bench? Or putting Durant back at the 2? I don't have the first clue. One thing is clear, and that is I have severely overestimated my ability to run a sports franchise.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


So...who's thinking about renewing season tickets? I'm sure everyone's still Thunder-psyched about what Nick Collison calls "the most miserable season I've ever been a part of." Many of you already know what a great bargain season tickets were at only 30% 36% above last season's prices in Seattle. I'm here to remind you that a real fan would renew. You're a real fan aren't you? Well, I guess that depends. Sure you could find tickets online for a fraction of the cost and could probably fish some out of any number of local dumpsters, but then you'd be a total pussy. You're not a pussy, right?

Let me tell you, you won't want to miss a second of the action. Who knows what you'll see on any given night? Take Wednesday night for example. On Wednesday, the Boom squad was coming off its worst loss of the year, which you probably know. A complete joke of a performance. So then the schedule throws us a softball and gives us a shot at Memphis at home, one of only two teams we've beaten this year. Memphis sucks. Now, you might think that any team with a shred of dignity would make sure they came out and put that game into the win column, especially before they head out to Dallas and San Antonio. You might also think that once you build a 21-point lead over the Memphis Grizzlies at home you will probably win the game. But that's what makes Boomer basketball so unbelievable.

Instead, the Thunder managed to get routed in the fourth quarter to complete a truly epic collapse. Exciting stuff. Let's see what Scotty Brooks has to say for himself:

Look at that, another "life lesson". I guess Scotty Brooks is like the Zen Master now. He's Phil Jackson with one career win. Hey Scott, maybe your next lesson should be teaching the Thunder how to score more points than the other team. Worth a shot, right? Or you can just continue making an ass of me. Either way.

So here we are with a 2-21 record and no idea where our next win will come from. It's been 38 days since our last (only) victory at the Ford Center.

But they say it's darkest before the dawn. It's probably darker when you're asleep though. No wait, dead. It's darkest when you're dead, and your rotting corpse of a team is decomposing deep underground. I think that's the expression.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everything is under control

Don't panic, Thunder fans. Stay with me. I got this. I GOT THIS. Your boy Clay is on top of this shit right here. Don't you bail on me, don't you dare goddammit. Are you reading this, Darnell? You fucking Judas, you. You like your job don't you? You like getting paid to watch NBA games and then spend ten minutes writing piddling observations for money, right? I thought so. Oklahoman writers wanna get tough now, huh? "Get used to the cellar"? What is that shit? That kind of talk does not move merchandise. "9 win season"? Thanks for the history lesson. Here's another bit of recent history for you to chew on, smart guy:

Sucks to get clowned by Berry Tramel. And now I got John Rohde writing "Shame on the Thunder". Cute. I'm about 2 seconds from walking up into that building and cleaning house.

Everyone needs to chill the fuck out. We're right where we want to be. The rebuilding plan is working to absolute perfection. The future's so bright I have to wear Ray-Bans when I'm sitting courtside. I need some SPF 50 just to write Robert Swift's check.

Yeah we're 2-20. Yeah. Good one. So what? Are you saying you want to fight me? Say something else, I am 100% not fucking around anymore. Dudes, that was a tough game tonight against a formidable opponent, and we came up short, that's all. We faced a quality 5-15 team riding a nine-game losing streak and missing their three best players. At home. And were down by as many as 21 to a team that lost by 35 two days ago. And we couldn't pull it out despite 41 points from Kevin Durant. No big deal. You win some, you lose some. You play games with the team you have, not the team you may want or wish to have at a later time. Don Rumsfeld. The fans don't care about wins and losses, they just like watching a bunch of back-ups fuck around for 48 minutes. Plus the season-ticket holders already wrote their checks. Money talks. The fans were like, "I want to give you my hard-earned money so you can give it to Chris Wilcox. Keep some for yourself, too." Done.

We also had our lowest attendance to date, with a reported 17,854 in the stands. But that's neither here nor there.

But don't worry everyone, Mike Baldwin said that the team would go 8-7 in December due to how weak the schedule is. So far we're 0-4. Guess that means we're looking at an 8-3 run. Get your tickets Boomer fans! They're like $3 on Craigslist.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

National Attention!

