Recent headline: "Clippers Crush Thunder." Let's hope it's "Suns Burn Thunder" (don't think about that too literally) after tonight's game. But we digress: In what mad otherworld does the NBA's perennial doormat, the L.A. Clippers, crush anybody?

Well, on November 19, the mantle of NBA's worst was seemingly passed from the hapless Clips to the laughable Oklahoma City Thunder when the Clippers thrashed OKC at home, 108-88. That term "at home" is a sticking point for non-Okie NBA fans, 'cause it's hard to swallow the thought of Emerald City's once-proud Seattle Sonics toiling away in the dirt-brown serescape of Oklahoma City. Guess that's what we get for not drinking enough Joe, at least not enough to satisfy the bottom line of Starbucks honcho Howard Schultz.

Dust Bowl Blues: Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder

The poor widdle coffee magnate offloaded his tanking Sonics to a bunch of monied hicks from OKC, who then transported the team lock, stock, and jocks to one of the butt-ugliest places on the planet. Can't you just see the free agents lining up to play in the Dust Bowl? Right.

However, if there's one upside to being foul, it's those cherry NBA lottery picks. The Sonics/Thunder used theirs to net former University of Texas phenom Kevin Durant (the second-year shooting guard/small forward and second overall pick went on to win 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year) and former UCLA guard Russell Westbrook, a promising rook who's been dropping tre-bombs from the bench in a first-year supporting role. OKC's head coach is journeyman/retread P.J. Carlesimo. Kevin Durant is pictured.

The Suns face the Thunder at Oklahoma City's Ford Center at 6 p.m. tonight. See www.nba.com/suns. TV: Channel 45 (cable 9). Radio: KTAR-AM 620. -- Clay McNear

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