Road trip to Memphis: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzles

We got the idea to travel to Memphis to catch an away game: Oklahoma City Thunder versus Memphis Grizzles after meeting some grizzly fans that were here in OKC for the playoffs last year.
They were not able to make it as they went to the Super Bowl but we came on down anyway and met some friends and new friends along the way.

The night before this trip I watched The Oklahoma City Thunder lose to the New York Knicks.
It was a dagger to the heart losing to the last team in the league.
Mentally I prepared myself that I was going to go game by game and enjoy The best of it and leave the rest. In other words to stop getting angry or commenting as if I know what’s best for the team because I don’t… (More below)
We left Oklahoma City at 8 AM Thursday.
The 6 1/2 hour drive flew by and we were soon checking into our hotel.
Lisa and I were meeting friends Patty and Todd. So we went up to our room and spruced up and met them down in the lobby.
I had only met Patty and Todd one other time but we became fast friends in a perfect setting for soul food and fun.
I think all of our souls were fed this weekend.
We had reservations at BB Kings for BBQ Thursday night.
We had the soul All-Stars playing music while we ate some amazing barbecue. Our waiter was especially helpful and quick.
We chatted with the Sax player who was stoned but played out of his mind.

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We all got up and danced to what seemed like 10 minute long songs!

Some of the other things that we did over the weekend we went to Gus’s fried chicken, we drove by the national civil rights museum where Martin Luther King was assassinated.
Did the Graceland tour.
Drove by some Victorian historical homes.

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We went to the Westin Hotel to get drinks and watched the Oklahoma City thunder board their buses.

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Saturday came quick and before we knew it was time for the game.

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This was my first game to go to enemy territory to watch the Oklahoma City thunder play. I was a little nervous wondering how fans around us would react. I was pleasantly surprised how friendly with a competitive spirit the fans have.

It was playful whether we were winning or losing.
A kind grandpa huge Memphis grizzlies fan brought his grandson who is a KD Oklahoma City thunder fan to the game they sat right in front of us.

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Grizzles beat OKC 85-74
Game observations. Kevin Durant
did not seem right he was slow and a step behind most of the game
•Memphis grizzlies fans really hate Steven Adams. He got bigger boo’s then Russell Westbrook.
•The FedEx had cupholders which would be quite handy at Chesapeake arena:-)
•Russell Westbrook seemed especially angry during the game.
Caron Butler, Kevin Martin, I mean Dion Waiters went for a layup with nobody around and completely missed it and had to re-shoot I did blush.
When we started to miss every shot in the fourth quarter I didn’t even get mad. I just sucked up all the energy in the form and enjoyed watching an NBA game away from home.
•I do still comment as if I’m a General manager though:-)
Here is a video of some of the sights and sounds of Memphis. http://youtu.be/-jyjtIVU5dg

Memphis fans in the grind house kept asking us how far of a drive it was for us. When we told them they all expressed interest in making the drive themselves to catch in Oklahoma City thunder/ grizzly game in OKC and I highly recommend it.
Beale Street has an old swanky vibe that kept us laughing talking healing.
It is a trip I will never forget.
Patty and Todd felt like relatives I’ve known my whole life. Lisa kept me laughing so hard I think I bruised a rib the first night!
Next game is tomorrow at home vs. The Magic.
Hopefully Oklahoma City will convince us all they are back. Oh what a dream.

The Oklahoma City Thunder win big vs. The Golden State Warriors

After getting whipped and totally humiliated by The Houston Rockets the night before, this game was going to either be redemption or the sky is falling in Oklahoma City. I could not believe the negativity and doom that is on local sports radio. Particularly Jim Traber of WWLS Sports Animal. I don’t always listen but when I do it’s like listening to a skipping record. Most of local sports media with the exception of Royce Young and a couple others is appalling. It’s attacking and sloppy. It’s no wonder that Russell Westbrook has shut down his interviews. I’ll get some more of that later.

We started out the night at Iquana lounge (downtown) for dinner. The food is excellent here and tonight I got Carnitas. This was an off night of low-carb eating.

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https://m.facebook.com/Iguanaokc?_rdr

The Game
The Oklahoma City thunder started out strong and stayed strong the entire game. The bodysnatchers brought our team back in the nick of time. Kevin Durant with “Ice in his Veins” and Russell Westbrook the energizer bunny. Still going!!!!

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Russell Westbrook 17 points 17 rebounds 15 assist.
Kevin Durant 36 points 14-18 shooting.
Ibaka went for a couple threes changed his mind and drive to the basket or pull-up jumpers.
Dion Waiters got 21 points and was hustling Defense.
Amazing playing!
Earlier in the day we heard a bunch of rumors about Brook Lopez coming to the Oklahoma city thunder in a trade with Kendrick Perkins and Jeremy Lamb. That deal was put on hold before the game otherwise we wouldn’t of been able to get this picture. *taken by my son

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Morrow had a pretty sick three point shot!
3 point Anthony Morrow

Oh and I made the Jumbotron yikes! I was texting and talking to a friend

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This was OKC Thunder best game of the entire season. Thank God the bodysnatchers brought our guys back. Please don’t take them again!