Today, ESPN dedicated their NBA front page to showering Oklahoma City with glorious attention. God it feels amazing. As I noted yesterday, ESPN will be following the Thunder this season in their pursuit of history. John Hollinger notes:
"Although this is still terrible, it's a big improvement on the 1-12 mark and minus-12.3 margin under Carlesimo. (And as one Seattle jokester noted, Brooks already tied Carlesimo's record for the most wins by a coach in Thunder history.)"
I don't know who this "jokester" is, but he certainly has an impressive grasp of NBA history.

Also, you won't want to miss David Berri's darn fine rebuttal to the Thunderworld's assessment of Russell "Derrick Rose" Westbrook. I guess they'll just have to agree to disagree about reality.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

MC Last Place

Great news today for fans of both the Thunder and forgettable, derivative rap music. Oklahoma City rapper 'Flame' has written a song about the Thunder Boomers, and it's every bit as good as you're probably thinking. There's no better way to boost your street cred than by putting 'Clay Bennett' in your lyrics. Props to McC for finding this gem:

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not a fan of hip-hop music or hip-hop culture, and I think it leads directly to the moral decay of society. I am by no means open-minded to things outside of my comfort zone and live my life in a state of perpetual fear of the unknown. I am, however, a big fan of anyone with a delusionally optimistic take on Thunder basketball.

Sample lyrics:
"They realize what we doin' now Seattle fans switchin"
Oh shit, Sonics fans dissed by a guy reading lyrics via text message. I OWN A CELL PHONE, BITCHES. That must be because you have such a successful rap career.
"History in the making".
"Hotter than Brooke Hogan".
Is that like being cooler than David Stern?

What's your favorite Flame lyric, Thunder fans?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Scotty Brooks makes Thunder History

Scotty Brooks etched his name into history this weekend by becoming the Thunder's all-time winningest head coach, tying the mark previously set by Thunder legend PJ Carlesimo. There were approximately 156 people on hand in Memphis to witness the event.

I went to check out the "Thunder History" page at the Oklahoman and saw that they've noted the recent coaching change, but have neglected or forgotten to update a lot of other stuff. Check it out here. Or better yet, take a look at this word cloud I made of the page and see if you can spot what I'm referring to:

I went ahead and made those corrections:

Feel free to use that, Mike Sherman.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I might be upset if I had any emotional attachment to this team whatsoever. Fortunately I'm usually more concerned with what sportcoat/tapered-blue-jean combo I'm gonna rock to wow the courtside crowd. And that was a complete success.

On the plus side the Thunder Boomers are totally improving, but then again so are the 11-year-olds at the YMCA that play in yellow t-shirts on carpeted basketball courts. It seems pretty logical to assume that any given team with any given group of players will most likely get better if allowed to play and practice together for an 82-game season. I guess the hard part is improving relative to other NBA teams.

But I'm sure we are, even though we just lost to the only team we've beaten so far this year. And despite the fact that last year in Seattle we were 5-16, and we're currently 1-16. Improving, yeah, that's it.

Remember Thunders, the fans don't care if you win or lose as long as you tried your very best. The NBA is all about having fun, making friends and learning about teamwork while getting paid millions and millions of dollars. It's pretty much like Boys & Girls Club basketball except your parents get charged $80 to sit in the stands.

Here are some action shots I took from courtside tonight:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Last night the Thunder cruised to an easy moral victory against the Suns. They were up by 13 at the half, and held a 16-point advantage late in the third. It was enough for Berry Tramel to dub the game "Re-Opening night" and declare the NBA had finally returned to OKC. "Mark it down", he said. Yes, I'll be sure to go sharpie that into my Big Book of Meaningless Statements. It was almost as if they didn't implode down the stretch and lose their 12th straight game.

But who gives a shit really, as long as they learned a "valuable lesson". The Thunder is racking up life lessons like the 7th graders at Degrassi Junior High. They had finally returned to their glory days of getting beat by less-than-totally-humiliating margins, and everyone was buzzing about positives and takeaways and improvement.

And then we played Cleveland.

