OKC Thunder in the news: Sneakers, shooting, and must-see games

OKC Thunder (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder in the news September 2, examines a massive sneaker rule change, OKC’s lack of shooting coach in the past, and this season’s must-see games.

August has passed, which means the final full month of the off-season has passed as well. Due to training camp commencing on September 21 for teams participating in the NBA’s global games and training camp beginning for all other teams on September 22.

Before the end of the month, which is often referred to as the month with the league’s dog day’s, the final days of August provided plenty of OKC Thunder news, and news impacting the Thunder.

The NBA approved a historical sneaker rule change, Kyle Singler got stretched, and in a strange twist, this TI member will miss Kyle. Not as a player, but as a professional. Last, but not the least, some light was shed on the OKC Thunder’s sketchy shooting coach history.

With that, let’s jump into the news.

Sneakerheads rejoice

ESPN writer Nick DePaula recently reported some news that NBA players and Sneakerheads alike are raving about:

"For the first time in league history, the NBA will allow players to wear sneakers of any color at any point during the upcoming season, league sources confirmed.The rule change is part of the NBA’s ongoing effort to allow its players to be expressive on the court."

This is game-changing news as the NBA follows in MLB and to a lesser degree the NFL’s stance on footwear. The NBA’s latest move further’s their stance on player empowerment, as the NBA now has by far the fewest restrictions on what footwear players can and can not don on the hardwood.

With such restrictions lifted, I expect there to be several players to display their stance on equality of all forms with their sneaker colorway. It will be wonderful to see players make striking statements simply by the colorway of their sneakers.

The new rules offer more room for creativity with sneakers across the league and only adds to the excitement and storylines as the season inches closer. Judging by his Instagram the Thunder’s own Paul George is looking forward to the sneaker reform.

Will the real shooting coach please stand up?

TI recently, ran a feature regarding the Thunder’s shooting coach vacancy, however it may not be vacant for long:

"On April 23, 2017 (remember that date), Matthews posted this tweet, requesting two days with Andre Roberson to work on his free throws.An entire season passed, with all its turmoils and tribulations, and then, on June 27, 2018, The Score reported on their Instagram page that Matthews had been approached by several NBA teams to become their shooting coach."

The Thunder’s lack of a shooting coach is truly baffling, yet Stephen Dolan noted several teams do not have a dedicated shooting coach. Not having a shooting coach in today’s NBA is the equivalent of an NFL team not having a Quarterback coach.

As Dolan noted, the Thunder’s last shooting coach was Adam Harrington, who doubled as Kevin Durant’s personal trainer. Oklahoma City should have never let Harrington go, let alone let him go and not replace him.

Since Harrington was on the Thunder’s coaching staff, he has worked with former Clipper and current Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan on his free throw shooting. According to a 2016 report, Harrington began working with Jordan in the summer of 2015.

Jordan’s free throw percentage has not been below 43 percent since Harrington began training him. Making it no surprise, last season when Jordan shot a career-high 58 percent from the foul line.

Oklahoma City is not going to bring the shooting wizard Harrington back. But, here’s hoping OKC brings in a new ‘lethal shooting’ coach.

And, the OKC Thunder’s top-game to watch is…

I’ll tease, but I will not reveal the game TI writer Patrick Allen ranked as the top game to watch, only because I encourage you to check out the top-15 games to watch yourself. I will provide you with this snippet from the article though:

"The Houston Rockets were the top seed in the Western Conference and NBA last season. Houston had many hopeful that they would bring Golden State’s reign over the NBA to an end. After losing in the Western Conference Finals 6-7, the Houston Rockets were unable to bring a new western team to the finals. The Rockets were arguably the best team in the league and pose a high risk to the OKC Thunder this season."

More from Thunderous Intentions

With the moves both the Thunder and Rockets made this summer, OKC adding Dennis Schröder, Nerlens Noel, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Hamidou Diallo, along with the subtraction of the disgruntled Carmelo Anthony, appeared to have surged ahead of the Rockets in the NBA’s pecking order.

Given the fact Houston lost two of their better defenders in Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza, so regression was expected. That was prior to the Rockets striking a deal with the Suns. Which, added Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight and also subtracted Ryan Anderson and his enormous contract from the equation.

Adding Chriss will be huge for Houston because Chriss provides the Rockets with a thorn to stick in their opponent’s side. An advantage Houston lost after, they dealt guard Patrick Beverly to the Clippers, in exchange for guard Chris Paul in the summer of 2017.

Taking into account all the transactions both franchises completed this summer, the two teams currently present as equals in the NBA’s pecking order. Therefore, until the season tips-off on October 16, 2018, it will be a waiting game to find out which team will prove to be more elite.

Top-10 Thunder playoff games - Reminiscing the good times. dark. Next

This has been Thunder in the News, September 2 edition. The 2018-19 NBA campaign will tip-off in a total of 45 days; check back every day for Thunder in the News, to view the latest OKC Thunder and NBA happenings.