OKC Thunder in the news: Abrines surgery, Summer of George underway

OKC Thunder Player centric news takes center court today in the news.

Following OKC Thunder GM, Sam Presti holding his end of season presser most of Thunder Nation is still dissecting the fact Billy Donovan will be back. Although there are solid reasons for Donovan’s job not being secure the OKC Thunder brain trust deemed otherwise.

Diving into the thought process behind this decision it makes sense this is more than simply a matter of continuity. Rather, it could be tied to relationships. Granted, this is based on some subliminal hints given by Presti.

In TI’s article I addressed some of the small underlying reasons Presti was so quick to confirm Donovan will return.

First of all, it means Presti and Donovan have a good working relationship. Moreover, we can presume it also means the core of Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams and Andre Roberson also get along with Donovan. Perhaps, most importantly it may mean Paul George has a strong relationship with Donovan. This latter point could be why Presti chose to confirm Donovan will return.

Alex Abrines Hernia Surgery:

Sports hernias are no joke. Despite this it’s a fairly common malady NBA players suffer. Last season, Canadian Jamal Murray played his entire rookie season with one.  The reason this particular injury is overly trying for NBA athletes is it affects sudden movements. More specifically, sudden changes of direction. If Abrines hadn’t shown such growth defensively late in the season perhaps he could have pointed to the injury as the reason. Kudos to the Spaniard who obviously played through some pain with this.

Today he underwent surgery to fix the soft tissue injury. As per Brett Dawson, Abrines should be out approximately six weeks in recovery.

Paul George Decision Will Rule Offseason:

Already this week there are varying reports regarding Paul George. As TI scribe Jordan Buckamneer outlined Ryen Russilo pointed to those friendly “sources close to the player” stating he was gone.

But, in Sam Presti’s exit interview the OKC Thunder GM stated he was very optimistic in the early discussions with George. The problem for Thunder Nation is this is a similar narrative to the one from a few seasons back. Yeah, you know the one where the Thunder’s other generational star bolted to join a super team.

Ride the Paul George Storm:

Moving forward the best advice TI can offer is to look for the underlying messages. Things like Paul George noting earlier this season how it takes time to gel and how he didn’t anticipate it would take as long. This is important because going to a new team means starting over instead of working with building from constancy.

The obvious situation of returning home to LA will also take center stage. Yet, if there was one thing this postseason proved (and PG running the bench unit with no success) is by moving to LA he would be the face of the franchise. Moreover he would be expected to be the ‘alpha’ leader. Although George has shown a propensity to enjoy the star status he hasn’t revelled, or for that matter grasped being a leader.

The old adage ‘patience is a virtue’ resonates in this situation. Remember, there are fanbases eager to bring Paul George to their team and will jump on every innuendo. Every little comment will be viewed under a microscope. And, even then things are said in passing which can only be taken at face value.  Short of Paul George stating ‘I’m returning to the OKC Thunder’ or ‘I won’t be back’ take everything with a grain of salt.

Ultimately, Thunder fans can only hope for the best. You as a fanbase have done everything you could to demonstrate how much you want Paul George. Russell Westbrook did his best to make the transition smooth. And, knowing his character will bend over backwards to help move the relationship forward and work this offseason on ways to improve next season.


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