Not even Darnell Mayberry dared spin this one in a positive light, calling it "a new low" for Thunder basketball. The Cavs started the game on a 13-0 run and lead 66-32 at halftime, their biggest halftime lead in franchise history. They eventually extended their lead to as many as 42 at in the second half, most of which was done by the Cavs' second and third units. The vaunted Thunder defense allowed the Cavs to shoot 60.8% from the floor while the 'Der shot an abysmal 35.4%, a season-low. But at least we got to watch Lebron, right? Yeah, for a career-low 17 minutes.

And none of that even rivaled the best moment of the night, which came during a halftime skit in which various fans said what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here's Darnell's take from the Thunder live blog:
"First up was a kid who said I’m thankful for the opportunity to give LeBron James a high five. He proceeds to walk over to the Cavs huddle before being chased down by the Cavs mascot. The crowd boos for not letting the kid high five LeBron.

The next guy, an adult, says he’s thankful for the Cavalier Girls. The crowd cheers.

Then, a kid says, "I'm thankful I don't have to watch the Thunder every night."
I think that young man learned the true meaning of Thanksgiving tonight. Either that or he's pissed he finally gets to go to a Cavs game and LeBron only plays 17 minutes. Thanks, Thunder.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

"It’s been bad, real bad to know that you’re the laughing stock of the league right now. No one’s saying that, that I’ve heard publicly, but I mean we’re just not relevant besides in Oklahoma City. That hurts.”

Thunder guard Damien Wilkins on the team’s 1-13 start.

Damien picking out Darnell's Christmas present.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

PJC: In Memoriam

ESPN has a rather harsh assessment of PJ's sudden exit from the Thundertown Boomers.

Chris Sheridan says some crazy stuff like “haven’t even been competitive”, "Fans booed the team", “best young players aren’t developing the way they should”, “humiliated on national TV", “not even competitive”, “just 12 games into a new season in a new city and the fans already booing” and so on and so forth. Totally classless.

PJ Carlesimo is an honorable bearded-American and should be remembered as such. That's why I took the liberty of crafting a more appropriate tribute video for PJ's 13-game OKC journey. Many a treasured memory from the man Adrian Wojnarowski will fondly remember as an "unrepentent screamer."

"A team OKC would sell its soul for"

Berry Tramel calls the Hornets "a team Oklahoma City would sell it's soul for." Can't argue with that.

The Thunder just played back-to-back games against OKC's "first love" and "old flame" etc, etc. The team OKC actually wanted.

Extending this analogy, I'd say the Hornets are like that underrated girl in high school that went through a really rough patch at home and started acting out and slumming with some dude who really shouldn't have had a realistic shot at her. But then she eventually got things turned around and went off to college and stopped returning his calls. Now he just stalks her on Facebook. Meanwhile the dude kept hanging out at high school parties after graduation trying to bang chicks from the drill team. Eventually he found someone but she's pretty young and they don't really have all that much in common or anything to talk about, so mostly he just spends his time watching college football. And everyone keeps comparing him to her ex-boyfriend. I guess she's pretty decent looking. She's like a 7, but she's one of those girls that wears a lot of make-up and Tiffany's jewelry, so whatever. Plus now that they're engaged she sort of stopped trying and just hangs out in her sweatpants and retainer all day. Then one day the girl's back home for Thanksgiving and they see each other at a party and dude tries his best to make her think things are going really well with him and the new girl, but, yeah it's kind of obvious their relationship is pretty forced. Now all he can do is fantasize about her while he's making out with Damien Wilkins.

It's a little hard to compete with all this Hornets-love going on. Even Royce from the Thunderworld wonders if "Maybe we should have waited three more years and made a play for the Hornets."

Well, all I can say is gee, sorry I didn't get you the right color Range Rover, OKC. I guess you'll just have to settle for this other NBA team I brought you to quench your ravenous blood lust. I know it's not much, but I actually had to do a lot of things I'm not very proud of to get it for you--like sacrifice my honor and reputation -- so, you know, the least you could do is stay to watch for four quarters. At least while ESPN's here. Because there are about a billion NBA fans in China that would love to watch Earl Watson and Russell Westbrook try to run an offense, but they have to settle for stuffing the All-Star ballot for Yi Jianlian. That guy's gonna have a ridiculous resume someday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Late last night after being thoroughly humiliated on national television, I led the diseased, skeletal remains of PJ Carlesimo's head-coaching career out behind the Ford Center tool shed, loaded my rifle, and steadied my aim just long enough to mercifully put a bullet through it's skull. Today, I am a man.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are you saying "Boo" or "Boo-ennett"?

