It’s shopping day in America, so why don’t you head on over to Tree and Leaf and pick up a DT-Shirt today? The Thunder U shirts are re-stocked, plus everything is available online at T&L’s website. BUY BUY BUY.
ESPN’s award watch has a Thunder player at five, but not the one you think: “OKC is Durant’s town, but this season Westbrook has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting, including a 31-point, 6-assist gem in a win in Boston without KD or Green.”
Scott Brooks doesn’t have to harp on energy and effort anymore: “They understand that if you don’t have those two things, you have no shot,” Brooks said. “I don’t care how good you are or how well you execute; the energy has to be there because that can cover up a lot of issues. And that’s good. No coach in the league should have to coach the energy and effort game. That should be within every player’s personal pride.”
Aron Phillips of Dime with a great Durant feature: “When you’re writing a story on Durant, everyone comes out of the woodwork. It’s like when Jay-Z works on a new album – everyone wants to guest on a track. So while sometimes it’s difficult to get in touch with NBA players during the offseason, a sacrosanct time normally spent with their family away from the media spotlight, guys were hitting us up to talk about KD. And there’s no one that knows Durant better than the people around him. From pickup games to All-Star Games, from workouts to shoot-outs, everyone I talked to for this story gave me a reason why they stop what they’re doing when the Thunder happen to be on TV, or Durant is tearing through “SportsCenter” highlights. And although he wouldn’t say it outright, one player even hinted that Durant was the primary reason he subscribed to NBA League Pass.”
Zach Lowe of the Point Forward on Collison’s deal: “He’s also a good example of sticking only to what you’re good at on offense. Collison does almost all of his work around the rim, through cuts and offensive boards. He’s consistently been a top-25 offensive rebounder, and you don’t see Collison’s trying to go off the dribble or jacking 18-footers with a hand in his face. Knowing your limitations is a skill, and Collison has it. All in all: great job by the Thunder.”
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger on the new CBA: “And the line often repeated by aspiring GMs — be Sam Presti — applies here, too. Presti, the shrewd GM of the Oklahoma City Thunder, this week negotiated an extension with Nick Collison that positions the team perfectly for the uncertain pay structure ahead. Picking up on a trend started by the Wizards with Andray Blatche’s extension, Presti took advantage of a clause in the CBA that allows teams that are under the cap to renegotiate the current year of a player’s deal. So Presti increased Collison’s salary this season from $6.75 million to $13.3 million. Next season, the first year of the extension, Collison’s salary plummets to $3.3 million and continues to go down every year until he makes $2.2 million in 2014-15.”