Thursday, July 17, 2008

Better Know an NBA Franchise: Oklahoma City [Insert Nickname Here]

Getting back to the randomness of this series after being rudely interrupted by the Dallas Mavericks, next up is the basketball franchise formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics. Owner Clay Bennett, fed up with the city's lack of concern for building a new arena, packed up his team and moved for suddenly new basketball city Oklahoma City. He has to leave the Sonics name and colors behind, but he keeps the players, and that's most important. For the fans of the team, look on the bright side. At least the team didn't leave in the middle of the night. Right, Baltimore?...

Players: Regardless of the city, hometown kid Kevin Durant is the face of the franchise. Towards the end of last season, he started to figure out how to score in the NBA, and finished averaging over 20 points a game. Once he puts on weight and moves to small forward, he'll be damn near unstoppable. He desperately needs to improve his defense, or does he? Considering that about 94.7% of the Association doesn't care about that end of the floor, he can fit right in with them. I apologize for not mentioning any of the other player on the team, but besides other hometown kid Jeff Green, the rest of them don't matter. They're still looking for a point guard, drafting young late-bloomer Russell Westbrook out of UCLA. This comes after signing Luke Ridnour to a big ride the bench midway through last season. They're also still searching for an inside presence because Nick Collison, Johan Petro, and Chris Wilcox are not the solution. It's going to be a long season for the Oklahoma City [Rock Lobsters]*...

Coaches/Front Office:  Despite not having agreed on a team name or uniform design, the Oklahoma City [Percy Miracles]* have already begun the changeover to their new franchise.  New GM Sam Presti has been avidly working on...whatever it is GMs of fledgling teams need to be working on avidly.  I don't know too much about Presti, but he can't possibly be worse than Isiah; so that's a positive at the lowest level.  Coach P.J. Carlesimo isn't expected to take this team to the playoffs, so his job isn't in any kind of jeopardy.  For now, the team will try to maintain relevance and try to generate enough excitement until they can get some better talent around Mr. Durant.

Bonus:  To honor the end of the Seattle franchise, I'll just leave you with this video of Shawn "The Reignman" Kemp in his Sonic prime, before he made his case for Fertile Man of the Decade.  I bet Alton Lister still dreams of having Kemp's sac plastered across his chin...

Projection:  The Oklahoma City [Square Watermelons]* won't be good...for awhile.  But Mr. Durant will continue to improve as a player.  They'll end up right around the same spot in the 2009 Draft...still ahead of the Knicks.


*And if one of my nicknames is used, put my check in the mail, please.

No comments: