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Thunder not in favorable light….Big changes for OKC?


OKC Thunder huddle during the OKC/Portland playoff game in OKC. April 21, 2019. Photo: Fred Pahlke

The reporter of the state’s newspaper of record, The Oklahoman asks Oklahoma City superstar Russell Westbrook a question in a post game press session.  Westbrook responds with a curt answer, “next question.”  A response that is again heard after another question by the respected newspaper man Barry Trammel.  The continuous Westbrook has been that way with “Tram” for the better part of two years.   With that, the Oklahoma City Thunder led by Russell Westbrook, has become an embarrassment to the NBA across the country.  THE THUNDER WAY has taken a hit.  Set by General Manager Sam Presti and endorsed by the Thunder owners/management headed by Clay Bennett,  “THUNDER WAY” has come under duress as the demeanor of Westbrook demonstrate by his childish, rude, and disingenuous treatment toward the home media has now led the other superstar, Paul George, answer a question by the press with those two words, NEXT QUESTION


No doubt that Westbrook is the most continuous person in the Thunder organization and no person, including Sam Presti, carries the reflection of the franchise like Russell.  And as much as it can be a positive look, it has turned into a negative one with his antics.


OKC is facing a bleak future with regard to the Western Conference.  As this team will have to win three straight to continue the post season in the 2nd round, that possibility is not something to put money on.  With Portland, Denver, Houston, Utah, Sacramento, San Antonio, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota,  and Dallas getting better next year, OKC will find it more difficult in making one of the eight spots for the 2020 playoffs.  Golden State might not be better in 2020, but still could be the best of the west even without Kevin Durant.    With only Memphis, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans and Phoenix beatable by this Thunder team, look for OKC and its highest salary ($147,000,000) going into next season in a less than good position.


Come tomorrow night (if OKC falls), the ownership will have to make some franchise altering decisions.   One, keep the status quo and after three straight first round exits, a fourth in 2020 is a strong possibility if the team can make the postseason.  Two, fire Same Presti, fire Billy Donovan, or just one or the other.  That will be an ownership decision.  Presti will not fire his buddy Billy D.  Three, get someone to take Steven Adams contract and find a shooter in the vein of a Buddy Heild.  This team is in need of knockdown shooters.  Four………….


Feature Photo:  Fred Pahlke

Owner Clay Bennett enjoys Game Five of the Thunder/Trailblazers playoff game in OKC. April 21, 2019- Phot: Fred Pahlke

Thunder coaching staff at a timeout. OKC/Portland playoff game 5 in OKC, April 21, 2019. Photo: Fred Pahlke

OKC’s Russell Westbrook during the OKC/Portland playoff game in OKC. Photo: Fred Pahlke


About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 65 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. He has guided various high school and college athletes in his time as an educator and coach. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

2 Responses to “Thunder not in favorable light….Big changes for OKC?”

  1. Ben Daniels
    April 23, 2019 at 10:51 am

    he is just another so called expert that knows nothing why is he not a major coach some where good look

    • April 23, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Ben, to whom are you referring to? Do tell. And thanks for reading my blog. Appreciated.

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