More Players Arrive for Workouts

Several more Oklahoma City Thunder players arrived Tuesday at the INTEGRIS Health Thunder Development Center to workout with their teammates.

The gatherings are voluntary until training camp starts so no coaches can participate, but players said the work is still beneficial.

“We had eight guys here today and we got some good work in,” Thunder guard and new college graduate Royal Ivey told reporters. “It’s just a good feeling to be here and get some good work done.”

Ivey finished his degree at the University of Texas over the summer and fall, “I got it in less than my ten year plan,” he joked. “I got it in eight. My mom and my dad came down. My mom always told me it doesn’t matter when you get it just so you get it. I was able to knock out classes over the summer and the fall and I graduated this last Saturday. I’ve just been chipping at it like an iceberg and I finally got it done.”

Ivey also got to spend some time helping his old college coach, Rick Barnes, work with the Longhorns basketball team.

“It was a great experience and now I have so much more respect for (Thunder Coach) Scotty Brooks and his coaching staff because now I know what they go through on a day to day basis, working with young guys it’s not always the easiest thing.”

Ivey, like some of his teammates before him, got his first look at the new INTEGRIS Health Thunder Development Center and is impressed.

“This is a really nice place, probably one of the best in the NBA,” Ivey said. “It’s a blessing that we get to practice in a facility of this nature. I’m just glad to be a part of this organization.”

Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich also trained last week and over the weekend. Thunder rookie Reggie Jackson joined Durant on Monday.

Tuesday Ivey joined that same group along with guard Russell Westbrook and center Byron Mullens.

“Everybody’s been working on their game, they all look good,” Ivey said. “From the time I saw them in Austin (at a workout over the summer) to now they’ve all gotten better.”

The experience of a deep run in the playoffs last season should help the Thunder even though that run ended with a loss to Dallas.

“I think that was very valuable,” Ivey agreed. “That bittersweet taste, we’re not content on just making it to the playoffs or getting to where we were last year. We just got to go out and compete and have fun with it and just play Thunder basketball.”

More of Ivey’s teammates are expected to arrive at the practice facility on Wednesday for more voluntary workouts. The entire Thunder roster should be back in Oklahoma City by Thursday night. Training Camp is currently scheduled to begin on Friday.