Considering how well the Oklahoma City Thunder are playing right now, it’s okay to get excited about them. It’s not okay, apparently, to make a YouTube parody rap video telling people to “Thunder their butt off” while being employed by the Thunder. “Lunchmeat,” the masked gentleman in the video who was previously a “stormchaser” for the Thunder, was fired for making this video.
The video doesn’t appear to be offensive at all, but if “lunchmeat” did sign a contract that said he couldn’t do this, he probably should have thought a little harder before imploring people to Thunder their butts off whilst identifying himself as a Thunder employee. (Seriously, between the pseudonym and the mask, would the Thunder really have recognized him if he didn’t explicitly say he was a Thunder employee, considering the video only has 2,537 views as of this writing?) Of course, we don’t know exactly what “lunchmeat” promised not to do when he signed his contract, so the Thunder may simply be in the wrong on this one. We’ll see if there’s any fallout from this.
Ryan Anderson in walking boot, says ankle looks “like a softball”
Ryan Anderson says his right ankle still looks like a “softball.” He’s wearing a walking boot.
The 23-year old Anderson, who was once a throw-in in a trade that sent Vince Carter to the Magic, has been enjoying a breakout season for the Magic — his PER is at 21.99, he leads all NBA players in 3-pointers made while sinking 41.3% of his attempts from deep, and he’s averaging 7.5 rebounds per game. The Magic have lost their last three games with Anderson in the lineup, so it’s conceivable that they could have a very tough stretch run if he doesn’t get healthy soon. Anderson is currently listed as “day-to-day.”
David Stern still wants to add a year to the age limit
The league wasn’t able to change its draft eligibility rules during collective bargaining last year. The rules require an American player to be 19 years old and a year out of high school. The players’ association would only agree to form a committee to discuss changes, and it is unlikely to consent to an increase without some concessions from owners.
While Stern says the NBA ”would love to add a year,” he’s pleased that the age limit, instituted in 2005, has kept NBA scouts out of high school gyms.
While forcing NBA players to attend an extra year in college is a nice enough theory, the actual merits of an increased age limit are questionable. Even if you get past whether or not it’s morally right to not allow NBA-ready players who are old enough to vote and have jobs to play in the NBA, the fact is that there are a lot more options for young basketball players to make money outside of the NBA than there are for young football players to make money outside of the NFL. Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and countless other players certainly haven’t struggled in the NBA: in fact, Bill Simmons’ top 4 picks for MVP this season have a combined 2 years of college experience.
On top of that, an increased age limit could lead to more players going overseas, like Brandon Jennings (who would be considered a success story) or Jeremy Tyler (who would not be considered as much of a success story) in order to get a payday and a more comfortable life for themselves and their families. Eliminating prep-to-pro players was one thing, and the merits of that decision can still be debated; increasing the age limit by a year would seem to be pushing it.
This will be the 10th game the 30-year old Wade has missed this season. When healthy, Wade has been amazing — he’s currently averaging 22.8 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field, and is 2nd in the NBA in PER this season. According to the Heat, Wade’s knee was “banged up” in Sunday’s game against the Celtics, when Wade scored only 15 points on 6-17 shooting from the field.
The Heat have lost 3 of their last 5 games, with all 3 of their losses coming by double-digits, so they’re certainly hoping that Wade will be back in the lineup sooner rather than later, especially considering that the Heat play the red-hot Thunder on Wednesday night.
Josh Howard to have knee surgery, miss remainder of season
#UtahJazz forward Josh Howard out for season due to upcoming left knee surgery.
The 31-year old Wake Forest product appeared in 41 games for the Jazz this season, and averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game on 39.7%/22.2%/77.9% shooting from the field. This is obviously a blow to the Jazz, who are currently a half-game out of the final playoff spot in the West. We hope that Howard has a speedy recovery and comes back at 100% next season.