OKC Thunder news: Chris Paul’s NBPA role, slim Harden and seasons best moments

Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder in action against the New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder in action against the New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder in the news features Chris Paul’s busy life in spite of the pandemic, the team’s top five moments through 64 games, and a skinny James Harden.

With the NBA inching ever closer to a decision on how the season will resume and what format it will take OKC Thunder fans are actively watching social media and news outlets for updates. In the interim, there are some great articles to fill the void.

OKC Thunder, Chris Paul active role on and off hardwood:

One player actively involved on a daily basis is Chris Paul due to his role as the National Basketball Players Association President. Throughout the hiatus T.I. has kept Thunder Nation in the loop on Paul’s active role.

Today, a great read comes courtesy of ESPN’s Royce Young who serves up another dive into the point guard’s important role during the pandemic.

"Since the season was put on hold, Paul has emerged as one of the most influential — and busiest — figures as the league navigates a potential restart. In the era of player empowerment, there aren’t many who wield as much power as Paul. His goal is that the union has plenty too.“We always make sure,” Paul said, “we have players — plural — involved in those conversations.”"

While many NBA players were at home trying to stay in shape and looking for ways to fill their days Paul’s day was full. Back at home in LA, he was helping wife Jada with children Chris Jr. and daughter Camryn whether it be with homework, keeping them active physically, or learning to do laundry.

Yet, his NBPA president role likely occupied most of his day fielding calls from players, NBPA team representatives, as well as calls with the Silver and NBPA Executive Director Michelle Roberts. On top of these calls, Young notes Paul also led efforts to connect his OKC Thunder teammates to stay in touch and focused for the moment play resumes.

When the NBA does come back, expect CP3 to continue his resurgent season leading his clutch time killers in a campaign where he’s joined the top 10 MVP candidates. Granted, his placement feels too low for our liking. Check out our article on where Paul ranks in the conversation and why he should be moving up that ladder.

OKC Thunder Top 5 Moments of 2019-20 Season:

Our friends at Daily Thunder took the time to dive into the top five special moments of the OKC Thunder season. Writer Ian Kayanja selected his favorite moments which feature former Thunder players, some spectacular team wins, and a breakout game by a rising star.

"This year’s Thunder team has been full of pleasant surprises. Maybe those surprises came from the lack of expectations coming into the season? Could it be the new look three-guard lineup? Or maybe Billy Donovan coaching his butt off?Regardless, these and other fun elements factored in the plays you are about to relive. So sit back, relax, and take a look at the best of the 2019-20 Thunder season in rewind."

Now, come on you didn’t think I was going to spill the tea on Kayanja’s top five did you? You’ll have to click the above link to find out which moments make the grade.

If you enjoy articles featuring highlights from the season a perfect companion is Shontelle Matano’s top games series. The series selects the best games of the 13 OKC Thunder players who’ve graced the hardcourt through 64 games. Start with the Chris Paul top games, at the end of the article there are links to the other 12 players covered in the series.

James Harden slim down:

While Paul has arguably been busier during the pandemic a former OKC Thunder player has seemingly filled up his hiatus by shifting his physical appearance. As noted on NBA The Jump, James Harden appears to have lost a ton of weight.  They shared Austin Rivers’ Instagram live post that said:

Y’all can call it what you want but ‘beefy’ Harden was averaging 36 so I don’t even know what skinny Harden is gonna do. He definitely ost a cool 20 pounds” – Rivers

Various media outlets have weighed in (no pun intended) on the Beard’s drastic slim down. Shannon Sharpe of the Undisputed felt the Rockets’ guard should’ve waited to do this in the offseason when there would be time to go through an entire training camp and preseason. Kelly Iko of the paid-for subscription The Athletic outlined the workout regimen which focused on improving Harden’s speed and explosion.

More from Thunderous Intentions

Kendrick Perkins stated he thinks this will make the Rockets “the heavy favorite to win the title”. Richard Jefferson begged to differ but Perk did make some solid points about Harden getting tired in fourth quarters and fading in the playoffs.

Perkins also told of Harden’s days with the OKC Thunder citing his weight issues. He specifically called it a “weight problem” and further said OKC was always on James to lose weight.

The logical assessment is the guard wants to be faster and with the Rockets pushing the pace and committed to small-ball his being slimmer would be beneficial.

From the opposite perspective, it will be interesting to witness how much this drastic of a weight loss affects Harden’s strength and ability to draw fouls. With the extra weight, he was able to body his defender, score, and get to the line. That might not be as easy now.

Enjoy the start of your weekend and check back tomorrow for a breakdown of what we learned about the Board of Governor’s conference call and new timeline expectations.

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