Monday, September 29, 2008

Smurf all over my smurfs.

Another day, another aesthetic triumph. The Thunder unveiled their new uniforms during Media Day yesterday to an overwhelmingly positive reception by the staff of the Oklahoman. I don't read any other news outlets, but I can only assume the rest of the nation was equally impressed. I know PJ Carlesimo was:

"Clay talked about respecting the heritage of the NBA by keeping it clean and classy. They did a good job."
Thanks PJ. If there's one job I do better than making logos, it's respecting the heritage of the NBA. I put a lot of deep, compassionate thinking into these uniforms; just listen to this peppy blonde chick interview the Oklahoman's resident style expert:

Did you hear that folks? That lady talked to a color expert, and the color expert told her that white is going to attract "a lot of attention." Holy shit I'm glad we thought of it then. Brace yourselves for a tidal wave of publicity, Thunder fans, white home unis have arrived.

Now on to the road unis. I think the offical name for the color is "Expansion Team Blue". She kinda lost me for a minute there because I'm no color expert myself, and the discussion becomes very dense and theoretical, but I'll try to break it down. Blue is 'dependable' like the sky, because the sky won't fall, even though sometimes times get tough, and also it's very loyal. That's so weird because whenever I think about this franchise, "stability" and "loyalty" are the two words I think of. But also blue is "powerful" like a bright blue Oklahoma sky with fluffy white nimbus clouds where some of them look like animals, and so you're feeling all loyal and stable and then suddenly you see the red-orange trim and you're energized. You're fuckin' psyched right now. Oh but wait, there's also yellow trim, so mostly you're just energized about how nice and friendly everyone is in Oklahoma City, and you're thinking about picnics and clouds and how much positive energy that blonde chick in the yellow shirt had, and yeah she stumbled over her words in the beginning but she seems totally cool and reminds you of that popular girl in high school who still talked to the ugly chicks, and maybe you guys could hang out sometime and talk color theory. Just take things slow. But then Kevin Durant fucking dunks on your head.

And so it was that Media Day finally answered the question on everyone's mind, which was apparently:

'What would happen if Papa Smurf banged Rainbow Brite?'

So you can all go home now, unless you want to stick around and listen to Darnell Mayberry ask Robert Swift what all of his tattoos mean. Probably a one-man job, though. Hey, everybody loved those teal Pistons jerseys right?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Get your "Rivalry Pack" today!

Darnell Mayberry, The Oklahoman's diminutive NBA beat writer, alerted fans today of eight-game ticket packages on sale now. Among the packages is the coveted "Rivalry Pack":

The "Rivalry Pack” features games against Atlanta on Nov. 9; Cleveland on Dec. 21; Denver on Jan. 2; Utah on Jan. 14; Sacramento on Feb. 8; New Orleans on Feb. 17; San Antonio on March 16; and Portland on April 3.
Since the Thunder has never played any one of these basketball teams, I'm guessing by "rivalry" we're still referring to Portland. Many a Northwest basketball fan was dismayed by the fact that the revered "I-5 Rivalry" would be no more. Chin up, hippies! Evidently the rivalry lives on!

The Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder will continue to duke it out for Northwest* supremacy, but perhaps we need to give this series a new name. We could call it the "I-84 to I-80 to I-25 to I-70 to I-35" Rivalry. Or maybe the "Google Maps Cup". That has a nice ring to it.

There's nothing like artificial significance and manufactured history straight from the marketing department to energize the Thunder faithful. God I hate those Portlanders!

I'm sure most Thunder fans can't wait to make the quick 1,920 mile, 28 hour drive to Portland this year. It's tradition. But fans will have to be patient, because Portland won't host their bitter division foe until February 11. Weird how that worked out. And all you history buffs should refrain from wearing your Thunder throwbacks this year, because it's possible they're already doing that.

*Note: Many Pacific Northwesterners have complained that the NBA is taking away all their basketball teams (i.e. Seattle, Vancouver). This is wrong. The Great Northwest still has Portland, Utah, Denver, Minnesota and Oklahoma City.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Berry Tramel's Existential Crisis

Berry Tramel is apparently in the throes of an existential meltdown after trekking into the belly of the beast, Seattle, for the OU-UW football game last weekend. From a recent post:
"1. This is one of the best cities in America. Great weather. Great scenery. Apparently great economy. Seemingly safe. Fun downtown. Lots to do.

2. How did the NBA ever get away from this city? Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad the Sonics of Seattle became the Thunder of OKC, but with all this city has going for it, how did Seattle lose its NBA franchise and how did the NBA let it happen?"

First of all, slow your roll Berry Tramel. My wife doesn't pay you for your critical thinking. Get back on message. Stay the course. Gotta stay on offense and all that. Stick to the talking points. Seattle doesn't want the NBA, remember? Second, "let" it happen? The David all but demanded it. You know, because the Ford Center is so totally bad-ass or whatever.

