3 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 10.25.17

Wednesday Bolts: 10.25.17

Brett Dawson on Paul George facing his former team tonight: “It’s the organization I started with, had a wonderful journey with, seven unbelievable years with,” George said Tuesday. “It’ll be emotional from that standpoint.”

Clifton Brown (Indy Star) spoke with Paul George about the trade: “Paul George says he is happy, but many Indiana Pacers fans remain unhappy with him. There was no way to reconcile those conflicting emotions, as George prepared to play his first game against the Pacers on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. George was smiling and had the aura of a man at peace after Tuesday’s practice at the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility. But George admitted that the timing of his departure from the Pacers was awkward and that if he could do it again, he would have handled some things differently.”

Scott Horner (Indy Star) made a list of everything PG13 has said about the Pacers since leaving: “The Indiana Pacers are facing off against Paul George for the first time Wednesday when they visit Oklahoma City to play the Thunder. Indiana traded PG to OKC shortly after the NBA draft for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. The Thunder, who are led by NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, later added Carmelo Anthony in a trade. George talked with IndyStar’s Clifton Brown on Tuesday about his departure, but PG has talked a lot about some of the frustrations he had with the Pacers — sometimes directly and other times indirectly. Here are some highlights.”

Joe Ingles was fined $15,000 for a groin shot on Steven Adams: “Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles was fined $15K by the NBA for a groin shot to Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams on Saturday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report the news. The incident occurred with 8:53 remaining in the third quarter. Adams appeared to shoulder Ingles on the play, to which Ingles responded with the below-the-belt hit.”

The Thunder is getting techie with its approach to fan experience: “Satisfi Labs today announced its partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder in creating a digital fan assistant platform, allowing fans to get detailed team and venue information from a virtual assistant called “Fan Assist.” This Artificial Intelligence chatbot uses Satisfi Labs’ natural language processing technology to respond to the wants and expectations of the fans both inside and outside Chesapeake Energy Arena. The bot enables an interactive and real-time voice or typed chat with the team’s fans across three digital platforms: the Thunder Facebook page via Messenger, the team’s official website and official app.”

Kyle Wagner (FiveThirtyEight) on the Thunder’s slow start on the glass: “When Oklahoma City added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this offseason, there was speculation about whether the two would diminish the brilliance of Russell Westbrook. Three games into the season, Westbrook appears unfazed, already hinting at another triple-double season. However, the George and Anthony moves do seem to have had an effect on another piece of the team’s core identity: For the first time in a decade, the Thunder are struggling to rebound.”

Jimmy Do (okcthunder.com) on dedicated courts impacting communities: “Counting Tuesday’s ceremonious unveiling, 18 Thunder-themed basketball courts have been built or refurbished in Oklahoma. As a labor of love, the court makeover initiative served as a way to not only promote health and fitness, but also the love of the game throughout Oklahoma communities. “This is exactly what we love to do when we’re building basketball courts,” said Christine Berney, Thunder vice president of Community Relations. “It’s open to everybody. We want people to have fun, get outside, be active and play some basketball.”

Always cool to see:

Around the League: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis were cooking last night against Minnesota…. Anthony Davis is day-to-day after injuring his knee…. LeBron started at point guard and accumulated 13 assists…. Enes Kanter had 16 points & 19 rebounds last night…. Something strange is going on with Markelle Fultz…. How LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs saved their marriage.