Are you looking out for ways that can help you decorate your really affordable oklahoma city apartments and keep the landlord happy so that the security deposit remains in your reach? A rental unit can prove to be a wonderful way of saving good amount of money before you look for home-ownership. Read more…
The So Help Me’s perform at the inaugural AMP Festival in 2016. Photo by Madison Rae
More than a dozen acts prominently featuring female musicians are on the lineup for the second annual AMP Festival, set for noon to 8 p.m. Saturday on Ninth Street in Oklahoma City’s historic Automobile Alley.
The lineup includes LCG and the X, Miillie Mesh, Sara Loethen, The So Help Me’s, Ashton Edminster, QueensOfNoise, Felina Rivera, Katie Williams, Odessa I Reign, Should Been Blonde, Audra and the Whippoorwills, Tara Henry and Haniwa.
The AMP Festival is designed as a celebration of art and music created by women. The all-day event will feature 13 all-female bands, female-fronted bands and solo performers in an array of genres from folk to hip hop, as well as more than 50 artist and artisan tents.
“We are extremely excited to be doing AMP Festival a second year and so grateful these musicians have agreed to play and are behind our mission to inspire and empower all women and girls to perform all kinds of music and art!” said Justin Coleman, Vice President of Revolve Productions, in a news release.
Fowler Automotive/Fowler Holding Company is partnering with Revolve Productions to produce this year’s event.
“Fowler is excited to help make this event possible, and we are proud to support efforts that amplify women in Oklahoma music. As a female visual artist myself, I’m honored to work for a company that values what our female artists bring to this community” stated Kristen Vails, director of community outreach for Fowler Holding Company, in the news release.
The AMP Festival is an all-ages event and admission is free to the public. Sponsorships help produce the festival, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Oklahoma City Girls Art School.
For more information, go to www.ampfestokc.com. Get social with the event at www.facebook.com/ampfestokc, twitter.com/ampfestokc or www.instagram.com/ampfestokc.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a beautiful cultural attraction located right in the heart of the city. If you are going to be visiting the museum, there are a few tips that can help ensure that you have a great experience.
Even if you are going to the museum with other people, you should consider browsing the art on your own. Spending time alone with each painting or piece of artwork can give you a chance to really observe it without outside influences. You can always discuss your favorite pieces with other people in your group. The first time you view a piece, however, it is usually a good idea to look at it on your own.
You should also avoid taking pictures of the artwork. Interestingly, studies have found that taking photos of artwork can actually make it harder for you to remember what it actually looks like. Instead, spend time with each piece simply observing it with your own two eyes. If you do want to take a photograph of something, snap a picture as you are moving on to the next piece since you will have already had a chance to really observe it.
Another great tip is to wear comfortable shoes when you visit the museum. The building is quite large, coming in at 110,000 square feet. If you want to take in all of the exhibits, you should plan on doing quite a bit of walking. That is why it is important to make sure that your shoes are up to the task.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a fun and interesting place to visit. There are some really beautiful pieces of art on display, making it a great place to spend time if you enjoy art and culture.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The superintendent of the Oklahoma City school district says she’ll ask the school board for permission to discuss the possibility of renaming four elementary schools that are currently named after Confederate army generals.
Superintendent Aurora Lora said Wednesday that she wants to learn if patrons of the schools are interested in changing the schools’ names. Lora said she doesn’t wish to force a new school name on the communities.
Lora’s announcement comes after a deadly clash Saturday between counter-protesters and white nationalists during a rally opposing the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In Oklahoma City, Lee, Jackson, Stand Watie and Wheeler elementary schools are named after Confederate generals.
Lora’s request is to be considered by the school board on Sept. 5.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A tiger cub who was rejected by her mother at the Philadelphia Zoo can be seen bonding with her adoptive mother and brothers in Oklahoma via live-streaming video.
The Oklahoma City Zoo launched the "Tiger Cub Cam " Thursday, showing Zoya with her new mother Lola and brothers Eko, Ramah and Gusti playing, feeding and sleeping indoors. The cubs are expected to move outdoors in mid-September.
Lola gave birth July 8 and Zoya was born July 9.
Zoya is an Amur, also known as a Siberian tiger, while Lola and her cubs are Sumatran tigers. Zoya was sent to Oklahoma City because the two tiger subspecies are similar.
Amur and Sumatran tigers are endangered, with fewer than 500 of each believed to be living in the wild.
Interviews and Photos: Oklahoma City’s Jewel Box Theatre Celebrating 60th Season with Classics, Comedies and Musicals
From left, Emma Poindexter, Michael James and Jacob Dever appear in a publicity photo for Jewel Box Theatre’s 2017-18 season opener "To Kill a Mockingbird." Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
A version of this story appears in the Sunday Life section of The Oklahoman.
Celebrating six decades
Jewel Box Theatre’s 60th anniversary season takes flight with ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
For six decades, Jewel Box Theatre has kept its intimate stage bustling with classics and comedies, musicals and dramas.
“It’s great stories told really well. I think they do a good job with that,” said Ben Hall, a mainstay in the Oklahoma City theater community. “It’s great to see a theater that’s been around 60 years. That’s pretty impressive and pretty exciting. There are some folks that have gone on to pretty decent careers, and when you talk to almost all of them – whether it’s (professional actors) Jonathan Beck Reed or Stacey Logan or whomever – they’ve all got one or two Jewel Box stories in their pocket to tell.”
Sponsored by First Christian Church, the Jewel Box is the oldest continuously operating community theater in Oklahoma City.
“We are here for 60 years because of great audiences who are faithful and loyal, open to new ideas,” said Chuck Tweed, the Jewel Box’s longtime production director. “And we have a great, working board where every single member of that 22-member board actually does something, and I think that combination works.”
The theater is celebrating its 60th anniversary season with a couple of classic titles as well as four Jewel Box debuts that call to mind some of the most popular shows in its long history.
“Trying to put a season together of something that people are gonna want to see is obviously the bottom line,” said Tweed, adding that the First Christian Church’s decision to put its historic property up for sale isn’t expected to affect the theater in the immediate future.
“For the 60th, we are going to start with something new: some new actors. The theater has been around since before most of them were born. … It’s nice that after 60 years you’re moving along with new plays, with new actors.”
Jewel Box Theatre opens its 60th season with the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird" Aug. 17 through Sept. 10. Poster design by Jime Wimmer
As part of its 2017-18 season, Jewel Box Theatre presents the venerable farce "Charley’s Aunt" March 1-25. Poster design by Jime Wimmer
The Jewel Box will open its 2017-18 season Aug. 17-Sept. 10 with the beloved American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Hall will direct Christopher Sergel’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about an upstanding lawyer’s attempts to defend a wrongly accused black man.
Set in the 1930s in a fictional small town in Alabama, the Jewel Box will present the stage version that features Atticus’ grown-up daughter Jean Louise (AKA Scout) as the narrator, Tweed said.
“She starts it telling us a story of her past, and then the past comes to life. And then she comes in and out during the show to relay to them what’s going to happen and her memory of it,” Tweed said.
“It’s a classic. What a way to start the season. The name alone sells it. People know this story, and sometimes coming in to see a production that you already know … it’s like putting your feet in comfy slippers.”
Along with its iconic characters and story, Hall said “To Kill a Mockingbird” features themes that remain relevant.
“It’s nice to revisit a story that’s a great story, something that’ll hold up – like this is one. I think possibly now with the social-political conversations that people are having around the country, this might even be more pertinent than it has been at times in the intervening years,” Hall said. “The whole question of how do we see each other, how are people treated under the law, unconscious discrimination, those kinds of things are kind of in the public’s mind right now.”
In spring, Jewel Box will stage the venerable British comedy “Charley’s Aunt,” which was first produced at the Royalty Theatre in London on 1892. The OKC theater will mount Brandon Thomas’ madcap farce March 1-25 under the direction of Richard Lemin.
“Charley’s Aunt” centers on a pair of pals who invite their lady-loves and their families to meet a rich relative during her planned visit from Brazil. When the millionaire aunt cancels her travel plans at the last minute, the fellows persuade a schoolmate to disguise himself as Charley’s aunt so they can go ahead with the important introductions. Naturally, the real aunt turns up after all, and comedic chaos ensues.
“It’s an old, old classic,” Tweed said. “‘Some Like It Hot,’ ‘Charley’s Aunt,’ any of those shows where you have some cross-dressing going on, it’s always funny. … For some reason, a guy in a dress, it’s funny. One we did last year, ‘Leading Ladies,’ had guys who were looking for jobs and had to dress up as women because they were trying to get an inheritance. It’s just always funny.”
As part of its 60th season, Jewel Box Theatre performs the holiday musical revue "Plaid Tidings" Nov. 9 through Dec. 3. Poster design by Jime Wimmer
As part of its 2017-18 season, Jewel Box Theatre performs the musical sequel "Nunsense II: The Second Coming" Jan. 18 to Feb. 11. Poster design by Jime Wimmer
The theater will pay tribute to two of the most popular shows in its history by performing for the first time a pair of musical sequels: “Plaid Tidings,” planned for Nov. 9-Dec. 3 under the direction of Scott Hynes, and “Nunsense II: The Second Coming,” which Shawna Linck will direct Jan. 18-Feb. 11.
“We’re doing two musicals back-to-back, and that will be a first for us,” Tweed said. “Our audiences are just the best. They’re so receptive to everything, but we still wanted something familiar in there.”
Stuart Ross’ “Plaid Tidings” is the Christmas follow-up to the popular musical revue “Forever Plaid,” which pays nostalgic homage all-male vocal quartets of the 1950s and ’60s.
After returning from the afterlife to play a gig in “Forever Plaid,” the dearly departed Plaids — Francis, Jinx, Smudge, and Sparky – put on a second posthumous performance in “Plaid Tidings,” when a phone call from the heavenly Rosemary Clooney dispatches them to bring holiday harmony to a discordant world.
“For ‘Nunsense’ and for that show (‘Forever Plaid’), we’ve had as many as over 30 people on a waiting list for a night,” Tweed said. “‘Nunsense’ is the most-produced show we’ve ever done. Over the years we’ve done it like three times … for 125 performances. It always sells out. Seeing this ‘Nunsense’ title, they’re going to come in really ready.”
After putting on a musical fundraiser to bury their dearly departed fellow nuns in “Nunsense,” the Sisters of Hoboken are bitten by the acting bug and plan a thank-you show in Dan Goggin’s sequel.
As part of its 60th season, Jewel Box Theatre performs Michael McKeever’s comedy "Suite Surrender" Sept. 28 through Oct. 22. Poster design by Jime Wimmer
As part of its 2017-18 season, Jewel Box Theatre presents the comedy "Always a Bridesmaid" April 12 through May 6. Poster design by Jime Wimmer
Plus, Jewel Box will debut two uproarious titles from playwrights whose works have been big hits in recent years. Fans of the TV show “Feud: Bette and Joan” might be drawn to the door-slamming comedy “Suite Surrender,” by Michael McKeever, whose “37 Postcards” was a popular selection for the theater last season.
Set in 1942, “Suite Surrender”is about two feuding Hollywood divas who descend upon the luxurious Palm Beach Royale Hotel, only to be accidentally assigned the same room. Directed by Don Taylor, the Jewel Box premiere is set for Sept. 28-Oct. 22.
“Nothing gets anybody like a feud. Taylor Swift and Katy Perry would be a good example of one that’s been going on a long time, so it’s still relevant. You get a feud going, and everybody just homes in on it, for good or bad. In this case, it’s a comedy, so it’s funny to watch all of the mistaken identities … and shenanigans that go on,” Tweed said. “Then, there’s really a surprise ending that nobody will see coming.”
With Doobie Potter directing, the 60th anniversary season will close April 12-May 6 with “Always a Bridesmaid,” another tale of zany Southern women by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, who penned one of the smashes of Jewel Box’s 2014-15 season.
“Once they (audiences) find out it’s the three people that wrote ‘Dixie Swim Club,’ they’re gonna go, ‘Oh yeah,’” Tweed said.
“It’s about five women who vow they will always be there when the others get married. At prom, they vow that — they just didn’t realize there were going to be so many weddings. They keep getting married or engaged or whatever over this span of time.”
As the Jewel Box marks its 60th season, Tweed is celebrating an impressive 40-year span as production director. During his tenure, the Jewel Box has boosted its number of season ticket holders from 237 to 2,700 and started such programs as its annual Gem Awards, a national playwriting competition and a behind-the-scenes theater boot camp.
“We’re lucky, and I know it. But nobody does it alone. We have a board, we have an audience, and we’ve taken this journey together. And we have some people that have almost been here as long as I have,” Tweed said.
“It’s like the old adage: find a job you like and you’ll never work a day in your life. … It’s still as exciting today as it was when I first started. I first started doing plays in junior high school. My drama teacher, fell in love with her — Faye Garten was her name – and she gave me my life. So, I get to play every day. Who wouldn’t want to do that?”
