The infallible ESPN Summer Forecast (which predicted the Thunder to finish fifth in the West) has a new question: Is Kevin Durant staying or going? And the soothsayers have spoken: 72 percent say staying. Keep reading »
10 years later, D.J. Augustin looks back on Hurricane Katrina. Keep reading »
Amin Elhassan of ESPN Insider looking at KD contenders: “While OKC’s big three has remained intact, the supporting cast has arguably deteriorated over the years. Thunder general manager Sam Presti is one of the shrewdest leaders in the game, but 2014-15 was not a banner year in terms of management — from giving up a first-round pick for Dion Waiters at a time when his value couldn’t be lower, to matching a massive offer sheet to Enes Kanter despite his abysmal deficiencies that seem to make winning an event that happens in spite of his presence, not because of it. Throw in a new head coach in Billy Donovan who’s attempting to make the jump from college to the pros and Westbrook’s own impending free-agency saga (he’ll be unrestricted in 2017), and there’s at least some cause for concern for OKC’s future.”
Darnell Mayberry on Billy Donovan after his national titles: “The Gators went 206-83 in Donovan’s final eight seasons, recording seven 20-win seasons, four straight Elite Eight appearances and in 2014 a school record 36-3 mark and one last trip to the Final Four. In those final eight seasons, Donovan carried a different perspective. That empty feeling from all those years obsessed with chasing titles had changed him, matured him.” Keep Reading…
Saturday. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Bubbles.
The NBA’s YouTube channel asks: Is Russell Westbrook the most explosive player in the NBA? Yeah, probably.
Also, cheers to Russ and his lovely wife-to-be for getting married this weekend in Los Angeles.
From Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports on Hurricane Katrina: “Randy Livingston reached out for help to the only person he knew in San Antonio in Presti, the San Antonio Spurs’ assistant general manager in late August 2005. Presti quickly agreed to aid the Livingstons, but there was a challenge in finding a woman he never met amongst hundreds of evacuees.”
Extra Mustard figured out Russell Westbrook plays well after T-Swift releases a single: “Westbrook has won nine of 10 games after the release of a new single, and the Thunder have outscored opponents by a total of 137 points. He has seen jumps in his field goal percentage each season, and is scoring two more points per game than his career average. Rock on, Russ. Let’s hope Taylor Swift drops some more singles this year so you and Kevin Durant have a shot at winning a title before he enters free agency next off-season.” Keep Reading…
Berry Tramel: “But Collison remains with the team. In fact, Collison is high on the NBA longevity list. Hoopsrumors.com has compiled a list of the longest-tenured players on each of the 30 franchises, and Collison ranks fifth. The four players ahead of him are iconic Hall of Famers — the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, the Spurs’ Tim Duncan, the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Heat’s Wade, who is ahead of Collison only because Wade was drafted 35 minutes or so before Collison.”
Brett Oswalt of NumberFire: “Last year, everyone was talking about Anthony Davis and his eleventh-best Player Efficiency Rating (30.9) of all time. But Westbrook’s also shows up on the all-time list at number 33. And when we sort by seasons in which a player has achieved a PER of at least 29 by the age of 26, Westbrook’s season is just the 15th of its kind. As a matter of fact, Westbrook boasted the highest Usage Rate of any of those players in such a season, some of the most efficient campaigns in league history.” Keep Reading…
Pretty powerful post from D.J. Augustin on The Players’ Tribune about living through Hurricane Katrina as a 17-year-old. Read it:
When I finally returned home, there wasn’t a home. I had to wear a mask to go inside. Everything was stiff just from sitting in water, like a corpse. Mildew was everywhere. I was just in shock. First of all, being back in New Orleans, the feel of the city was just eerie. It felt funny, I don’t know how else to explain it. When I walked into my house, everything was moved around, all the furniture had been shifted by the water. All my recruiting letters from colleges were destroyed. That was stuff I wanted to save for my kids one day. My bed was flipped over, my dresser was turned on its back. The TV was on the ground. The crazy thing was you could see a brown ring where the ceiling and wall met, going around the whole house. That’s where the water was just sitting for weeks until it finally drained out.
Fran Blinebury of NBA.com on his comeback player: “What could be a more impressive comeback than winning a fifth scoring title, a sixth All-NBA First Team and winning a second MVP award? A visit with Durant at the Orlando Summer League showed a man with a fire in his eyes and hunger in his voice to get back out on the court and wipe away the disappointment of last season’s foot injuries. If you thought losing in the Western Conference finals to the Spurs was hard for K.D., not even taking part in the playoffs was harder. He’ll be blazing starting on opening night.”
Lee Jenkins of SI.com with his preferred rule change: “I’m tired of watching DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard shoot free throws, talking about watching DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard shoot free throws, and listening to broadcasters talk about watching DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard shoot free throws. I understand why the NBA doesn’t want to change a rule to cater to a couple of guys, but those guys aren’t going anywhere, and their long walk to the charity stripe will continue to hijack otherwise wildly entertaining games. Call intentional fouls intentional, give the teams possession plus the free throws, and see more Chris Paul lobs and James Harden pull-ups.” Keep Reading…