Jenni Carlson writing on KD’s rising profile: “Playing in the world championships is only broadening Durant’s popularity. It is growing his brand. It is widening his stardom. That, Thunder fans, is great news for Oklahoma City. Small-market teams like the Thunder face many challenges, but one of the biggest is being able to keep superstars. They want to be paid big bucks, they want to win championships and they want to be able to become megastars, and sometimes, a small-market club can’t provide all of that.”
Skeets and Melas are finally back to talk some Turkey. And as you would expect, there’s a solid amount of ooh-ing and ahh-ing at Kevin Durant.
Shoals on Rob Mahoney’s Thunder-Team USA comparison: “What’s the difference? Well, for one, Westbrook isn’t starting in Turkey. But it’s deeper than that. The Thunder look weird because they’re supposed to, or at least Presti has determined that he’s engineered a combination of players that works. Team USA was stuck with the guys willing to show up. As it turned out, this consisted mostly of guards and versatile small forwards. This summer’s squad couldn’t be normal if it wanted to be; Sam Presti made a concerted choice to go in an unconventional direction. The future has not come to our national team, no matter how much we wish it were so.”
KD is digging his Team USA teammates: “It’s been more like brothers here. Even though we have been together such a short time, it feels like everybody has been knowing each other for years and years. We play against each other so we respect everybody’s game but I think that off the court … for example, I didn’t know Lamar Odom was that cool … I didn’t know that Derrick Rose was that cool … it’s kind of easy … everybody’s personality fits.”
There is a first Daily Thunder fantasy league set up if you’d like to join. The password for the league is Thunder. Also, if you’d take this survey here, it’ll help determine what the participants want in terms of rules and whatnot.
Chris Mannix of SI with some thoughts on Team USA: “That Durant guy is good. Kevin Durant was good against Croatia. He was very good against Slovenia. And he was very, very good against Brazil, scoring 27 points (on 9-18 shooting) and pulling down 10 rebounds in the win. After being judicious with Durant’s minutes in the first two games, USA coach Mike Krzyzewski played his best player 39 minutes against Brazil. Durant’s seven turnovers were ugly — he may want a quick refresher on how tight international officials call traveling — but in big games Krzyzewski will have little reason to take Durant off the floor. Especially in games where the bench (six points) is ineffective.”
Royce Young of CBS Sports oh wait that’s me…
Chris Sheridan: “Wouldn’t have mattered if they had lost. Wouldn’t have mattered if Leandro Barbosa’s last-second shot went in and forced overtime. Doesn’t really matter much that they won. What matters is what Team USA learned about itself in Monday night’s thrilling 70-68 victory over Brazil. And the lesson the players took back to their hotel was that even the tough ones can still go their way.”