Despite Long, Demanding Day, Thunder Stays Committed to Work

From practice to presents, Tuesday’s schedule for the Oklahoma City Thunder was more packed than usual.

Players ended the day with one of their favorite annual community activities, giving a “Holiday Assist” to the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. Every player participated in an annual shopping spree for 10 families at a northwest Oklahoma City Target store.

Before that, the entire team was downtown at Chesapeake Energy Arena for the team’s media day. Players answered questions from reporters and posed for photos and videos.

The real work, though, was done in the morning at the INTEGRIS Health Thunder Development Center. Despite everything else on the schedule, Tuesday was another day of Thunder Training Camp and by all accounts, another good one.

“Our guys love to practice,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks told the assembled media. “We had another great day of work today (Tuesday). I love to practice, I loved it as a player and I love it as a coach and our guys get our staff excited because they come in with great enthusiasm and energy.”

Practice on Tuesday was about the same as the previous four days of Training Camp, both time-wise and with what was accomplished.

“Our effort was good today, but it’s always been good,” Brooks said. “Our guys paid attention, they worked hard. We got some things accomplished.”

Thunder guard James Harden agrees.

“Training camp is going very smooth ... everything is just flowing," he said. "We have the majority of the same players back. We’re looking good, we’re a family now. We know how to encourage each other.”

Harden thinks that familiarity with each other, plus the stability the organization has provided, will bode well for the Thunder this season.

“We know each other in and out now, hopefully that can carry-on into the season and we can get a jump start on everyone else,” he said.

So a day that began with practice and hard work ended with Christmas presents and lots of fun. Wednesday, it will be back to work again for the Thunder because there is no time to waste. A brand new season is set to be unwrapped on Christmas Night.