Steven Adams is conscious of representing his country abroad. Keep reading »
“For me once I go out there to America I’m pretty much representing all of New Zealand because most people haven’t met New Zealand people, so I have to take that into consideration. If I’m like a dick, then they’re like New Zealand guys are dicks. If you’ve just got a normal Kiwi attitude then they’re fine with it. That’s one of the key things.” — Steven Adams
I’m not sure how, but I totally missed this interview with Kevin Durant from Lang Whitaker of NBA.com at the KD VII shoe release. It’s like a month old, but I figure if I missed it, then some other folks probably did as well.
There’s a lot of interesting stuff, but probably the most interesting, is Durant’s comments on 2016.
“Way too far, way too far,” he said. “I’m glad I didn’t have an opt out in my contract so I don’t have to say anything about it. Every player wants to go through [free agency] I’m sure, but I love where I am, I love what’s going on there in Oklahoma City, so I can’t speak on the future. You never know what happens. And I just want to live in the moment.”
Mitch McGary: “This is the fit for me and I’m happy overall with where I ended up. Hopefully we have a bunch of veteran big guys that I learn from, Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, Serge [Ibaka] and even [second-year center] Steven [Adams]. He taught me how to play defense against [Brooklyn’s] Mason Plumlee [in the summer league.] It helped out.”
Amin Elhassan of ESPN Insider on the 2015 free agent class: “Gasol’s impending unrestricted free-agent status also sets him apart from Love and Aldridge. Memphis still has the inside track to retain Gasol, given an ability to offer a 7.5 percent raise and a fifth year. But Gasol, who will find plenty of teams interested once he hits free agency next summer, might find it difficult not to test the market. The New York Knicks will try to lure Gasol with the promise of the triangle offense, the scheme that helped Pau transform from a Memphis outcast into a champion. Heading to New York would also allow Gasol to play alongside an elite scorer in Carmelo Anthony as well as Spanish national teammate Jose Calderon.” Keep Reading…
John Schuhmann of NBA.com on Team USA: “Like he did in 2010 (averaging 22.8 points per game on an effective field goal percentage of 65 percent), Kevin Durant will provide the star power. There’s no one in the world that can match up with the reigning MVP, who is even more dangerous when shooting from a shorter 3-point distance. But Durant will need help on both ends of the floor for the U.S. to win the World Cup, automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics, and avoid having to play next summer. There are some locks for the roster (those who played in 2010 or 2012), but there will also be some interesting competitions for the remaining spots.”
Anthony Slater on Grant Jerrett: “He’s still a long way, physically, from being able to get on the court. And once healthy, it projects as an even steeper road to actually make an NBA impact, with the Thunder’s frontcourt stacked with trusted veterans and emerging youngsters. But with Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison set to hit free agency after the season, Jerrett seems to be part of the team’s long-term planning. His recent deal is the latest and greatest example.” Keep Reading…
Weekend. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. It’s hot.
The World Cup of basketball is coming very soon as training camp opens in Vegas on Monday. No Russell Westbrook, but Kevin Durant is in, and four years ago he led Team USA to its first gold in the event in some time, winning MVP for the tournament. He’s coming for you again, world.
Zach Lowe of Grantland on the Josh Huestis thing: “The Thunder might have taken Huestis in the second round, but they apparently could not find a trade partner in the right pick range on draft night. A lot of folks around the league are more confused about why the Thunder did this than about Huestis’s perspective. They could have dealt the pick — and they tried to trade it for Iman Shumpert ahead of last season’s trade deadline — drafted a better player, traded into the second round, bought a second-rounder, or just punted this experiment altogether. But they went this route in part because of a new rule this season that guarantees Huestis will play only for the Thunder’s D-League team. Until now, any player interested in signing with the D-League was fair game for any of the D-League’s 17 (and now a record 18) teams via the draft or free agency. Several teams, including the Thunder, complained about players they had picked in the NBA draft flying around to random D-League teams — clubs with coaches and playing philosophies the Thunder did not oversee.”
The players association actually supports Huestis’ move: “This is an example of the player flipping the script,” says Ron Klempner, the interim executive director of the union. “The player essentially drafted his team.” Keep Reading…
Russell Westbrook’s fashion line with Barney’s is a full go, website and all, and it’s exactly what you think it is. Some combination of Blade Runner, an island bar in the wintertime, Avatar, the inside of a Mercedes, and a store that only sells clothes to gymnasts that should be free safeties. It’s a three headed monster with him, Jordan, and Barney’s coming together to create outfits that your friend would wear if he were going as an understated Russell Westbrook for Halloween. Pants that shimmer, but not that much. Leopard print, but five kinds of black.
Some of the looks are like what would happen if James Cameron was like no, dudes, I changed my mind. We’re now going to make the Na’vi look like leopard elephant hybrids BUT THE NEON CAROLINA BLUE COLOR PALLET STAYS. There are shoes named Honeycomb-Flocked Slippers that cost $400. They look like carpet. There’s a pair of elephant print shorts that cost $215 that I would absolutely wear, if it were a swimsuit. He’s also selling black, camo print jeans which I’ve talked myself out of thus far, but it’s clear they’re going to win the war. Keep Reading…
Big ESPN feature on how playground hoops are dying: “The Drew League, which grew in popularity during the NBA lockout in 2011, is the smartphone to playground basketball’s rotary dial. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have played here. Kevin Durant is scheduled to compete this summer, too. A private lot secures the Range Rovers and BMWs in the back of King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science in Compton, which hosts the Drew League. The best players, Beast among them, arrive with girlfriends who dress for the red carpet, not a summer pro-am. Baron Davis coaches a team in the league. Nipsey Hussle, a West Coast rapper, cheers from the front row.”
Nate Scott of For the Win: “With his latest decision, James proved, without doubt, that one of the only acceptable reasons for a superstar to leave a team in his prime is to go home. The public understands this narrative, and will forgive Durant for ditching a team if it’s to come home. Miami fans even seemed to begrudgingly accept James’ decision to return to Cleveland. Oklahoma City can’t be angry with Durant if he chooses to come home to his family and city, especially if the Thunder don’t win a title before his contract is up.” Keep Reading…