From left, Emma Poindexter, Jacob Dever, Mark Ingham and Tad Thurston appear in a publicity photo for Jewel Box Theatre’s 2017-18 season opener "To Kill a Mockingbird." Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Jewel Box Theatre’s 60th anniversary season
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
When: Aug. 17-Sept. 10.
When: Sept. 28-Oct. 22.
When: Nov. 9-Dec. 3.
“Nunsense II: The Second Coming”
When: Jan. 18-Feb. 11.
When: March 1-25.
“Always a Bridesmaid”
When: April 12-May 6.
Where: Jewel Box Theatre, 3700 N Walker.
Information: 521-1786 or www.jewelboxtheatre.org.
Volunteer Ernest Odunze gives high-fives to all the children at the beginning of the first day of school at Thelma Parks Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Okla. Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
Rain greeted about 40,000 Oklahoma City Public Schools students who returned to classrooms across the state’s largest district on Tuesday.
The downpour did little to dampen the spirits of students, teachers and administrators at Thelma Parks Elementary, where kids were greeted by Pam Hibbs, the school’s new principal.
"I’m excited to see all of my friends," said My’shaa Brown, 7, who showed up on the first day with a Shopkins backpack.
Parks, 1501 NE 30, is one of 19 district schools with a new principal.
"It’s always exciting on the first day of school. Period. I love it, I get to be around kids all day," said Hibbs, who was the district’s early childhood director before being named interim principal July 20.
Kids sampled scrambled eggs, cereal, apple slices, orange juice and chocolate milk in the school cafeteria at no cost, thanks to a federal program that subsidizes meals for schools and school districts in low-income areas.
Parents and children at Parks, meanwhile, didn’t have to purchase school supplies. Those were provided by Restore OKC, a nonprofit made up of volunteers from surrounding churches, many of whom were on hand to greet parents and children.
Superintendent Aurora Lora visited with children, toured the school and read with prekindergarten students.
Lora even comforted a boy who started to cry when he realized his cousin was in a different classroom.
"Kids are happy. Teachers are happy. I think it’s going to be a great year, she said. "Kids are excited to be back. Everyone loves summer, but sometimes you want to get back and see your friends and have things to do again."
Omni Hotels & Resorts and the City of Oklahoma City reached a public financing agreement last week to deliver a convention center hotel to downtown. (Image HKS, Inc. / Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority / provided)
In three years, Oklahoma City will be home to a $288 million, state-of-the-art convention center with more than 275,000 square feet of event space. Adjacent to the venue will be the 70-acre Scissortail Park as the Oklahoma City Streetcar glides by with service to popular downtown destinations, including Midtown, Automobile Alley and Bricktown.
In 2009, Oklahoma City voters backed the third installment of MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects), MAPS 3, to further transform and improve the city, mostly downtown. In coming months and years, residents and visitors will begin to experience eight quality-of-life projects developed for an estimated $777 million. Some smaller MAPS 3 projects like Riversport Rapids and the fairground’s Bennett Event Center are already complete and operational.
Three years from now, a 600-room, $235.5 million hotel by Omni Hotels & Resorts will rise across the street from the convention center, located within the boundaries of SW Fourth and SW Seventh streets between S. Robinson Avenue and S. Shields Boulevard. Last week, the Oklahoma City Council approved an $85.4 million public financing agreement with the luxury hotel chain, sealing the future of a headquarters convention center hotel.
While it has taken years to get to this point with the convention center — architecture firm Populous delivered 60 percent of the project final plans to the council July 18 — it has also taken just as long to land a convention center hotel. Despite the importance of their coexistence, the two are separate projects.
Discussion about the need for a new convention center to replace aging Cox Convention Center led to hotel talks between city and economic development officials.
The debate is now over. Oklahoma City has officially joined a growing list of cities not only building a convention center, but also handing out millions to ensure the development of a neighboring full-service hotel in efforts to attract convention-goers and spur city tourism revenue.
In addition to improving the quality of life in Oklahoma City, MAPS projects spur private investment, which is evident from the original MAPS projects, like the improvements to the Oklahoma River and the construction of Bricktown Ballpark. A key negotiator in the deal with Omni, Cathy O’Connor, who leads Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, said private investment follows the city’s proposed streetcar system, downtown urban park and convention center.
A 600-room hotel across from the convention center that is connected by a sky bridge will also spur the local economy, O’Connor said.
