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Sports Then and Now

Is This the Year for the Oklahoma City Thunder? 1

Posted on May 23, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have the Oklahoma City Thunder poised to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2012.

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have the Oklahoma City Thunder poised to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2012.

After posting dominant victories in two of the first three games of the Western Conference Finals, many former critics are jumping on the bandwagon of the Oklahoma Thunder.

Heading into game four against the Golden State Warriors, according to Sportsbook, the odds for this matchup have the Thunder as one point favorites.

Given that they won game three by 28 points after rallying to win the first game 108-102 on the road to claim home court advantage, those odds may be underselling the Thunder a bit.

Since Russell Westbrook joined the Thunder in 2008, the strength of the team has been the two-headed monster of the 6-foot-3 inch Westbrook and the 6-foot-9 inch Kevin Durant.

In game three against the Warriors, Durant scored 33 points and Westbrook added 30 points. During their game one win, Westbrook had 27 points and Durant 26. In Golden State’s win in game two, Durant had 29 points and Westbrook 16. Westbrook has registered 12 assists in each of the three games of the series. Read the rest of this entry →

Draining the Lakers in OKC; Flashback to Buffalo vs. Boston in 1974 2

Posted on April 27, 2010 by John Wingspread Howell

Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City are the most recent "upstart" team to challenge a perennial power.

There are a lot of similarities between the Oklahoma City Thunder, their current position in the NBA Playoffs versus the Los Angeles Lakers, and another “most improved” NBA team taking on Goliath, more than 35 years ago.

Like Buffalo in 1974, Oklahoma City is enjoying recent admission to the NBA. Like Buffalo, one of the smallest markets in the league in 1974, Oklahoma City is the smallest market in the NBA. Like Buffalo in 1974, the Oklahoma City Thunder have taken two young stars (Bob McAdoo, Ernie DiGregorio) and a core group of role players, let them mature, and a year later they have won almost 30 games more than the previous season, making the playoffs for the first time. And like Buffalo in 1974, Oklahoma City is holding their own with one of the league’s institutional powers. This year in Oklahoma City it’s the Lakers. In Buffalo in ’74 it was the Celtics. And like Oklahoma City this year, with their arena jam packed with loud partisan fans wearing team colors, Buffalo had filled the old “Aud” to capacity to urge their team on.

Travel back in time with me to April 6, 1974, to the greatest moment in the history of the Buffalo Braves.   The following is an excerpt from The Buffalo News. Read the rest of this entry →

As the Saints March in to the Super Bowl, A Sister City begins a March of Its Own 1

Posted on January 31, 2010 by John Wingspread Howell

New Orleans and Oklahoma City are linked by tragedy and redemption.

New Orleans and Oklahoma City are linked by tragedy and redemption.

Linked by Tragedy and Bonded by Response to Tragedy, New Orleans and Oklahoma City Walk the Same Road to Redemption

The New Orleans Saints have propelled their city to the center of the sports world’s attention, and are the sentimental favorite of most of the “uncommitted” fans as the Super Bowl approaches. They’ve been called the new, “America’s Team,” and one recent article has dubbed them, “God’s Team.”

In addition to having lived with 40 years of “Who Dat?” frustration over Saints football, New Orleans has earned the sympathy and support of much of the country for everything they suffered during Hurricane Katrina, and the after-effects that continue to persist.

But many years before Katrina, Oklahoma City experienced an event that was at least equally devastating to the civic psyche as New Orleans’ natural disaster. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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