Thunder win 127-115

After the game there was the interview that got a lot of media attention.
For the last few games Russell Westbrook has kept his answers real short and made it known he is no friend of the media. Why would he be? He is bashed every single day by them. And recently with the Thunder record and loses The brunt of the criticism falls on him. He is never been a media charmer. But he did seem to get a bit friendlier after he went down with his leg. That has all changed.
VIDEO HERE:
Execution By Russell Westbrook video

So The guy in the interview that Russell does not like is Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman newspaper. Photo below.

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Berry wrote the Mr. Unreliable story about Kevin Durant last year before he won the MVP.
People keep telling me he didn’t write the headline that they have headline writers. I have a problem with that because that means there is no one person accountable. It means they have anonymous writers doing headlines to keep their “star” writers protected. The bottom line is Berry Tramel’s name was on that article would you want to work for a paper that doesn’t let you have creative license over your own newspaper article caption?
I know players make a fortune but they are also human too. All the money in the world doesn’t make people like Russell Westbrook fake. Do I think he could’ve handled it better, yes, but I was also cheering for him.
I always felt like the interviews were stupid and painstaking to watch especially after a loss. What does media expect players to say before and after 80 games a season! Nothing profound comes out of those interviews just a lot of awkward.

Next up is Orlando Magic 5 games on the road until they get back here!!

Keep it classy and
Thunder up!

Kevin Durant’s Magic too much for the Wizards.

Kevin Durant is back and I’ve never seen him look more relaxed and focused, then he did against the wizards.
He made everything look easy.
Pretty much everyone watching has their jaws hanging open in awe. Durant has a pregame handshake ritual with the team. video here:
http://youtu.be/vRGUOoYrjHY

I really have to give it up to Kendrick Perkins, last season everybody was calling for his head on a platter. Amnesty Perkins, trade Perkins, he makes too much money, blah blah.
Do you remember when Perkins with scored two points a game…maybe! This game ..Kendrick Perkins had six points, four rebounds and some important defensive play. When he had his exit interview last season he said he was coming back different and he did.
He puts it all out there every single game. He’s doing things we’ve never seen him do since he’s been a thunder Player. I can see why management stayed loyal to him. you don’t see him moping around coming off the bench. I appreciate how hard he plays in the face of essentially been demoted to the bench. His hustle gets the crowd going and I’ve seen more screaming and ovations for him this season. Way to go Kendrick Perkins you are a great example of “never give up.”

Nick Collison also came in. We have not seen him much this season. He is such a solid and consistent player. The chemistry between he and Steven Adams is something to see.

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The Thunder let their big lead dwindle down but finally finished off the wizards. 109 – 102
Sights and sounds video here. http://youtu.be/V8xJfC7_XY0

Big game with the Warriors Tuesday but don’t stress, Kevin Durant has ice in his veins!

Thunder up!

The Suns go down vs. OKC Thunder on New Year’s Eve

The Oklahoma City thunder started out as a complete team with Kevin Durant coming back into the lineup after being out with a sprained ankle. Late in the second quarter Russell Westbrook gets ejected from the game. Alex Len and Russell Westbrook get into a verbal exchange and after a play Alex Len swings Westbrook to the ground to fight.
I thought he’d be ejected but instead both he and Russell Westbrook got technicals.
After shooting the technicals Russell Westbrook goes in for an easy lay up. The crowd goes crazy and he walks over to the bench and gets called for another technical for “taunting” and is ejected from the game.
Video here: http://youtu.be/scrGArDE53Y

You can see and hear the crowd go crazy over the call.
Before the game started Davis, Who I recruited to write for this blog, said “Watch Kevin Durant drop 40 points tonight!”
I was only skeptical because this was Kevin Durant’s first game back after missing seven, but I high-fived him because I love when he talks like that!
Let’s go KDdddddddddd!!

 

 

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Kevin Durant scores 44 Pts in his return to lead Thunder past Suns in OT, 137-134.
Tweets from Oklahoma City thunder players after the game.

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Here are FULL FAN Video highlights from the game.
http://youtu.be/9xQKmy8HGK8

This season there has been a lot of games that we lost in the final minutes seconds of the game. That dreaded feeling came over lots of fans at the end of that game. Davis kept looking over at me and saying “Kevin Durant has ice in his veins, don’t worry.” It always makes me smile when he talks like that I love it so much!!

Kevin Durant The cold blooded NBA killer is back.

Thunder up!

It ain’t Pretty in Oklahoma City for the Thunder!

Worst loss of the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder should have won that game.
Damien Lillard was the hero with this three point game time shot to send the game into overtime.

