OKC Thunder Sunday Social Swag and Shade: The People’s Champion

Mar 29, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half at Amway Center. Oklahoma City Thunder defeats the Orlando Magic 114-106 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half at Amway Center. Oklahoma City Thunder defeats the Orlando Magic 114-106 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
Russell Westbrook
Mar 29, 2017; Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates after they beat Orlando Magic in overtime. Westbrook is the first player to score the most points in triple-double in NBA history.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Time for TI’s  OKC Thunder column: Sunday Social Swag and Shade. Edition 7 features the best in OKC Thunder and NBA social media for the week of March 28 through April 2.

It’s been a minute since the last OKC Thunder Swag and Shade and Shade column, so with all the action this past week it felt like time to serve up a new volume. Hence, today’s edition is number 7 of the OKC Thunder Swag and Shade.

Because the playoffs are around the corner teams are gearing up for the stretch run. Consequently, squads are separated by teams flailing, a few maneuvering for lottery positioning, and many trying to secure playoff seeds or move up the ladder. The OKC Thunder have been spectacular this week, despite a loss in their last outing.

Russell Westbrook may have blown the MVP race wide open given his performances this week and the squad appears to finally be finding a balance between offense and defense.

With that let’s dive into Swag and Shade from the week of March 28 through April 2.

Cuban Shade:

Anyone else think the NBA should force Mark Cuban to be present at Russell Westbrook’s MVP ceremony should he win?  Since Cuban has been so outspoken it seems like the fair thing to do, right.

Draymond Shade:

Interesting how Draymond Green had no problem calling Durant all last season in an effort to recruit him to Oakland but has issues with the Raiders leaving Oakland for Las Vegas.

Elfrid Payton shades his defensive unit:

Although this dunk should probably be in the Swag segment, it’s kind of funny watching the Magic point guard showcase his exasperation with the lack of defense. Ummm – would you want to stand in the paint and take a charge if you saw Westbrook barrelling full speed towards you?

Singler Shade:

Poor Kyle Singler just can’t get any love – but this tweet was pretty funny.

Shaq throws out Shade to Westbrook naysayers:

Following a big win versus the Magic, Shaq made his point about who all pundits should be crowned the MVP.


Cavaliers Shade:

How bad have the Cavs sunk to? After losing to the Wizards, Spurs, and Bulls in succession they finally got a win versus the 76ers. But, here’s the thing – the analysts and commentators were acting like Cleveland just won the title again because they played one good game. What made it more extreme is the win came versus a lottery team decimated by injury (missing in action: Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington, and Jerryd Bayless).

I’ve been calling out the Cavaliers issues on defense since December, so it’s no surprise this is finally being discussed. The real issue is the Cavaliers rank 29th on defense since the break. Ask yourselves how many teams have won the championships with a defense that poor?

And, maybe the Cavs can flip the proverbial switch, but with a roster featuring Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Channing Frye, and Kyle Korver it’s not exactly something I’d be willing to bet the bank on. Nabbing Korver for a song was considered the big move but the Cavs are one game above .500 in games Korver plays. Moreover, in the 29 games, Korver has played the Cavs are allowing 111.3 points per game.  In fact, the big move should be more concerning than anyone seems willing to admit.

Although I wouldn’t suggest basing everything on defensive box differential this stat is telling given LeBron James (+1.5), Tristan Thompson (+1.5) are the only players not in the negative with  DeAndre Liggins and Iman Shumpert the other two with a 0.0 differential.  Suffice to say there are palpable reasons for concern.

Mind you there are some who believe this entire situation is tied to the Kardashian curse:

Mamba Shade:

Asked about the new penchant for superstars to rest in season, Kobe Bryant made his thoughts on the matter crystal clear:

Booker Trash Talk Shade:

Like Father Like Son Shade:

Jusuf Nurkic  Shade (and Swag):

Roller coaster week for the big man who got to take down his former team and then broke his leg. The fracture isn’t serious, but with the Blazers fighting to retain the eighth playoff seed in the West, the timing was less than ideal.

George Shade:

With the numerous sound bites Paul George is putting out into the universe I can’t see how Larry Legend can expect him back next season

Rim Shade:

You know this will be on Shaqtin a Fool next week

K.D. Shade:

Seriously KD. – – a veiled passive-aggressive shot by the man who seems to think his quotes matter. Typical of the flip-flopper who earlier this season defended referees. Just wait until the postseason when he gets a bad call (or a game costing call and see how fast that narrative changes). Additionally, this felt like a shot at Westbrook who hasn’t missed a game in my opinion. Then again, this is the same guy who called Super Teams bogus.

And, then there’s this:

So, pick up the phone then Kevin – – sure seems like Durant is so thirsty to be viewed in a certain light he just can’t keep things real.

Smart Shade:

At some point, the biggest flopper in the league is going to cost his team a win because the refs expect his flopping. This time it only cost him a knee to the gut and some embarrassment.


Lance Shade:

I mean, I get his last decent ball was played as a Pacer, but to compare his return to the Fieldhouse on the same level as MJ’s return to the NBA is um … delusional. (and I like Lance).

Sixers Shade:

Gotta love this shade as it comes on the heels of news Okafor and Covington are being shut down for the season due to knee injuries.

April Fool’s Day Shade:



James Johnson ‘cocked that Joint Back and Banged it’ Swag:

As soon as this dunk occurred it immediately reminded of another such ferocious dunk by James Johnson on Andre Drummond.

Remembering the dunk over Drummond (and James post-game press bite)

Crossover Swag:

Anyone who knows me is aware I’m not a big Clippers fan, but Jamal Crawford deserves  a Swag shout out for this spectacular move


Shave Swag:

Jerry Sloan Swag:

Happy belated Birthday to Jerry Sloan – – and it has to be said… How is it possible Sloan never won Coach of the Year. Absolutely shameful he didn’t in this scribe’s opinion.

Pop Swag:

Gregg Popovich is the Master of Swag Quotes:

And Pops gives Russ some love too

OKC Blue Swag

Hey, I always said my ideal scenario would find OKC and Raptors in the finals. Based on the way the Oklahoma City Blue and Raptors 905 have played this season perhaps I’ll get my wish (just from the D-League squads).

Some Stache Swag:


Westbrook – the People’s Champ:

Fans in other arenas are making their feelings known by chanting MVP. Here are two guys who came from Syracuse, New York just so they could see Russell Westbrook.

Have to love this couple who came to their first NBA game just to see Westbrook. She bought the tickets for him as his 70th birthday present. (Take note boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives … this is a GREAT present!)

And apparently some NBA Players as well:

And former players

And the Big O himself is pulling for Russ to break his record:

Westbrook the Dunking Machine:

Stat Swag:

This March 30th stat puts into perspective what the four MVP candidates are doing down the stretch.

Perhaps more importantly — the win-loss record over this same time frame:

LeBron’s Cavs: 4-6

Kawhi’s Spurs: 7-3

Harden’s Rockets: 7-3 (but 1-3 in last 4)

Westbrook’s Thunder: 8-2 (with the two losses coming against the Warriors and Rockets).

Come back Swag:

The first come back came in Dallas with Brodie putting on  a major show:


Second come back in as many games spearheaded both times by Mr. Triple-Double:


OKC Thunder Swag:

Lost in the big come back was the OKC Thunder clinching a playoff seed, as well as the franchise’s biggest, come back in history:

Triple Double Swag:

38th Triple Double: (most points in a trip-dub in history)

39th Triple-Double:

Just plain Russ Swag;

That wraps up this week of Swag and Shade. Remember to send us your social media hits and point out the best in the coming week.