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OKC Thunder Media Day Live Blog

Follow along as the SI Thunder staff posts updates from Thunder Media Day throughout the afternoon.

Isaiah Roby

  • Isaiah Roby said that the Oklahoma-Nebraska game with some of his teammates was a great experience.
  • Roby says SGA has always been very encouraging.
  • Roby says before last season he wasn’t sure how people would guard him or even what position he would play. He said he’ll have a much better idea of that this season.
  • Roby said that coach Daigneault was the assistant he worked with daily when he first arrived to Oklahoma City.

Paul Watson Jr.

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  • Watson Jr. said he's not really looking at it like a two-way contract. He said it's just another opportunity to pursue his NBA dream.
  • He said the Blue playing in Paycom Center will be a huge help.
  • Watson Jr. said the Raptors, his former team, were a great group of guys. He attributed veteran Kyle Lowry and others to helping him as a rookie.
  • Watson Jr. feels like his confidence and consistency are some of the biggest factors that got him into the NBA. 
  • Watson Jr. said he stayed in the gym all offseason and let his agent worry about things outside of basketball. Says he was glad Oklahoma City was able to reach out and get a deal done.

Aaron Wiggins

Aaron Wiggins

Aaron Wiggins

  • Aaron Wiggins again stresses that he thinks he can make an impact for the Thunder on the defensive end of the floor.
  • "I've been given advice by a couple of different people," Wiggins said about getting his two-way deal upgraded in OKC. He said he's just focused on trying to take advantage of his opportunity. 

Theo Maledon

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  • Theo Maledon says he’ll need to be much more active off-ball this year with Gilgeous-Alexander in the lineup.
  • Maledon said it’s a great thing having plenty of ball-handlers on the team. Said it’s great to have healthy competition and he wants to see everyone win.
  • Maledon on the amount of minutes he played last season: “I think getting those minutes helped a lot to gain experience and learn the play style as well as the little things I might not experience if I wasn’t playing.”
  • Maledon says he felt like Mark Daigneault being coach was really good for the team. He says as long as both parts are working they’ll be fine.

Gabriel Deck

Gabriel Deck

Gabriel Deck

The virtual media saw Gabriel Deck sit down, but his interview was not broadcast for those who were forced to cover Media Day via Zoom.


Vit Krejci

Vit Krejci

Vit Krejci

  • Vit Krejci: “It’s good to be back,” He said he’s dreamt of being with the team since he got hurt.
  • Krejci: “Shai is one of the most positive persons I’ve ever seen.” Said he has a great approach not just to basketball but to life in general. He said he hasn’t noticed any changes to Shai’s personality or way he carries himself.
  • Krejci said he mostly hangout with Pokusevski before. Now he’s able to hangout with most of the team.
  • “We have a good group of guys, we’re all young guys we have a lot to talk about. It’s great chemistry on the team.”
  • Krejci said he’d only heard of Pokusevski, but had never played against him. He said it’s nice to see Pokusevski’s progression and he’s hoping Poku can give him some guidance for the upcoming season.
  • Krejci says he begins a lot to both sides of the ball.
  • Krejci says he loves the people in Oklahoma City. Says he’s looking forward to interacting with the fans. He said he wants to bring some joy to the city.
  • Krejci says he’s all cleared to play and that it’s nice to be back. Says he feels physically good and hasn’t felt the knee once.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
  • Robinson-Earl felt that Summer League was a great experience for him as he gets his feet wet as an NBA player.
  • "I've been working on it a lot, especially in the pre-draft," said Robinson-Earl of his 3-point shooter.
  • Robinson-Earl says his dad was No. 50, which is why he picked that number with the Thunder.

Aleksej Pokusevski

Aleksej Pokusevski

Aleksej Pokusevski

  • Pokusevski said he feels he accomplished his goal of getting bigger and stronger this summer. 
  • Pokusevski said he's been told to eat good food, but that he eats "a lot of meals" every day. 
  • Pokusevski said he's happy that he knows what to expect heading into Year 2, and that things should slow down for him. "I expect some things to happen," he said. "But we've got to play together as a team."

Josh Giddey

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  • Giddey said his ankle is good and said it was frustrating to get hurt so early. Said he’s glad he made the right decision and didn’t rush back.
  • Giddey on the older players on the team: “They’ve been great. Obviously we have a young team. It’s been good, they’ve been really good and helped make a smooth transition to the team. Those guys have been great for me in terms of learning the system and getting to know everyone.”
  • Playing with Shai is something I’m gonna get used to and learn how to do. Giddey said it’s going to take awhile for all the guys, especially ball-handlers, to learn how to play with each other.
  • Giddey said both sides of the ball are going to be a big adjustment as far as the NBA jump. “It’s going to need an adjustment period.”

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  • Giddey on his transition from the NBL to NBA: “Passing the ball is what I do the best in my game and the space is going to help me, it’s not going to be a negative at all.”
  • Giddey said it ended up being a 'perfect situation' that he ended up being in Oklahoma. Said the transition hasn't been super hard because he left home at 15-years-old.

Ty Jerome

Ty Jerome, OKC Thunder
  • The Thunder recently signed Mamadi Diakite, who was teammates with Jerome at Virginia. Jerome says Diakite called him as soon as he was signed by OKC.
  • "Honestly if you hung out for him for a day, you'd never know it. He's super humble," says Jerome of Gilgeous-Alexander growing into being a superstar.
  • Jerome says he is excited to come into this season fully healthy, unlike last season. He feels this will allow him to immediately start getting better every day.