So last night the Thunder were completely dismantled by the 1-9 Clippers on their home floor. Completely dismantled. They trailed by 25 at one point. It was quintessential Thunder basketball, and was a great evening for the entire family.

But then, late in the 3rd quarter, in just the 7th home game in their existence, the greatest basketball fans the world has ever known actually started to boo the team. PJ said it also occurred during a "good chunk of the first half".

What a triumphant moment for myself, Oklahoma City, David Stern and the NBA at large.

Here's my favorite part from John Rohde's article:
"Former Oklahoma State standout Desmond Mason was with the Hornets during their stay in Oklahoma City and has said the best thing about playing ball here is you don’t get booed, no matter how tough the going gets."
He then says:
"Even after a game like that, they told us to keep our heads up, to keep playing," Mason said. "You don’t get that kind of treatment very often."
Great effort, Desmond.

But I know what you're thinking. You're probably thinking "How in God's name does a team get booed by fans who have only watched them play seven games? In their inaugural season? After having billed themselves as the greatest, most supportive fans ever? After hyping themselves more than the team itself? After virtually taking credit for the Hornets' success? After endlessly bemoaning Seattle's 'lack of fan support' and actually claiming to deserve the team more than the city it belonged to for 41 years? Doesn't that strike them as completely deplorable? Is this a joke? Am I here right now?"

Slow down, my reactionary friend, there's a simple explanation for this.

They weren't saying "boo", the were saying "Boooo-mers!". You know the Boomers, right? It's the nickname Berry Tramel coined and has been mercilessly using in an offhand manner for weeks as if his readers are supposed to know what the fuck he's talking about. As if this nickname doesn't exist entirely in his own mind. Oh, you haven't seen that video? I don't blame you, but here it is anyway:

Christ. Keep trying to make "Boomers" happen, Berry, apparently it's catching on. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Almost as good as last year

So if you haven't been following the Thunder this week, let me just tell you that things are really, really going awesome. Sports journalism icon Darnell Mayberry writes:
"The Thunder’s record is identical to the 10-game start last season by the Seattle SuperSonics. That season resulted in a franchise-worse [sic] 20-62 record."
Yeah, I suppose that's a little discouraging. I mean we're actually trying to win games this year, right? I'm pretty sure I cc'd PJ on that email. What's even more discouraging about that statement is that it's completely false. The Thunder have a worse record through 10 games than the Sonics did last year in Seattle. That team started 2-8, this team is 1-9. It was probably really difficult to type that so I can understand the error.

The basketball think tank at the Oklahoman is now quietly revising their win-total predictions from just a few short weeks ago. Because nobody could have seen this coming. No one. Who could have guessed the Thunder would be terrible? Completely unforeseeable. Kinda like the Iraq war. Nobody on earth predicted that would be a disaster. But then again maybe that's what happens when you formulate your prediction in an echo chamber of bias and uninformed opinion. Maybe those ESPN media elites actually knew what they were talking about. Maybe hubris and rosy predictions and AC/DC and a nauseating sense of entitlement and an utter lack of self-awareness aren't enough to win in this league. Maybe NBA players aren't intimidated by balloons and loud fat guys in terrible merchandise and a complete moron with a brick on his head who's team plays in 'Bricktown' and shoots a league-worst 40.8% from the floor. I suppose that's possible.

But I'm sticking to my guns that the "Thunder Way" is the only way to win in the NBA. Darnell just dropped an article called "Staying the Course", which is likely the first time since 2005 that phrase has been used in a non-ironic way. Everything's under control. Presti is about 2 months from turning OKC into San Antonio. That's our model. Oh, no wait... now apparently it's Atlanta, Portland and New Orleans. Okay then. So basically, whatever team is good or improving in the NBA right now is what the Thunder will be at some point in the future. And as none of you can see the future, there is no way to tell me I'm wrong. And if someday the future reveals a reality that is totally at odds with my prediction, that's because nobody could have seen it coming.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


The Thunder love learning so much it makes you wonder why more of them didn't spend four years in college. In a performance Desmond Mason described as "embarrassing" and the Thunderworld called "valiant", OKC received another priceless losing learning experience on Friday night at the hands of the Knicks. Here's the take on the Thunder's continued improvement from some dude at communist rag the NY Times:
"Since the Knicks last saw them, the SuperSonics had changed cities, uniform colors and team name — everything except their actual identity, which is still defined by a lack of veteran talent and a disregard for defense.

The Knicks had a 12-point lead by the 4:18 mark of the first quarter, a 24-point lead early in the second quarter and a 30-point lead early in the third. The Knicks had 68 points by halftime, a feat they last achieved in January 2007, against the Sonics."
Someone must have forgotten to tell this guy that the Thunder are a "defensive-minded" team this year and have vastly improved since last season. But maybe this guy lives in the "reality-based" community. Fortunately for Thunder fans the Oklahoman doesn't, which is probably why they convinced themselves that Desmond Mason + Joe Smith + rookie = 15+ win improvement.

Friday, November 14, 2008

PJ Carlesimo is an embarrassment

Our own PJ Carlesimo is a proud member of the All-NBA Embarassment team:
"Carlesimo has no business coaching in the NBA. Sure, he put up some wins as the Portland Trailblazers head coach, but the Blazers were already a solid team when he was hired.

He was let go by the Blazers and the Golden State Warriors picked him as their next head coach. In a little over a season as the Warriors coach, he went a combined 46-113 during that time.

Now he's coaching the Seattle Sonics/Oklahoma City Thunder and is off to the same way he started as Warriors coach. So far his record as coach of the team in just over a full season is 21-68. Talk about embarrassing for a NBA team to pick him as a coach.

His problem is that he doesn't know how to handle the older players.

As an assistant coach, he was greatly respected, but as a head coach he doesn't demand respect from his players. Look at what happened when he was with the Warriors and Latrell Sprewell attacked him and the infamous choke marks on his neck."
Congratulations, Coach. PJ is definitely a great hire if you're looking for someone to lose games, alienate fans and insult your city. If not, though, you might want to go with a guy who players respect.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Well, that was fun.

Kelly Dwyer goes behind the box score:
"Dwight Howard had 30 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 blocks in this game. Mentioning anything else would be doing you a disservice."
Did we sell out? No. But did we learn a whole lot? Obviously:
"The effort was there, but the intensity wasn’t the first 24 minutes,” said Thunder center Robert Swift. "We picked it up in the second half. But we could have, and should have, played with (Orlando) the full 48 minutes. It’s a learning experience for a young team.”

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Moral victories piling up for Thunder

Running the best Thunder blog on the internet comes with a certain level of responsibility, and rest assured I take that responsibility very seriously. Unfortunately I've had a very hectic week here at PBC HQ, which has kept me from my normal blogging regimen. And if there is one thing I like more than my readers, it's money. I will choose dollars over Thunder fans every day of my life and OKC fans will only respect me more for it, because the "sports is a business" mantra has been ingrained into the very fiber of their being.

With that out of the way, there are a lot of victories to catch up on. Not actual victories, of course, but moral victories, which some naysayers and bitter Seattleites might also call "losses". But moral victories are just as good as real ones. "Moral victory" and/or 'learning experience" is a great way to frame a loss to your readers after having sold them on the fact that this team would win 37 games, largely because of how gifted OKC fans are at cheering at inappropriate times.

No, that loss to Boston (you know, the game Darnell Mayberry said we would win) wasn't actually a loss, but a valuable learning experience. Did you know we were winning after the first quarter?? We were. Leading after one quarter is a definite moral victory. But unfortunately NBA games last longer than 12 minutes. And one man's "hot start" is another man's "didn't take this team seriously enough to try hard for the first quarter". But not to worry, Thunder fans. John Rohde notes that the Celtics were mired in a 24-58 season until they convinced someone to give them Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. There's a realistic and not at all ironic blueprint for you. Now all we need is to find a couple patsies to give us their all-stars.

