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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Notes, Quotes 2008-10-31

Oklahoma City Thunder Notes, Quotes 2008-10-31

Oklahoma City Thunder Notes, Quotes 2008-10-31

--The Thunder's development won't be without growing pains in the rugged Western Conference. The rebuilding team struggled during its final season in Seattle.

Playing in front of sparse and often bitter crowds didn't help. The Sonics dealt with the prospect of leaving their home of four decades throughout the season.

"Last year was difficult," Nick Collison admitted. "We can't blame all of our losses on it, by any means. We played poorly for long stretches, but the thing that was hard was constantly answering the questions. I don't think you can blame the fans for being upset.

"Some of that was the situation. We saw the writing on the wall. It was a strained relationship between the city and the team for about two years. As a player, it is nice to not have to deal with that and just concentrate on basketball. We had to answer questions all the time and we didn't know what was going to happen, just like everyone else."

--As an organization, the Thunder felt it important to connect to Oklahoma City at the most basic human level. An unpublicized team outing to the Oklahoma City National Memorial took place 10 days before the start of the season. The Thunder's front office didn't ask the media to cover the event.

"We've got to reflect the fabric of this city, which is a city that's come back from a horrible tragedy in '95," coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "It's rebuilding and revitalized, and we want to reflect that in how we play and how we work. As the city has continued to rebound to get better, we want to do the same thing."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You go to the gas station, the grocery store, into your kids' school, a high school football game and people are talking about it. Are they talking OU football and OSU football? Of course they are, but they're talking about the Thunder a lot. And that's not something that you have in every city in the league, particularly the big cities." -- P.J. Carlesimo, on the buzz around town.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 31, 2008


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