Video Here:
http://youtu.be/Ld1J3yZZZsM

You can see Serge Ibaka clearly frustrated by his late defense.
It shouldn’t of happened but it did and by the next play Serge and DaMarcus Aldridge get into an altercation and both get ejected.
http://youtu.be/iaSA6nKgmyA

 

final score 115-111 Blazers win

The most disappointing thing was seeing fans getting into a fight in the stands. Full on fistfight.

http://youtu.be/JII5HBSJBOo

Another view: http://youtu.be/hpogfK4_iAg

We knew the day would come when some fans would get batshit crazy and take things too seriously.
It’s a damn game, get a grip people. You have a lot to be thankful to be at an NBA game and seeing some of the best players in the world. Calm down and show some class.
The reality is the Thunder are not ALWAYS going to be good. They will have rough seasons. You can’t control it. You have no control. Let that sink in.
When Kevin Durant won his MVP even he admitted basketball is merely a platform and it’s not the most important thing. Fans yell at opposing teams. Then, after the game you see Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook cutting up with them – giving them a hug Etc.
It would be nice if fans enjoyed what we have here. It’s pretty freaking amazing!
I’m fortunate to get to go with one of my friends who invites me to the games. I appreciate every single minute I get to see.

I hope the love affair that the NBA media has for the Oklahoma City thunder fans doesn’t turn against us.
With fans exiting early. Screaming obnoxious obscenities and acting like idiots.
Most fans are amazing it’s just the few that make it bad for everyone.
Thunder fans Lisa and Davis are in San Antonio for Oklahoma City thunder vs. San Antonio game tomorrow. They will be there like many other games cheering on the thunder.
I’ll be here watching with my son Who is a San Antonio Spurs fan!
Thunder up and keep it classy OKC!!

C’mon Russell!! Russell Westbrook and the armchair point guards.

What is wrong with people?

How many of the media and NBA fans have ever played on the NBA team as a starting point guard on one of the best teams in the league?

How many of those fans or media have The athletic ability of Westbrook?
What about the heart that gets left out on the floor every single game.

I’m pretty sure that’s nobody.

So explain to me why there are so many Russell Westbrook experts?
Experts that easily explain how they would do things differently. image

On every bad play or decision Russell Westbrook makes. Easily forgetting the MVP caliber game he had two nights ago.

Russell Westbrook plays angry, committed focused. He’s frustrating because maybe he’s frustrated.
He gets the team involved like a simple layup to Serge Ibaka that Serge was late for and blew the play. Russell takes matters into his own hands to get the job done sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.
Unfortunately we have players like Jeremy Lamb Perry Jones Reggie Jackson Who are not consistent.

The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result. Fans and media need to stop trying to put a square peg in around hole. Russell has been here for six years and he’s the same guy.
Stop trying to make Russell Westbrook Magic Johnson Steph Curry or Rajon Rondo. He is different and he will always be different and we will have to take the bad with the good. But luckily there is a whole lot of good.

•He is the most athletic point guard we have ever seen.
•if teammates are missing shots or not stepping up he’s going to take it upon himself.
•He is the alpha leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder
•He will go up for three rebounds in a row.
•He will be one of the only players consistently diving on the ground to get a ball.

And yeah
•He’s going to play hero ball sometimes
•He will take too many 3s. Occasionally.
•made bad shots.

One of my favorite Oklahoma City thunder fans stands up before “the first” Russell Westbrook free-throw
And screams his name you can hear it on TV and in the Arena.

She started doing it A few years ago because of all the bad talk and press Russell Westbrook it gets.
She stood up and showed her support when a lot of people questioned if he was the right guy for OKC.

Here she is last night.
http://youtu.be/PwJHstMHkK4

From one fan, Russell keep being you and doing what you do.
You continue to improve and get better every year. You give more of yourself.
Keep on keepin on.

 

 

C’mon Russell!!!!!

 

*my dog Maggie above

 

Oklahoma City Thunder beat Utah and all that Jazz!

First things first..

This was the most fun thunder game I have been to all season, It’s much better when the Thunder win!

Jeremy Lamb off the bench was a big reason the Thunder won this game. You can see his work here.

Oklahoma City won!

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were all in black. Clearly Russ sent KD a box of his Russell Westbrook collection, as Kevin Durant has upped his fashion game while he has been on the bench.

Here is Russell at the scorers table checking on stats,

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Russell Westbrook Checking stats at the scorers table.

Russell Westbrook Checking stats at the scorers table.

Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz was pretty amazing and I had two basketball friends in my ear telling me how talented this guy is and to watch out for him in the future.

The battle between Serge Ibaka and Gordon Hayward

win!

 

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The best video of the night was made by my son Wil Van Beckum. Video was shot in slow motion of Anthony Morrow

Watch here:

Wil Van Beckum with the best video of the night with his girlfriend Jana and her brother Mitch.

Wil Van Beckum with the best video of the night with his girlfriend Jana and her brother Mitch.

Everyone was the car was singing to 90’s music in the car on the way home and this came on Marky Mark Good Vibrations…

The Oklahoma City Thunder drought is over!

Oklahoma Win 97- 82

*note* If you ever come to an Oklahoma city Thunder game from out of town and you are looking for a place to eat you must go to Mickey Mantel. The food and service is amazing. We eat out before most games and its the Best of Oklahoma.

site here: http://mickeymantlesteakhouse.com/