In Utah we learned how to go down by 31 points in the first half and eventually summon the minimal pride necessary to stage a rally after being embarrassed and "borderline disrespected" by the Jazz. Earl Watson said they were treating the Thunder like "little brothers". So, you know, kudos for mounting a meaningless "comeback" against the Utah reserves after the game had been decided and the other team was treating you like the JV squad. Impressive. Or as the Oklahoman described it, "valiant". Chalk this one up as another "w" in the moral victory column.

Against Atlanta, we learned how to collapse down the stretch in front of yet another Sunday night non-sellout crowd. Earl Watson was presumably taking notes on how to lose more efficiently next time.

Then, in Indiana, we learned how to lose to a mediocre team with a depleted roster. A team that used all 12 players in uniform due to injuries and foul trouble. Asked what he learned from yet another loss, Nick Collison replied, "It’s the same thing, I don’t know. We got to try to change what we’re doing.” So yeah, I don't know either. I guess the lesson for this game is more or less the same as every other game, which is "we're not good".

But all this losing learning is only indicative of how much promise our team has, right guys? And after a full season of getting their learn on in Seattle en route to a 20-62 record last year, the Thunder must be, like, the smartest team in the league by now.

Moral record: 7-0

Actual record: 1-6

Monday, November 3, 2008


In front of a non-sellout crowd that was 1,000 seats below capacity in just the second home game in the history of our team, the Thundermen managed to come from behind to beat one of the league's worst teams. Time to go apeshit, OKC!

Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (via Truehoop):
"Two signs the Wolves aren't playing the Seattle SuperSonics anymore: Prayer preceeded the national anthem and the pregame meal in the media room featured chicken fried steak in the shape of the state of Oklahoma."
Thanks for the win, God. And also for the delicious, state-shaped entree.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thunder lose to Rockets, improve to 0-2.

Here's the lead sentence from Darnell Mayberry's writeup:
"In the final six minutes of Saturday night’s first half, Kevin Durant picked up his Thunder teammates, put them on his shoulders and carried them to a respectable one-point halftime road deficit..."
Wow, no shit? A one-point deficit? At halftime? On the road?? That's downright heroic. I know the final 6 minutes of the first half are where legends are made, but if it were me writing I'd save the "put the team on his shoulders" line for when they actually win. Or are at least winning. But I guess Darnell has an uncanny ability to see the positives. Maybe that's why he predicted this team would win 37 games this year. I am not making that up. 37 games. Maybe that's why he's also predicting the Thunder will beat Boston when they come to town next week. Yeah, I guess those 37 wins are gonna have to come from somewhere unexpected if you can't even make it competitive against Milwaukee. At home. On the "biggest night in OKC history".

But anywho, glancing at the boxscore I'm struck by the fact that the Thunder as a team were a combined 0-4 from 3-point range tonight. Wow. That's an area the front office might want to look into. If only the Thunder had a proven knock-down three point shooter with the purest stroke in basketball that could stretch the defense for Durant and um, you know, whoever else it is that scores for the Thunder. Someone like, oh I don't know, Ray Allen. Oh right. He's busy winning championships. And I forgot that the Thunder are a defensive-minded team all of a sudden and we all know Ray Allen is a defensive liability, which I guess is why Boston is so bad at defense now. But I'm not worried because Mike Baldwin says Jeff Green is the next Scottie Pippen. I guess I can't argue with the fact that he is probably the 2nd best player on a team with one really good player, which makes him Pippen. Just like Lamar Odom.

Fortunately, the Thunderworld has a pretty good idea for addressing some of these deficiencies, which is to trade Chris Wilcox for Danny Granger and Jarrett Jack. Sure, why the hell not. And then after that we could pick up Derrick Rose for Earl Watson and cash.

When Damien Wilkins is rocking the shooting sleeve, the trend is officially dead.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Thunderween!

So what did everyone dress up as this year? My costume was pretty much a no-brainer, because for every Halloween since 1985 I've dressed up as Sloth from The Goonies. I just break out my suspenders and it's a wrap. Easiest costume ever.

I took it easy this year and gave out candy to trick-or-treaters. We hand out two things to the kids at Casa de Bennett: Baby Ruths and nightmares.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Thunder Curse?

