Another breakdown of OKC from Bleacher Report: ”The Thunder are one of the most exciting up-and-coming teams to watch and most of the NBA wants to see them develop into the power house they’re supposed to be. With the core of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Jeff Green, with James Harden waiting at the wings to become a superstar, Oklahoma City is seeing anything but thunderstorms ahead. It’s bright and clear for takeoff.”
Way to go Trabes. You made it all the way up to Seattle: ”This is a really stupid story if it’s even one at all, but I have this habit of pursuing really stupid stories that have nothing to do with anything but are amusing and interesting nonetheless. And this one in particular unleashed my inner newshound, which is normally dormant but suddenly active after hearing about the verbal battle between former Sonic Nick Collison and Oklahoma City sports talk-show host Jim Traber.”
Dime looks at players that could possibly be ready to retire at the end of 2010: “Shaun Livingston. The Thunder have put Livingston in a position to succeed, as the clear backup to Russell Westbrook and the clear second-stringer ahead of Kevin Ollie, where he’ll get decent minutes on a team for which expectations won’t be too high. But if Livingston doesn’t get his game back to where he wants it to be and has to prove himself to another team just to get a contract in 2010, would he instead throw in the towel at 24 years old?”
Looks like the DC All-Star Charity Game is going to be star-studded: “Sunday, Miles [Rawles] is hosting an All Star Charity Basketball Game featuring Carmello Anthony, Kevin Durant, Mike Beasley, Andre Blatche, Sam Cassell, and several other local players. The proceeds will support this year’s Thanksgiving Food Drive. The event will be held at Georgetown’s McDonough Gymnasium this Sunday 8/23 with an AAU Game between DC and Baltimore at 3:00 and the All Star Charity Game at 5:30. Please promote this event with your friends and family. If you have kids that like autographs, have them bring their basketballs. I can probably hook you up. Let me know by email if you plan to attend.”
Kevin Durant, movie critic: “For the past few days, in between hours-long practices and work out sessions, Durant has been watching DVDs during his downtime, tweeting his by-the-minute commentary. Most recently, he screened “Obsessed,” Beyonce’s broken-down star-making vehicle, and J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek,” which, given its November DVD release date, must be a bootleg or an advance copy or something.” KD was actually in the Bahamas the past week and often times, that area gets DVD releases much earlier (and sometimes much later). One time I was in Mexico and they had an official DVD of Miami Vice before it was even out in theaters.
Art Garcia of NBA.com breaks down the NBA offseason with Paul McCartney songs: “Let It Be: Sam Presti, not Mother Mary, spoke these words of wisdom in Oklahoma City. Armed with plenty of cap space and a Kevin Durant-led nucleus, the Thunder’s general manager decided not to rush the process this summer and bring in a pricey vet when the team isn’t ready to win. At least not this season. Presti knows the money saved now will be needed to lock up KD, Russell Westbrook and Co. down the line.”
Jon Schumann looks at the impact of three-pointers and their recipe for success. Good thing OKC is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league: ”The league as a whole is shooting more threes and shooting them better than ever. Last season, 22.4 percent of all field-goal attempts (36.2 per game) were 3-pointers. That percentage is at an all-time high and has increased each of the last nine seasons. NBA teams shot 36.68 percent from downtown, a mark which ranks second all-time. The only mark better — 36.69 percent in 1995-96 — was when the 3-point line was set at 22 feet even (its 23 feet, 9 inches now). Every year, the three becomes more of a weapon, and teams are learning that it’s much more efficient than the mid-range shot.”
Berry Tramel on Desmond Mason: ”Mason was great in the community and great in the locker room and great as an example on the court. Mason always played hard; he was the Thunder’s best defender until Thabo Sefalosha [sic] arrived from Chicago. But Mason’s offense was lacking, and now he’s 31 years old and not in the Thunder’s youth-movement plans. Mason as a $1 million-a-year player who mentors young players, is a face of the team and can play in a pinch is a bargain. But Mason in that role at $5 million a year hurts the cause.”