Russell Westbrook is one of 12 NBA players that have filed a lawsuit against Topps.
A great story from the NYT about Tim James, a former NBA player serving in Iraq: “Tim James apologized for being late. A rough day at work, said the Miami Heat’s 1999 first-round draft pick. Vehicles broke down, problems flared up, and he simply fell behind. ”It happens,” James said. ”Even here.” Even on the front line of the Iraq war. A former NBA player who often wondered about his true calling, Tim James is now a U.S. Army soldier, a transformation that even many of the people closest to him never saw coming.
Kevin Durant will return to the Goodman a third time this Friday. Is he playing too much?: “Kevin Durant has taken the “for the love of the game” clause to new levels this summer, with two spectacular showings recently in The Goodman League at Barry Farms, in which he scored 62 and 55 points, respectively. He also dropped 40 points in a charity game last weekend at Georgetown (before which, by the way, he said he never heard anything about a rumored showdown game against Gilbert Arenas, who made one appearance there two weeks ago). But with yet another expected appearance Friday night, is the third-year Oklahoma City Thunder superstar taking his offseason showcase too far? As one member of the Washington Wizards’ staff reminded The Examiner this week, there are some players at Barry Farms who “have nothing to lose.”
Tony Mejia put his lists of 20 in order and ranks his top 100 players. Kevin Durant checked in at No. 12.
The father of Nate Fleming, one of the Oklahoma State players that tragically died in a plane crash in 2001, will receive an award this week in Edmond. The featured speaker is Desmond Mason. There’s a pretty perfect example of how much Mason meant to this community and how he’s just kind of linked to it.
Dime looks at 10 players that need to break out next year: “After his injury, a lot of people just wanted to give up on Shaun Livingston. But if he can comeback this year and actually play for an exciting, young Thunder squad like he did last April, people will start to remember why the Clippers were ready to get rid of Sam Cassell and pass the reins to the young Magic.”
Kevin Durant got one vote in ESPN’s offseason MVP voting. Who could it have been? J.A. Adande? Scoop Jackson? Eric Karabell?
It’s been four years since Hurricane Katrina: “The storm actually lent an assist to Oklahoma City’s future financial well-being. The city opened its doors and arena for the New Orleans Hornets for the next two basketball seasons. That was a big part of showing the city and state could handle an NBA team and since a local group purchased and brought in the Oklahoma City Thunder, which begins its second season on the court in October.”
So it’s a couple weeks late, but Sports By Brooks gives a little insight on the Collison/Traber thing: “Yes, it’s like 15 minutes of Traber putting words in Collison’s mouth and protecting Thunder fans from imaginary slights. It’s pure agony. There are two things at work here: one, that a radio station has given a show to somebody utterly incapable of rational thought and the ability to recognize when he is no longer making sense. He does a good job of cloaking it in populist rhetoric – he’s just doing it for Thunder fans, you see, and how dare you oppose him and the Thunder by proxy – but he’s so full of garbage that it’s impossible to take a word of it seriously.”
Kelly Dwyer counts down the top 10 NBA uniforms in the last 10 years. The Celtics come in No. 1 and the Spurs are in the top six. Among a few things that Dwyer liked (not picking on him here) was the simpleness of those uniforms, along with the Clippers and Lakers. But isn’t that what so many people ripped OKC’s unis for? That they were too bland and boring? Oh well, as Paul Lukas said, I think the home whites will be a favorite the next 10 years.
Scott Brooks talked about a couple players’ development: “Jeff is one of our most consistent players, and I see the improvement he has made every year. And that’s the sign of a great pro. I expect nothing different this year. He’s worked on his body. He has a great body already, but he’s gotten stronger, he’s getting quicker, his ball-handling has gotten better and his shooting is going to continue to get better.”