An excellent piece from SLAM on why Kevin Durant is ready to be the game’s next megastar: “It’s a busy pre-game on the court at the TD BankNorth Garden in Boston, and Kevin Durant is putting in work. Even though Durant was last season’s ROY, he’s been largely ignored this season, presumably because the 6-10 swingman’s immense promise has mainly been displayed in two of the NBA’s small markets. But know this: Kevin Durant is one of the top-five scorers in the NBA this season, and among 20-year-olds throughout NBA history, Durant has totaled more points than Kobe, Melo or Ice Man were able to. And don’t look now, but KD might just be bringing some respect to the unheralded Oklahoma City Thunder.”
Oregon Live breaks down every team in the West: “Thunder. While some may believe there’s a brighter future in Oklahoma City than in Portland, the Thunder still have some maturing to do before joining the postseason party. That’s not to say this team isn’t close to knocking on the door. A branch of the Spurs’ tree, much like Kevin Pritchard, Sam Presti has assembled himself a talented roster based around Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. And interim-now-head-coach Scott Brooks seems to have this team’s attention.”
Thabo Sefolosha and Drew Gooden are out doing… something. And it appears Thabo is flashing some sort of hand sign, while Gooden’s is a bit more obvious. Also, you’ll notice Joakim Noah in the background. Looks like it was a real par-tay.
HoopsWorld with a great story looking at the origins behind each team’s name: “The most recently-renamed team in the league, the name “Thunder” was chosen among four finalists when the franchise moved from Seattle to OKC just a little over a year ago. The other possibilities were “Thunderbirds,” “Barons,” and “Outlaws,” all of which seem to be more interesting than “Thunder,” which technically isn’t even something human beings can see or touch. Back in the 1960s, when the team was preparing for its inaugural season, “SuperSonics” won a fan-driven contest pretty easily; over 200 different entries listed that as the name. During that decade the Boeing Company announced plans to build a “SuperSonic Transport” that would be similar to a Concorde jet. The SuperSonic never got built, but the name certainly stuck. If basketball ever comes back to Seattle, one has to think they’ll revive the name. Let’s hope both happen someday relatively soon.”
A couple of people asked what the reference was in the headline of the Traber post. This is what it was from:
Kevin Durant has been on vacation in the Bahamas and he uploaded this beauty:
Joe Smith signed with the Hawks over the weekend: “According to reports Friday, the Hawks added veteran power forward Joe Smith to an already-promising mix that has improved steadily over the last five years, turning Atlanta into a legitimate contender in the East.”
Where do you reckon Russell Westbrook’s cross falls in this graph?
Darnell Mayberry on the Mo Cheeks addition: “At first glance, newly named Thunder assistant coach Maurice Cheeks might appear to be the heir apparent in the event Scott Brooks flames out in his first full run as head coach. Cheeks owns a 284-286 record over the equivalent of about seven full seasons as the lead man in Portland and Philadelphia. He’s guided his teams to the playoffs three times. He’s one of the most mannerly men in coaching. It’s enough to make you believe Brooks should keep one eye on the court and the other cocked over his shoulder. And we’re not saying someday he shouldn’t.” Hmm, that’s kind weird, isn’t it?