“This project is designed to create new economic impacts and benefits to Oklahoma City,” O’Connor said as she spoke in favor of a headquarters hotel when addressing the council at its regular July 18 meeting. “It will generate increased tourism to Oklahoma City, which is one of the fastest-growing components of our local economy, it will provide job creation and increased employment opportunities both as the hotel is constructed and as the hotel continues operation. And it will enhance and foster greater utilization of the new convention center, making it much more economically feasible and sound as it goes forward with its operations.”
Those economic benefits come with a tax subsidy. Oklahoma City’s Omni is expected to cost $235.5 million, with 36 percent of that funding provided by a subsidy. To pay off the bonds over a 25-year period, the council plans to sell municipal bonds to cover its share and use 10 different funding sources.
In addition to tax increment financing (TIF), the public financing package includes lease payments from past public assistance that was provided for the development of The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City and Bass Pro Shop and land payments for the hotel site. City officials said more than half of the public assistance comes from the operations of the hotel.
Under conditions in the 45-year agreement, Omni will pay $200,000 a year for 25 years, beginning the fifth year after hotel completion. Omni will make a minimum annual tax payment of $1.4 million for 30 years.
Additionally, Omni is required to pay the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust 10 percent of its net operating income in excess of $20 million, capped at $15 million.
In the agreement, the city promises to deliver on its commitment to building the convention center, downtown park and streetcar system. Additionally, Omni will be Oklahoma City’s “convention center hotel.”
The city must move forward with the build and operation of a parking garage to serve Omni and convention center guests. Under a parking easement agreement, Omni will have access to 450 parking spaces, which access at the market rate.
Oklahoma City Council has estimated the parking garage building cost will be $37 million, and it has been suggested to use some funds from the MAPS 3 contingency fund to complete it. The council has not reached any final decision on a funding plan for the garage.
Cox Convention Center, which is currently the city’s main convention center, may not be used as the main convention center one year after Omni opens. The agreement restricts redevelopment as a hotel. Omni would be offered first rights to develop a hotel on the site. Additionally, the agreement creates a “no-subsidy zone” that would restrict the city from offering subsidies for any future hotel development. First National Center, which is beginning renovations to make way for a hotel, apartments and retail/dining, was excluded from the zone.
Print headline: Done deal; OKC approves an $85.4 million subsidy to help fund Omni convention center hotel development.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and veteran forward Nick Collison have agreed to a new contract, the team announced Friday.
Collison signed a one-year, $2.3 million deal for the veteran’s minimum, according to multiple reports.
"We are excited that Nick is returning for his 10th season with the Thunder and know he will bring tremendous depth to our team given his ability to play both frontcourt positions with grit, skill and intelligence," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement.
Collison, who played just 6.4 minutes per game last season, was drafted by the SuperSonics in 2003 and has spent all 12 seasons with the franchise, holding the distinction as the only Thunder player at the end of last season to have played in Seattle.
After cementing himself as one of the most professional role players in the league, Collison saw his playing time severely dip last season, only appearing in 20 games and averaging a career-low 6.4 minutes, his first season ever in single-digit minutes. With his contract up, retirement was thought to be a consideration for Collison, but he stated after the season he still feels he has more to give.
"I plan to play for sure," Collison said. "I wasn’t sure going into the season how I would feel at the end of the year, but I still enjoy playing, and I enjoy being around the group. I enjoy being on the team, and I still think I have something to offer."
Collison is the rare player to have spent such a long time with one franchise, and even more remarkably, this is the first time he’s ever been a free agent. In previous years, he signed contract extensions with the Thunder before reaching free agency.
Known for his pick-and-roll defensive prowess, charge-taking and leadership in the locker room, Collison is a gifted passer and an underrated finisher below the rim.
Collison, 35, averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds last season, but holds career averages of 6.0 points and 5.2 rebounds in 895 games.
ESPN’s Royce Young contributed to this report.
The Oklahoma City Thunder made a big splash by trading for Paul George.
MORE: Paul George says Westbrook and Durant are ‘good again’
Are you convinced OKC will be significantly better next season?
Steve Aschburner: I’ll skip any quibbling over what we mean by “significant” and just say yes. For this season, sure, adding a Paul George who’s ready for his close-up is a big, impact-y move because he’ll be eager to show how well he can play with his MVP peer Russell Westbrook and because he’ll have a brighter spotlight on him than he ever did in Indy. Also, the players the Thunder gave up won’t nag at that team in their absence — George covers whatever Victor Oladipo did and Domantas Sabonis wasn’t ready to change the front line’s dynamic in a pace-and-space league. I’d still rather see George with the Lakers right now, rather than having player and team moon over each other from afar for a year. But this will be entertaining, and OKC should see a nice bump in victories.
