OKLAHOMA CITY, Thursday, May 24 - The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today the winners of the third annual Thunder Reading Challenge. The Thunder Reading Challenge, which began in November, is a competition that rewards elementary school students who read for the highest total of minutes. The top overall student, Kimberly Alvarez from Hawthorne Elementary, will be recognized Thursday, May 24 (today) with a surprise visit from Rumble the Bison.
For a 22-year old man who speaks Lingala, French, Catalan, Spanish and English, one word in Serge Ibaka’s repertoire translates between all five languages: defense.
The Thunder has a very healthy respect for its opponent, the San Antonio Spurs, who have had a high level of success over the past decade and a half. At the same time, however, players like Kevin Durant realize that his team can only control what it does in terms of offensive execution and defensive presence. During this week, the Thunder will continue to build its rapport with one another that has been growing since the team arrived four years ago.
Given nearly a week and a half between Round 1 and Round 2 of the Western Conference Playoffs, the Thunder had a choice to rest or practice. It chose the latter, with intense workouts throughout the week leading up to the series against the Los Angeles Lakers. With four full days before Game 1 on Sunday in San Antonio against the Spurs, the Thunder operated under the same principle.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Wednesday, May 23, 2012 – Thunder fans will continue to have a pregame opportunity to gather in Love’s Thunder Alley outside Chesapeake Energy Arena prior to the Thunder Western Conference Finals home games, but the event will conclude when the game begins. The Thunder will no longer show the game broadcast on the video board outside the arena.
OKLAHOMA CITY, May 23, 2012 – Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the 2011-12 season, the NBA announced earlier today.
In his third NBA season, Ibaka led the NBA and set an all-time franchise record with 3.65 blocks per game. Ibaka’s block per game average was the highest for any NBA player in more than a decade.
During the 2011-12 season, Ibaka posted 12 double-doubles while also leading the Thunder in rebounding on 21 occasions.
Each Playoff series and each Playoff game has a personality of its own, a fact of NBA basketball that was evident during the Thunder’s 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.
It was not the turning point of Game 5; that would come three possessions later in the Thunder’s 106-90 close-out victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.