Kevin Durant is staying with Nike. What could it mean? Keep reading »
KD is staying with Nike. Keep reading »
After a serious flirtation with Maryland-based Under Armour, Kevin Durant is re-signing with Nike on a 10-year deal worth around $285 million.
It seems there’s a little less to read into with Durant remaining with Nike, but still, everyone is trying to figure out WHAT IT ALL MEANS. A sign he’s loyal? A sign he wants the most money possible? A sign that he’d be fine taking less in 2016 to sign elsewhere since he’s making so much with his shoe deal?
Here are 10 things we can take away from Durant’s new contract: Keep Reading…
Serge Ibaka sat Spain’s opening game of the World Cup because of a hamstring issue, but returned in their next one to complete obliterate Egypt.
Ibaka had 18 points (which included five dunks) and eight boards in just 22 minutes in Spain’s 91-54 domination.
You might say, “OK, but it was Egypt,” to which I say, OK, it was Egypt. Still, nice to see Serge Ibaka doing Serge Ibaka things.
Susan Bible of Basketball Insiders on Anthony Morrow: “Presti knows the Thunder ranked 15th in the league last year in total three-pointers made and ranked 14th in three-point efficiency (36.1 percent). In three-pointers from the corner, the Thunder were, as a team, ranked 28th at 35.3 percent. Morrow’s corner shooting last year in New Orleans was 46.0 percent. With the departure of Derek Fisher and Butler, whose long-distance shooting came more by opportunity, Morrow will slide in well. The Thunder’s up-tempo offensive style suits Morrow’s quick and fearless nature. The line-up options now available to Brooks are considerably more diverse. Whether he starts (not likely) or not, Morrow adds a new dimension, especially when lights-out shooting is needed to close out a game or spacing the floor so Durant and Westbrook can do their thing.”
J.M. Poulard of Bleacher Report: “One might consider that a great display of intestinal fortitude given how he bounced back, but that’s just Russ being Russ. I’m not sure there’s another player in the league who can match both his ceiling and floor. He’s capable of outshining Durant or demonstrating the worst point guard play in a championship game, according to Magic Johnson back in 2012. And yet, I hope Westbrook never changes. Sure, he might look like an oncoming train wreck every now and then, but he also lights up the tracks. Nothing is ever dull or even average with Westbrook. All of his plays are executed at 120 miles per hour, and that makes him susceptible to sensational highlights and spectacular blunders. Westbrook is a nerve-wracking experience all by himself, and I certainly enjoy it. As someone who once enjoyed watching wrestling, I see parallels between Westbrook and wrestling superstars. Russell has his own signature move (six-shooter holsters), a swagger that borders on arrogance and the ability to recover from whatever pitfalls he suffers during play (this dude had three knee surgeries and it’s impossible to tell based on the way he flies around the court). Why would anyone want any of that to evolve? A more conventional Westbrook would be a less entertaining one.” Keep Reading…
Happy Saturday. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Touchdown.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant did cool things in the playoffs. This is a video showing those things. It’s good.
Per Brian Mahoney of the AP: “The NBA is expanding the area that must be clear behind the basket and cutting the number of photographers along the baseline in an effort to improve player safety. The new regulations, calling for an extra foot of open space on both sides of the basket stanchion, were sent to teams Tuesday by league president of operations Rod Thorn and executive vice president of team marketing and business operations Amy Brooks in a memo that was obtained by The Associated Press.”
Ben Golliver of SI.com has OKC No. 2 in the West: “The franchise’s first championship of the Oklahoma City era is within reach if it can simply avoid the bad luck that piled up throughout last season. A career year from Kevin Durant, who surpassed James in both the MVP race and Player Efficiency Rating, carried the team through Russell Westbrook’s multiple absences, but it wasn’t enough to make up for Serge Ibaka’s devastating calf injury that limited him during the conference finals. Still, it took a vintage performance from Duncan to slay the Thunder in six games, and Oklahoma City can take heart knowing that it posted a 6-2 record against San Antonio last season when Ibaka played.” Keep Reading…
Sam Amick of USA Today on KD’s shoe deal: “Profitable Under Armour might be less interested in making money on Durant deal than it is increasing its exposure in the basketball shoe and apparel market. Temporary financial losses might be worth it for Under Armour if it is ultimately able to gain a bigger percentage of that market. Landing an NBA MVP possibly can help Under Armour achieve that. The fact that Under Armour is based in Durant’s backyard has led to inevitable speculation that the Seat Pleasant, Md. native may be looking to head home when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2016, as the Washington Wizards’ hopes of landing him are widely known around the league.”
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com on yesterday’s blockbuster: “Oklahoma City had kept Thabeet as an emergency center, but with Steven Adams’ emergence and the drafting of Mitch McGary, OKC just didn’t need him around anymore. Thabeet goes down as a testament to two factors: One, you can’t teach size but you also need to be able to teach some skill. And two, there are some players who really need two legit years in the D-League just to be serviceable. Who knows what would have happened if the Grizzlies had sent Thabeet down and stuck with a plan to develop him, but that’s where the league needs to get to.” Keep Reading…
The Thunder have traded Hasheem Thabeet, along with cash considerations, to the 76ers who absorb his contract into their cap space, creating a $1.25 million trade exception.
Why did the Thunder do this? With the emergence of Steven Adams, plus the addition of Mitch McGary, Thabeet is firmly the Thunder’s third center and nothing more than an insurance policy. His contract for next season was non-guaranteed ($1.2 million) and was likely to be waived in training camp anyway. The Thunder have 14 players on guaranteed deals for next season and prefer to keep the last spot open for flexibility purposes. So Thabeet was going to be waived for nothing, but the Thunder, as they tend to do, created an asset, albeit small, for the future.
Thabeet appeared in 89 games over the last two season with the Thunder, averaging 1.2 points and 1.7 rebounds. He did record his first career double-double with the Thunder with 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Bobcats in 2013.
My two other favorite Thabeet moments with the Thunder, with No. 1 being the video up above: Keep Reading…