NBA regular season is officially underway! The OKC Thunder thumped the Spurs last night in their season opener at home last night. By thumped I mean they squeaked by 112-106, but they did score more in three of their four quarters last night. #winning
Prior to the start of the season, Thunder Forward, Nick Collison (you’ll meet him later), held his annual Halloween party. I’ll leave these here, no commentary necessary.
The Thunder play tonight in Orlando vs the Magic, tune in!
Steven Adams is a hairy giant. Standing at 7’0”, this Thunder Center is the epitome of an NBA “Big”. Adams looks at least 35, but is only 22! 2015 Will be his second year in the NBA after playing for Pittsburgh. Adams is the first lottery pick and first-round pick to come out of New Zealand in NBA history. His parents are apparently running an athlete factory because he is the youngest of EIGHTEEN siblings, all of which are over 6’5” (even the girls). Six of his brothers play basketball for New Zealand and one of his sister’s is an Olympic champion in shot put.
Adams is excellent at shot blocking and is especially good at nabbing rebounds. Adams started 67 of his 70 games played last season and looks to be relied heavily upon again this season.
Serge Ibaka [pronounced “surge eeee-bah-kah”] has the height and rebound ability of a Center, but is listed as a giant Forward at 6’10”. Serge has been in the NBA since 2009, playing all of his career with the OKC Thunder. Ibaka was born in the Republic of the Congo, but spent his teen years in Spain and officially represents Spain in international competition. Having a billion siblings must be a Thunder calling because Serge, too has 17 brothers and sisters. What is in the tall people water!?
Worldly would easily describe Ibaka as he plays internationally, has lived in many countries, speaks four languages (Lingala, French, Spanish, English), and has great fashion sense-a common theme, it seems, for OKC players. He also is very generous in giving back to the community. Serge has pledged over $315,000 to UNICEF in Congo that is starting a “Get Boys and Girls in the Game” at two orphanages there. He also participated in WildAid’s “No Hype” campaign which raised awareness about problems of the ivory trade and poaching.
In 2013-14, Ibaka led the league in total blocks for the fourth straight season. He leads my heart in embarrassing the hell out of opponents with his blocks. He achieved career highs averaging 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in 2014 as well. Last season, Ibaka was injured and required season ending knee surgery in March.