A quick note: We are stopping production on the Air Congo shirt. We received word from ASM Sports which is Serge Ibaka’s representation that we were using an “unauthorized image” of Ibaka. While we totally disagree and in fact know that our shirt is entirely okay, we’re not printing any more because as much as we’d like to, we don’t have to money or resources to really battle for something like this. We’re kind of small time. It’s a shame that ASM doesn’t really get what they’re doing here by stopping a fan produced shirt, but it’s what we’ve got to do. Anyway, just for your information.
I’m sure you saw it over the weekend, but Darnell Mayberry had a great story about KD meeting Mr. President: “Soon after the supposed snub, Durant told his agents, brothers Aaron and Eric Goodwin, he would have liked to have met and played ball with the president. The agents turned their client’s wish into reality by using a connection to Obama’s special assistant and personal aide Reggie Love to secure a date. Love is a former Duke basketball player. The day happened to be one day after Durant’s grandmother’s 63rd birthday. And Barbara Davis received an unexpected and unforgettable birthday gift. She accompanied Durant and Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, to the Commander in Chief’s home court.”
From the Detroit Free Press on the rebuilding Pistons: “The one form of false hope is the “blow-up the team” method, trading away or releasing as many players as possible while stockpiling draft picks and players with large contract on the brink of expiration. After this process, the team will be full of young recent draft picks, and no hefty contracts to make future trades impossible. The Oklahoma City Thunder are too often cited for success with this method when they recently blew up their team in the trade that sent Ray Allen to Boston. Some say the draft picks were the key to success, but those are the people you need to ignore during this period of rebuilding.”
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com: “Late Thursday night in Portland is exactly why the Thunder will survive the tough times, and there have definitely been some of those in the 3-2 start. Two offensive rebounds on the final Oklahoma City possession of regulation led to the Serge Ibaka basket inside that forced overtime. Jeff Green crashed into the seats to make a great save that helped the Thunder control the ball, and the clock, late in overtime. Point guard Westbrook towered in the lane for the defensive board that helped seal the victory. The bright light on Kevin Durant as a worldly star continues, but internally, the entire franchise knows the surge into the lead pack of the Western Conference is built on grit and a roster that has to be ordered away from the practice court on off days to get rest.”
How the Boston bench made the difference: “The deep Celtic bench was in charge of holding the lead, but Russell Westbrook sparked his club to a quick 9-0 run and then Kevin Durant got into the mix as well, keying another 13-2 spurt to finish the third quarter. The Thunder held the Celtics without a field goal for the last four minutes of the third and cut the lead to nine heading into the fourth. OKC wasn’t done either. James Harden knocked down a 3 to start the fourth and just like that, OKC had Boston’s lead to six with an entire quarter to go. That’s where Doc Rivers did something interesting. He didn’t call timeout. And he didn’t put his starters back in. Instead, he trusted his bench.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Really, did any of this come as a shock with the way the Thunder had performed in each of its first five games? When the same offensive and defensive problems that we’ve seen all season make their way into a game against a top three team, even if its just for stretches, blowouts happen.”
Berry Tramel: “Ever see one of those Tarantino films, where nothing is in order? Non-linear, they call it. That’s the Thunder. Everything’s out of order. It’s all a jumbled mess, which for the second straight Sunday night at the arena formerly known as the Ford Center describes the team formerly known as the NBA’s newest hot thing.”
Russell Westbrook: “It’s the fifth game, sixth game, no need to panic,” said Russell Westbrook. “Last year, they thought we weren’t going to make the playoffs. So you can’t believe whoever they is. We’re going to get it right.”