Besides, as the lead sportswriter of Oklahoma's primary newspaper, and having written extensively on this issue yourself time and again, I'd wager you're in a better position than most to answer your own question. Here's a timeline from your own paper. Does the Oklahoman block Google? I know the PBC does. I don't tolerate slackers. Let me pull up some of your old quotes:

"So even though the Seattle saga has been unpleasant for the NBA in recent weeks and isn't likely to soon change, Stern did not waver. Oklahoma City had Stern on its side, and the most powerful commissioner in sport was not about to be bucked.Stern carved up Seattle with a silver scalpel. No arena for you, Seattle told Stern before and after Bennett bought the team. Drop dead, Stern said back."
"If the NFL can leave Greater Los Angeles, where's the calamity in the NBA leaving Seattle? The Seattle crowd likes to warn Oklahoma City that if Clay Bennett can put the screws to Seattle, he will do the same thing to his hometown. Maybe. Maybe not. Frankly, I'm not all that interested in a history lesson from a city that built a new palace for the Seahawks and a new palace for the Mariners and then wants to start lecturing other cities, warning them about the dangers of giving into disgruntled franchise owners."
“Truth is, most Seattle residents, particularly in the downtown area where most Sooner fans spent the last day or two, are only marginally aware that Seattle once had, and then lost, an NBA franchise, much less where it went.”
"He would stand at KeyArena and cheer a Hersey Hawkins 3-pointer or scream at the refs, and many a Sonic fan looked at him like he was crazy, because fervor is the exception in Seattle. "Most people go to just sit there, even in the glory days,” Francisco said. "I was looked at like I was crazy."

That's more like it. That's the kind of petty, gratuitous fluff I'm looking for. If you ask me, I think you've spent a little too much time on the left coast. Those loony liberal media elites are trying to fool you with their big-city trickery. You know, partisan hacks like Henry Abbott:

"I'm for respecting the people involved, even if you can get away with hurting them. That's character.

Instead we have something that's something like the worst marriage ever, back in the days before women had rights at all. Both partners play key roles, but one can lie, cheat, hit, and all the rest of it, while the other can only be stoic.

In that dreadfully over-dire analogy (apologies), Tramel is arguing that husbands beat their wives all the time, and there's no need to feel bad about that."

Don't go soft on me Berry. Get back to basics. Stick to the script.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Greenzone Model for Winning

If you're familiar with our ownership group, then you've no doubt been captivated by our commitment to excellence and winning. Reflecting upon the overwhelming success of the recent troop surge, we decided to implement the Paul Bremer Greenzone Model for Winning in hiring our own execs. First up, our new Entertainment Coordinator.

Not only did he help the Odessa Jackalopes to a single successful off-season of in-game entertainment but he also brings a diverse tribal Polynesian perspective to the organization. We anticipate this quick learner (an undergrad less than 5 months ago) to hit the ground running and we're comfortable his brand of entertainment is consistent with where the NBA's is trending. In addition, this kid is a born winner. Hey Nick Collison, stop crying about "uprooting families" or whatever and sponge this shit:

This is the type of winning attitude required when entering your first year in the league. Now bite your tongue. Bite iiit.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bend It Like Bennett is #1.

And who could blame them. Congratulations to me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Clayton Bennett Guide to Success

Here in OKC, we’re not just building a team, we’re building a culture. A culture built on integrity, character, family values, traditional marriage, protecting the unborn, restructuring corporate tax codes, and professionalism. And winning. Part of achieving success on and off the court is maintaining a sharp outward appearance but not, like, in the metrosexual way. It’s often said that one should dress for the job they want, not the job they have. That’s why people would take one look at me and know I was destined to become a P.E. teacher, Army recruiter, NBA owner.

People wanting to achieve success in life need only follow my personal grooming standards, put forth in this handy diagram:

Simply set your clippers to zero, place them just above the ear at anywhere between 30 and 45 degrees, depending on how bulbous your head is, and etch a harsh, drastic line into your temple. Remove all hair below this line.

David Stern's dress code may indeed be visionary, but doesn't go far enough for my taste. Just look at these before and after shots showing how the Clay Bennett method can either enhance or completely transform your image:

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Fantastic analysis as usual from NBA expert and 80's mustache holdout Mike Baldwin of the Oklahoman:

Indeed, it's incredibly difficult to run a successful franchise when your definition of success is failure. Harder still is creating "stability" when the cause of this instability is your own publicly stated intention to move the franchise. Clearly there is only one remedy for this, and that's to move the franchise.

But now, as Baldwin notes, we finally "know where we're gonna practice". That would be Southern Nazerene University, a temporary facility our players can use while we renovate the Performance Sports Center, which is itself a temporary facility that we'll occupy while we're building a taxpayer-funded $21 million practice facility in an as-yet-to-be-determined location that should be ready in 18-24 months. Finally, stability.

Not knowing where we were practicing was one of our biggest problems in Seattle, although it would usually end up being in our team's practice facility. And by "usually", I mean "always".

Thursday, September 11, 2008

OKC residents have kids who'll probably like the team.