I heard about this website from today's Jenni Carlson video commentary, which is my primary source of news. I like to start my day by brewing a hot cup of Folgers, reciting the pledge of allegiance and seeing what Jenni Carlson has to say about hot dogs or thumbtacks or whatever happens to be on her mind. I swear to God that chick has nothing to do with herself. Here we are, in the middle of an economic meltdown, with newspapers becoming more obsolete by the second, and Jenni Carlson is using thousands of dollars worth of equipment to read her diary to nobody. Maybe my wife could save some cash by giving her a webcam and a youtube account.

But anyway, over 10,000 people have cursed the Thunder so far. I'm guessing it's the work of Seattleites and their hippie voodoo. Wikipedia shows that Seattle's religious makeup is split pretty evenly between Wiccan and Pagan. Okay fine, it doesn't, but that's only because I couldn't figure out how to use Wikipedia.

David Stern just loves the Kansas City Thunder.

His holiness himself was on hand tonight for the Thunder's debut loss, and he had nothing but the highest praise for Kansas City Oklahoma City:

I admit it's pretty hard to keep track. I guess (O)KC's super-awesomeness just left an indelible impression on him. That or he's already laying the rhetorical groundwork for the next Ford Center remodel. God he's a genius.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bend It Like Bennett is #1. AGAIN.

After some five full days of voting, the results of LA Ball Talk's poll are in. The fans have spoken, and Bend It Like Bennett has once again been crowned the Best Thunder Blog on the internet.

I wish I could say I was surprised. BILB will be given a permanent link on LABallTalk.com so all those Kobe-jockers can come get a heavy dose of radiant truth on a daily basis. If you're wondering, Darnell Mayberry finished 7th of 8, two spots behind a blog that's posted precisely once since September 11th, and has evidently given up on life. We wish both of them the best of luck.

I'd like to take a moment to sincerely thank all the BILB fans that voted, and also shamelessly pander to all the consumers in Oklahoma City who heroically tax themselves to buy stadiums for billionaire charlatans like myself, from which they will see no profits. You're the true visionaries here. And don't worry, that $100 million upgrade to paint the bathrooms and add more space for corporate circle-jerks will never require more public financing.

And special thanks goes to the BILB supporter that beat some sense into this chubby white Blue Blitz fan. Good work.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday's Musings

Since Mr. Monday has been granted unfettered access to BiLB without having every article/blog/opinion critiqued first by the Oklahoman management, Mr. Monday would like to take advantage of this opportunity and introduce a new weekly segment called ‘Monday’s Musing.’ Essentially, all you Okies now have unfiltered wisdom to take with you to the water-cooler. You’re welcome, squares.

Where o' Where is our Dunleavy Jr?
Larry Legend’s “professional imprisonment” of Jamaal ‘Dust-Pan’ Tinsley shows why he’s without question the greatest GM in NBA history. He continues to gut the once thuggish-ruggish Pacers, building a team of good role models and exceptional citizens. Larry has spat in the face of success, profits, and exciting basketball, demonstrating a commitment to jump-stops, proper pivoting, and the triple-threat, things only real Americans will appreciate. Mr. Presti, take notes.

How are Fat Girls like Mopeds?

They’re fun to ride but you don’t want your friends to find out…or your boss…or the media.

We Are Not the Same, I am a Martian
Apparently Cassell doesn’t need no practice or preseason to hobble around and collect championships. Don’t be salty Smiling Gabe.

Prescription Pills—God's Greatest Gift since Jesus
Throwing one of my 12 daughters under a moving vehicle always helps Mr. Monday sleep better too, Zeke.

Where’s my Shovel?
Bury the Rogue and let the betting begin. Deep pockets and an even shorter memory—Do not question the David.

Run n Gun Randolph
Why the Knicks would want to trade the Baby-Fat Assassin is beyond Mr. Monday. It seems like Randolph would be ideal for D’Antoni’s 7 sec or less offense.

Mr. Monday is an irreverent wit and anonymous foe to those he deems fit. When he's not busy annointing hippies "leafy-green" or "hybrid-driving, carpooling, mountain-climbers", he splits his time between the oklahoman and BiLB to keep those outside the truth filter in check. To read his oklahoman archive, pay a visit to blog.newsok.com/mrmonday, or refer here to his newest home in the blogosphere for the wry and the whimsical.


Anyone tryin' to spend $99 on a basketball that commemorates someone else's history? Now you can!