Kenrich Williams

Kenrich Williams

Kenrich Williams

  • "If we can get everyone to improve, then I feel like as a team we did something right," Williams said. 
  • "It's good... Great guy. Real stand up guy," Williams said of new Thunder center Derrick Favors. Williams said Favors was a great leader and a true professional in New Orleans. 
  • Williams said that Mark Daigneault is not only a smart coach, but he's able to know and understand his players, which leads to great player buy-in.
  • Williams said he enjoys OKC and that it has a similar feel to his home town of Waco, TX, just bigger. He said he loves the parks and open spaces, and enjoys spending time outdoors in OKC. 

Darius Bazley

Darius Bazley

Darius Bazley

  • Bazley says he took two weeks off after the season ended and “got straight to it.” Said he had a strength coach and a plan and stuck to it.
  • Bazley: “Going into my third year, I’ve had a lot of experiences. I’ve been able to grow through them all.” Says he’s a lot more comfortable and he knows what to expect in the upcoming season.
  • Bazley said one of his personal goals includes getting better defensively and guarding bigger wing players.
  • Bazley on Daigneault: “He’s an amazing, amazing person. I’m so grateful to be coached by him. On and off the court he’s helped me grow so much and he’s one of the reasons why I feel so comfortable coming into this year.”
  • Bazley on the young competition in training camp: “The competitiveness will be really high, without a doubt. Everyone is really eager to get started.” Bazley says everyone will need to push each other and the older guys will need to pass down their knowledge.
  • Bazley said he’ll be focusing on the smaller things to start the season, rather than trying to get off to a fast start.

Lu Dort

Lu Dort, OKC Thunder
  • Dort felt like he had a great offseason, doing a variety of things to stay in shape.
  • In terms of his expectations for the young guys, he just wants players to bring everything they have every single day. 
  • “He works so hard on his games so he has so much more to show,” said Dort of Gilgeous-Alexander.
  • Dort says playing with Canada in the Olympics was a great experience and a great learning experience. 

Derrick Favors

Derrick Favors

Derrick Favors

  • Derrick Favors said that he was out in Las Vegas when he first learned about his trade to Oklahoma City, but after conversations with Sam Presti and Mark Daigneault he's happy to be in OKC.
  • "I'm all in on it," Favors said. "I want to be around younger  guys... They have fun."
  • Favors said he didn't ever really consider not reporting to camp with the Thunder. He said he didn't want to be "that type of person."
  • Favors said players around the league can see how the Thunder will work with veterans if each player comes in and is a good teammate and a professional. 
  • "The only thing I'll say about (Kenrich Williams) is that he's gonna find a way to get an offensive rebound," Favors said. He went on to praise Williams' work ethic and the energy he brings to the floor.

Mike Muscala

Mike Muscala

Mike Muscala

  • Muscala says he’s excited for the season and excited to play in front of fans again.
  • Muscala on his role going forward: “I want to be a leader of this team. Be one of the leaders on the floor.” Says he’s excited for the challenge and grateful to play in OKC.
  • Mike Muscala on SGA: “He’s the best player on our team and one of the best players in the NBA.” Muscala says Gilgeous-Alexander epitomizes Thunder culture.
  • Mike Muscala says being around the young team is great. On the court they’re going to want to prove a lot, as a veteran, he said he’ll be ready to be there for them.
  • Muscala on being one of the oldest players on the team: “It’s new for me for sure, I’m super grateful going into my 9th season in the NBA. I’ve felt those highs and those lows — you can bring that stability hopefully to those young guys.”
  • Muscala says he has no expectations as far as playing time but he’s willing to do whatever Coach Mark requires of him.
  • Muscala on OKC: “I love the city itself, there are a lot of parts to this city when you’re an away team you don’t get to appreciate. I feel like I’m always discovering something new about the city.”
  • Muscala said he watched almost all of the NBA Playoffs.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

  • Gilgeous-Alexander confirms he is fully healthy and says it was mid-way through the summer that he felt like he was 100% back and healthy.
  • There wasn't one specific thing he felt like he focused most heavily on, but Gilgeous-Alexander thinks he got better in every aspect of his game.
  • "Words only go so far, so you have to lead by example," said Gilgeous-Alexander of being a leader on this young team.
  • Gilgeous-Alexander looks noticeably stronger and confirms that he spent a lot of time getting stronger. He also mentions that he feels like he's gotten faster.
  • Mark Daigneault is a coach the team really respects, with Gilgeous-Alexander saying he's very. humble and personable.

Mark Daigneault

Mark Daigneault

Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder coach opens by saying the Thunder have a unique opportunity this year because they have a "blank canvas" staring them in the face.
  • Daigneault echos Sam Presti's comments from Friday, confirming that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is 100 percent healthy.
  • “He’s got a really sophisticated approach to competition,” Daigneault said of Gilgeous-Alexander. He said that the Thunder point guard is able to look forward and see the greater overall project as the Thunder build for the future. 
  • Daigneault said the most formidable offenses in the playoffs are the ones that have multiple ball creators, and it’s something that the Thunder are building toward with the likes of Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Aleksej Pokusevski and others. “Having multiple versatile ball handlers is not a weakness,” Daigneault said. “That’s a strength and that’s something that we certainly have to work to figure out, make sure that we’re optimizing everyone’s talent.”
  • “We’re trying to develop our program, trying to develop an envorinemat, we’re trying to develop an identity of how we’re going to play,” Daigneault said. As expected, growth will be the emphasis for the Thunder in 2021, and Gilgeous-Alexander will be at the center of everything Oklahoma City does this year. 


10:50 a.m.

Due to NBA Health and Safety protocols, we will be covering Thunder Media Day virtually here in 2021. Follow along all day long as we provide updates as every player speaks to the media ahead of training camp.