During the season, NBA.com editors Darren Misener, Martin Sumners and Jim Reilly will be keeping you updated on all the best news and content from around the 30 team sites in the Conference Call Blog. This is the first edition for the Western Conference. | Darren Misener on the Eastern Conference

By Martin C. Sumners

Leader of the New School
Now that Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis are no longer on the Sonics roster and thanks to the additions of rookies Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, the youth movement is clearly in effect in Seattle. However, like the philosophy of the yin and yang, there must be a balance.

Hence, the Sonics in the off-season acquired from the Phoenix Suns veteran Kurt Thomas. The 13-year vet out of Texas Christian University entered the NBA with a rare accomplishment. He led NCAA Division I in both scoring (28.9) and rebounding (14.6) as a senior in 1994-95, becoming only the third player to accomplish the feat (Hank Gathers and Xavier McDaniel being the others). Now as the most experienced player on a roster that features 11 players with three years or less tenure in the NBA, Thomas has accepted the role of coach on the floor.

The story point outs what is known by fans and players alike about his professional attitude, smooth mid-range jump shot and his toughness, but many fans may be surprised to read about the lighter side of Thomas.

Gerald Narciso, in a special to SUPERSONICS.COM, Thomas Embraces New Role reveals the balance within Thomas. The tough guy with a cool demeanor.

The General Retired
As the San Antonio Spurs attempt to repeat as NBA champs, former Spurs floor general and current Dallas Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson, who led the Spurs to the their first NBA title in 1999, will have his Spurs jersey retired.

Miami Trade Winds
After the Heat and Timberwolves consummated the five-player trade involving Ricky Davis going to the Heat in exchange for Antoine Walker, Twolves GM Kevin Mchale and Head Coach Randy Wittman discuss the trade. And so does Walker.

Video Vignettes
Andris Biedrins, the fourth-year Latvian center for the Warriors, in his first blog entry shares video of some of his international team mates playing a great old American game. And Al Harrington leads rookies and fans in a Soulja Boy Superman dance routine.

Rookie Knee and Growing Pains
Kings center Spencer Hawes while rehabbing his knee injury sits down for a Q & A highlighting his recovery and living arrangements in the California capital city.

Kobe Breakdown
The shooting guards for the Lakers: Kobe Bryant, Maurice Evans and Coby Karl get their game broken down as does the rest of team by position.

The man called STAT, Amaré Stoudemire, due to his knack of stuffing the stat sheet with huge numbers made his pre-season debut.

Lucky No. 13
With the preseason at an end, Hornets.com's Bob Licht is making 13 observations on what has gone on in New Orleans so far.

Let's Get It On
With the NBA's 62nd season about to tip off, Rockets.com's Damien Pierce senses that after a long pre-season, the players just want to play.

We opened with revealing the lighter side of Kurt Thomas, now we point you to how the Clippers want you to think of a funny caption for a photo of a few players on the bench.