Because that's what it's really all about. The kids. Some of them, anyway. But kids are more than just great public relations props, they're also future consumers. I think sometimes we forget that.

To wit, check out the groundswell of support from local residents after the big NBA BOG vote:

“Yeah, but we need it too”. Wow, can I get this slogan printed on my stationary? Hmm, Oklahoma City Blazers. I like it. Although I suppose it's taken by the current primary resident of the Ford Center, not to mention our former NBA rival in Portland. I'll let the legal department worry about that. We could be like the Trail-of-Tears-Blazers. Do you think there’s any way I could buy the entire Northwest divison?

Is it me, or did I see that blonde woman at the Republican National Convention with the "Peace Through Strength" sign?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is OKC the next Phoenix, Boston, or LA?

Oklahoma sports media demi-god Berry Tramel turned heads today with a brazen assertion in his latest piece. The crotchety mainstay of the NewsOK sportsdesk boasted:
"Here's who Oklahoma City is so far. The next Phoenix. And since we're name-dropping, toss in Los Angeles and Boston, too."
Hmm, the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunder… one of these teams doesn’t seem to fit in... Oh right, Phoenix, the only one of these franchises to have never won an NBA title. I won mine this summer in Seattle Federal Court.

Don't worry, Suns fans. Someday you'll get over the hump, and only then will you know the pride and fulfillment that I feel everyday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

PJ Carlesimo Lever.

Some interesting NBA All-Access video with Thunder Coach PJ Carlesimo. If you're an OKC season ticket holder who has no idea who that is, get caught up here.

That's a leader of men, folks. Poignant stuff, indeed. Hard to be sure, but I think this video is either A) PJC giving the Thunder a pep talk about their new sunset blue unis, B) PJC giving his young squad a valuable lesson in tolerance, or C) Something the Thunder will play on the Jumbotron to salvo the crowd during the fourth quarter of another drubbing. The crowd will think, “Hey, our team may have given up 129 points tonight, but I bet we believe in Jesus the most, and that’s makes us the true winners.” 82-win season baby!

Monday, September 8, 2008

People love me. (updated x 2)

Maybe it was my electrifying performance at the logo unveiling, or maybe it was the way I cut my sideburns extra negative today. Whatever the reason, people love me:
  • Ball Don't Lie: "Upside and Motor is right, and Rebecca Lobo agrees: Whoever is in charge of photoshoppin' duties at this new Oklahoma City blog — Bend It Like Bennett — is at least as good, if not better than whoever designed the real Thunder logo.
  • Hardwood Paroxysm: "I don't know what's the most awesome: the name, the writing, or the photoshop work. Add to RSS Readers, immediately, hordes."
  • Deadspin!
  • Supersonicsoul: "I hope the OKC fans embrace this brilliant "web 2.0" peek into their new franchise...Best wishes to them, and their sharp-witted, irony-proof citizenry."
  • And One: "This is brilliant...Unless, of course, they're serious, in which case all is lost."
  • Upside and Motor: "Another big-time blog for OKC. The name is ridiculously great, and whoever is photoshopping over there is at least as good, if not better than whoever designed the real Thunder logo."
  • World Hoops Blog: "Greatest name for a blog, ever. Peep Friday's post going Lampoon on the new OKC logo. Me likes lots."
  • Red's Army
  • Oklahoma City BBall: " I wonder if this guy is even from OKC. Seems just like a covert Seattle fan. But regardless, they can eat it."
  • NBA Fanhouse: "Every team needs a snarky, pessimistic blog to offer dystopic viewpoints about ... well, everything. The Thunder can fill in this bubble now."
  • Sports Illustrated

True to form, Darnell Mayberry has yet to comment.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Logo Reaction!

Reaction from the interwebs...

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Our logo seems to look a lot like that of the WNBA's New York Liberty...

Down to the exact curvature of the triangle. Is that weird?

Introducing the Thunder OKC!

Yesterday we revealed our name, logo and colors to the handful of people without internet access and Damien Wilkins.

The logo is the result of a three month design-by-committee expedition to the outer limits of Microsoft Paint. We were somehow able to seamlessly unite the imagery of 'Thunder' with the color scheme of an "Oklahoma Sunset", the Oklahoma state flag, and clown shoes. Then we put a basketball in a triangle. And added two random lines to lower wind resistance, which I feel is pretty sharp. Finally, we added "Thunder" above this amalgam of half-formed thoughts and changed the font to what appears to be Mekanik LET Plain. First Prize.

Basically the name, color scheme and logo combine to create a unique fan experience: first you're indimidated, then reassured, then confused, then bored, then bewildered and finally indifferent. Needless to say, it flew off the shelves.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Best fans ever.

David Stern has found his ideal fan base in OKC.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Darnell Mayberry on Team USA

From his blog:
"I’ve wanted to weigh in on the Dream Team vs. Redeem Team argument since Sunday but honestly don’t have much thought-provoking analysis to contribute."