A little site update: For this offseason, you can expect things to go on as normal. The season is 12 months long around here, not just seven or eight. You’ll still have your daily dose of links, plus there will be columns and other things. For instance, a lot of season wrap-up sort of stuff is on tap for this week. Then it’s the draft. Then free agency. Then summer league. Then… well, nothing. Then training camp. Then preseason. And then the season starts! See, it’s almost here already!
Greg Doyel of CBS Sports with a surprisingly uplifting column: “Point being, Durant is the ideal young basketball star. Oklahoma City is the ideal young basketball fan base. With Russell Westbrook a superstar at this moment and Jeff Green an All-Star down the road, Durant has the supporting cast to win whatever he wants to win. That talent, and that crowd support, should attract better accompanying pieces than the Thunder have right now. It’s the perfect match, Durant and Oklahoma City. And you know that part earlier in the story where I said “this is not a plea to Durant to stay in Oklahoma City”? That was a lie. This is a plea. Stay in Oklahoma City, Durant. They deserve you — and you deserve them.”
Kevin Durant is back on Twitter and he’s changed his handle to @KDthunderup. This makes me happy for reasons I cannot explain. Plus, it’s kind of hilarious. He offered some congratulations to LeBron yesterday: “Congrats to LeBron James on winning back 2 back MVPs…he really deserved it!!”
Darnell Mayberry breaks down OKC’s ROI: “But the most significant measure of success this season was seen in the Thunder’s budget. Oklahoma City finished the season as the NBA’s most efficient winner when it came to bang for the buck. With a league-low payroll of $55.9 million, the Thunder paid just $1,118,000 for each regular-season victory. And even that cost-efficient bill is misleading seeing as how the Thunder paid injured forward Matt Harpring only $1.3 million rather than the $6.5 million that his contract is valued at. With insurance picking up the rest of Harpring’s deal, the Thunder’s per-win cost could more accurately be considered to have been $1,014,000.”
I’m sure you all heard about Chris Bosh’s tweet over the weekend: “Been wanting to ask. Where should I go next season and why?”
Shaun Powell of NBA.com wonders how each series would’ve turned out had it been a best of five: “You think Kobe Bryant, in a short series, would give the Thunder hope in a Game 5? Let’s rephrase that: You think Kobe would even allow it to get to a decisive game? No chance does Kobe look passive and turn down shooting opportunities, as he did when the series swung to Oklahoma City, hurt or not. But let’s pause here and give the kids their due. The Thunder lasted longer and looked better than most expected against the defending champs, and were overshadowed only by their classy fans who supported them to the exciting end.”
Shoals with some thoughts on OKC’s opening round defeat: “When the Thunder were eliminated, and Kevin Durant and Jeff Green threw themselves on the ground like they had just seen an angel defiled, my first thought was “good.” Let my words not go mistaken: the Thunder were the best thing about the NBA this season. The only reason I hesitate to call them one of my favorite teams ever is that the core is still getting better, the draft beckons, and Sam Presti will have cap space to fiddle with. The Ford Center should have played some Carpenters as the team, dazed but proud, found its way back to the locker room. I know I did, and I was visiting relatives.”