Of course, obligatory congrats to the Lakers and Laker fans out there. But remember, Oklahoma City had a large hand in getting LA’s attention and forcing them to turn it on. Laker players gave OKC credit the entire postseason. So we’ll take that supplemental ring any time you get ready to send it.
Daniel Orton denies OKC’s reported promise: “There are rumors that the Thunder have promised me something, and they haven’t,” Orton wrote in an e-mailed statement to The Oklahoman. “I discontinued my workouts for other reasons.”
KD played again at the Goodman League this week: “Durant’s second appearance at Washington, D.C.’s Goodman Summer League on Wednesday began much like his debut on Sunday did; Durant launching a three-pointer on his first attempt just to check the heat on his jumper. After a flailing air ball and a few one-on-one dribble duels with Team H.O.B.O. and local standout Omar Weaver, the man nicknamed KD was finally warmed up and riding with the flow of the game. After Weaver swished a three in Durant’s face, the competitive 21-year-old flashed a confident smirk as he jogged back down the court, ready to attack on the next play. Facing up against Weaver on the left side of the basket, KD darted right before swinging the ball back left, finishing over Weaver with a one-handed dunk that left the sparse crowd shaking their heads in disbelief.”
I just started watching The Wire a few weeks ago and I just finished Season 1. Hot dang that show is good. I just thought you should know.
Darnell Mayberry on Kobe’s new legacy: “People always will have something negative to say about Bryant. He is forever tarnished to many. And when discussing his legacy, naysayers always will point to the fact that three of his titles came as Shaquille O’Neal’s sidekick. And his most recent two have come alongside Pau Gasol, arguably the best offensive big man in the game today. To an extent, the argument is valid. But mostly, it’s baloney. Every multiple champion has had another big-time sidekick. Discrediting Bryant’s greatness because of the greatness of his teams is silly.”
In case you missed it, the Kings traded Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes to the Sixers for Samuel Dalembert yesterday.
The Grizzlies are shopping in the draft: “The Memphis Grizzlies own three picks (12, 25 and 28) in the first round of the draft. According to The Commercial-Appeal, the team is not in trade talks to acquire a top-10 pick, but deals are being discussed that would see them moving one or two of the picks. The Grizzlies want to upgrade the point guard position and the newspaper reports they have interest in the Hornets Chris Paul and Darren Collison. All teams have been told that they must also take back either Peja Stojakovic (one year, $15.3 million), Emeka Okafor (four years, $48 million) or James Posey (two years, $13 million) if they want to acquire one of the point guards.” Interested in Chris Paul? Yeah, who isn’t?
Another kind of mock on ESPN.com. Fran Fraschilla takes two shooting guards for OKC for some unknown reason: “Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier: The Explanation: I have the two Thunder picks at Nos. 21 and 26 and will take Jordan Crawford here. He’s easily one of best scorers in draft, and his attitude improved as the season went on. They can use him off the bench. The Peanut Gallery: The guys are relentless after this pick. “Order some extra long shorts,” Russillo joked. Thorpe mentions that “he’ll be great as their third 2-guard behind Thabo and Harden,” just seconds before Ford says nearly exactly the same thing. “Love the sarcasm,” Fraschilla responds. Ford clearly realizes who we’re messing with and says, “Fran’s getting ready to make all of us run suicides.”
With pick 26 on SLAM’s mock, OKC gets Alabi: “If your first reaction to this selection is that it’s somewhat redundant after taking Orton, I’m not mad at you – just hear me out. Short of extortion or a variety of other felonies, we’re going to do everything in our power and then a good deal more to keep Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City. It’s his team, and every guy on the roster understands that. Along with Kevin, we have an all-star talent in Russell Westbrook, and extremely capable starters in Jeff Green and second year combo-guard James Harden. Guys like Eric Maynor, Thabo Sefalosha, and Nick Collison are capable contributors leaving only our center position in limbo. While Serge Ibaka’s game is often described using the same title as a 2009 Lil Wayne mix tape (No Ceilings), he’s yet to prove he can contribute as a full time starter in the NBA. Nenad Krstic has shown he’s more than capable through six seasons in the League, but we’re not exactly pinning our tails to that donkey with a one-year player option remaining on his deal. That leaves BJ Mullens, and this year’s selections, Daniel Orton and Solomon Alabi.”
The Orlando Summer League roster isn’t out, but we should have an idea: “The Thunder has not yet completed its roster for the event. Returning players James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Eric Maynor, Byron Mullens, Kyle Weaver and D.J. White are all expected to compete. DeVon Hardin, a second-round selection in 2008, and Robert Vaden, a second-round selection last year, also are expected to compete, as well as the Thunder’s selections in next week’s 2010 NBA Draft.”