Fran Blinebury: You have to define significantly better. The combination of Russell Westbrook and Paul George does not let OKC crack top three in West of Golden State, San Antonio, Houston. I can see them going from last year’s 47 wins to the 50-51 range that puts them in the 4-5 holes that were occupied by the Clippers and Jazz. Where the effect could be felt is in the playoffs were the new 1-2 punch makes them a much tougher out.
Scott Howard-Cooper: The Thunder will be better. It’s tough to attach a subjective term because improving by, say, five games, could be considered significant to some but not to others. But reaching the 50s in wins and at the very least playing a competitive first-round series after a 4-1 elimination last time, maybe even winning, would be a step forward. All of which sets OKC up for the truly significant moment: Paul George’s decision.
Shaun Powell: I think we should define "significantly" first. Will they have a cleaner look and an additional weapon besides Westbrook? Or course. Will this put them in the mix with the Spurs and Rockets? Perhaps. Do they have a shot at the Warriors? (Cue the James Harden side-eye video clip.)
John Schuhmann: They will be better, and it’s not just about Paul George, because Patrick Patterson is another addition that can make an impact on both ends of the floor. With the two teams in front of them in the ’16-17 standings — the LA Clippers and Utah Jazz — both losing their best players this summer, the Thunder can move up in the standings. But it remains to be seen if OKC can climb into Tier 2 (Houston and San Antonio) in the West. Even with the additions of George and Patterson, their ability to improve on offense (where they were below average last season) will depend on Russell Westbrook’s willingness to cede some of the playmaking burden.
Sekou Smith: If by "significantly" you mean better than the sixth seed in a rugged Western Conference, I believe that to be a reasonable expectation. The addition of Paul George (and some of the other moves Thunder GM Sam Presti has made this summer) put reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook in a position to have much more fuel in his tank heading into a postseason. I don’t care that acquiring George could amount to nothing more than a one-season rental — I love that Presti made his play and snagged him before someone else did. It sends a strong message around the league about the way the franchise is approaching things going forward.
Ian Thomsen::They are significantly better, as are the Rockets. But neither team has enough firepower to knock off the Warriors (and maybe not the Spurs either). What OKC has done is to create an opportunity to take advantage if Golden State is weakened by injuries or other issues next year. As always, the question for the Thunder is whether the stars can share the ball, elevate their teammates and get away from the isolation offense that isn’t likely to hold up against the ball movement of Golden State (or San Antonio, if the Spurs are healthy).
Lang Whitaker: Yes. And it’s not only because of George, although to me George gets underrated a bit. His Indiana Pacers teams may not have been wildly successful the last few seasons, but at his best PG-13 is an elite two-way wing player, able to score, create and defend at a level few of his peers can reach. I also love the Thunder adding Patrick Patterson, who will provide an ability to stretch the floor that Sabonis never possessed and will help make up for Andre Roberson’s inability to shoot. I also like the signing of Raymond Felton as a solid veteran backup. The Thunder last season were held together mostly by Russell Westbrook’s attitude and grit. This season, he will have some much-needed help.
Benyam Kidane: Aesthetically, the Thunder will be significantly better than last season. In terms of wins, they will likely improve maybe 5-10 games? The spacing Paul George brings to their wing rotation, will open up more space for Westbrook to penetrate and force defenses to split their focus. Adding his defensive versatility will help create even more havoc on that end and potentially turn OKC into a transition nightmare.
This should be fun.
Thunder fans had their collective hearts broken when Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors last year. After an MVP season from Russell Westbrook, the Thunder welcomed another superstar to OKC (who will probably break their hearts again in a year).
Fans were absolutely thrilled on Tuesday to greet Paul George at the Oklahoma City airport as hundreds of fans turned out for a first look at the new Thunder star.
The crowd was chanting “PG! PG!” as he made his way to give fans high-fives from the other side of a fence.
It was quite the welcome for George who was acquired from the Pacers.
George has one year remaining on his contract with Oklahoma City before hitting his player option in 2018. He’s been expected to become a free agent and pursue joining the Lakers. But a lot can happen between now and next summer. Still, it would probably be a good idea for OKC fans to not get too attached to George as a Thunder player.
Or not. Oh well.