It looks like we’re 0 for 2 on Kevin Durant Twitters. I assumed the last one was real since the “official” team Twitter was following him, but evidently not as the page doesn’t exist anymore. But this one’s it right here. Gotta be.
Sam Presti finished sixth in Executive of the Year voting. Pretty good for a guy whose team won 23 games: “Cleveland’s Danny Ferry finished second with seven votes, Orlando’s Otis Smith finished third with six votes, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak and Chicago’s John Paxson were tied for fourth with two votes apiece, and Denver’s Rex Chapman, Houston’s Darryl Morey, Utah’s Kevin O’Connor, Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti each received one vote.”
Looks like the Timberwolves were trying to follow the Spurs/Thunder/Cavs/Blazers model: ”The presumed favorite in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ quiet search for a new head of basketball operations has pulled out of the running. San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey, widely billed as the Wolves’ No. 1 target, has withdrawn from consideration, according to sources with knowledge of Minnesota’s search … Trying to import a head of basketball operations from San Antonio seemed a wise path for Wolves owner Glen Taylor to follow in his desire to find a new long-term successor on the personnel side to Kevin McHale. Front offices in Cleveland (Danny Ferry and Lance Blanks), Portland (Kevin Pritchard) and Oklahoma City (Sam Presti) are all run by recent Spurs alumni.”
Your 2008-2009 Blogger MVP Rankings: LeBron went wire-to-wire to win the award this year. That’s pretty impressive. Check it out, it’s a pretty interesting list.
As Joe noted in his most excellent Halperin recap, Oklahoma City had some representation at the Euro Final Four: “A medium-sized crowd of NBA executives (as well as the typical bunch of international scouts) made the trek from the States to take a look at the cream of the crop that European basketball has to offer. Among them, the Milwaukee Bucks’ John Hammond, the San Antonio Spurs’ R.C. Buford and Dennis Lindsay (as well as the lone NBA head coach, Gregg Popovich, whom we’ll discuss further below), the Dallas Mavericks’ Donnie Nelson and Amadou Gallo Fall, the Toronto Raptors’ Bryan Colangelo, Maurizio Gherardini and Masai Ujiri, the Washington Wizards’ Tommy Sheppard, the Indiana Pacers’ Joe Ash, the Phoenix Suns’ Dave Griffin, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Lance Blanks and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Rob Hennigan. There were likely others that we did not get a chance to see as well.”
Ben Gordon “says” he wants to stay in Chicago: “Now, there are decisions to be made. The biggest involves Ben Gordon-and it’s not entirely management’s to make. The team’s leading scorer the past four years is an unrestricted free agent. And although he would like to return, Gordon pointed out that he’s had better luck converting jumpers than sealing longterm deals. He is 0-for-2 in contract negotiations the past two summers. “I know what I have here,” Gordon said. “I love all my teammates. I love this city. So I definitely, in an ideal world, would like to be back here. That’s the way I felt the last two summers and (a longterm contract) hasn’t happened.”
The NBA says you will NOT mock my draft: “I was approached last week by our Director of Basketball Operations (you might remember his brief appearance in everyone’s favorite post about getting stuck in an elevator), who explained to me that he “needs to talk to me.” I assumed he wanted to know how I do that magic trick where I make it look like I’m pulling my thumb off my hand. I wish I would have known that that wasn’t what he wanted before I approached him to talk later in the day and repeatedly did the trick in a taunting manner. Even after I explained the misunderstanding, he still didn’t think it was all that funny. That’s because he informed me that I had figuratively (and maybe literally) walked into the corporate office of the NBA, cut the cheese in a legendary fashion, and locked the door as I walked out so that everyone would be forced to bask in my creation.”
And you may have seen it before, but the blog Keller Throws pretended to be Kevin Durant (seems like a popular thing to do) before the 2007 draft and the results were tremendous: “HEY EVERYONE!!!! K-SMOOVE KEVIN DURANT HERE AND I’M BLOGGING ON YO HEAD!!!!! I just got back from Orlando. I WENT TO DISNEYWORLD!!!!! Myself and a few other guys had a testing session for the NBA teams. I know that I didn’t have the best showing (YOU DON’T HAVE TO REMIND ME!!!!!!!) but I don’t think I should have been the 78th worst athlete there. I mean, look at Jason Smith. Yeah, he beat me in a few tests, and outjumped me, and is 7 feet tall, but he showed up to the combine AS A WHITE GUY!!! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?!?!?”
Short Q&A with KD: “I want to come back a totally different player. I’m taking two weeks off and then going straight to the weight room. Once the middle part of the summer comes, you start lifting four or five times a week and eat right. I’m looking forward to getting better… I just want to come back and be more wiry strong.”