The OKC Thunder have one of the most exciting young cores in the entire NBA. When you couple that with the fact the team made a 16-win improvement a year ago, earning a bid to the play-in tournament, and will add two top-ten picks and a two-time EuroLeague MVP to this squad, it is easy to see why the excitement is high for the Thunder.
The Oklahoma City Thunder fanbase is buzzing at the start of Training Camp, as this 2023-24 team represents not only the 16th year of Thunder basketball but the most anticipated squad since the turn of the decade. However, Media Day provided us with a fun story that might make all the difference on the court.
The OKC Thunder might have their biggest improvement come in the Equipment room following a stunning revelation at training camp.
You might have noticed a few more players wearing headbands at Media Day than usual. This caught my attention immediately; why would they do this? Is this a coordinated effort? Is this just for “Drip”? Do they think it gives them a tactical advantage?
Then, Lindy Waters III walked in, sporting the white headband, and my world was rocked. If you follow the proverbial paper trail, Waters III is where this headband controversy starts.
Last season, I caught up with the two-way wing and asked him point blank: Why did you ditch the headband? Lindy Waters III gave a fair answer. “It squeezed my head too much,” he explained. Whom amongst us would like their head squeezed? That’s right, no one.
So why go back? Is this some no pain, no gain philosophy? No! Instead, innovative technology in the world of Headbands can be the critical difference for the OKC Thunder.
Lindy Waters III is not sporting a Dri-Fit headband, as opposed to its tightly squeezing cotton material counterpart. Kenrich Williams will debut a new headband look also, sporting that same Dri-Fit white handband.
While Kenrich Williams is confident he will keep the new look heading into the season, Aaron Wiggins was just giving the handband a trial run at Media Day on Monday. Wiggins is “Feeling it out,” he tells me. Why is that? Could it possibly be due to a squeezing problem?
No matter what, I am glad we have gotten to the root of the issue last season with the hand bands and the correction made by the OKC Thunder equipment staff. We will be tracking how often this trio sports the handbands all year long, and if they ditch the look, we will get to the bottom of why.