I’m on a flight early Monday from Los Angeles back to the promised land. Still, quite a weekend in LA. The Thunder had a monster presence and it’s almost easy to forget that there are still 28 really important games to go. A couple days off and then back at it though. Plus, it’s trade deadline week!
“From Elias: Kobe Bryant (37) and Kevin Durant (34) each score 30 points for the Western Conference. It’s just the second pair of teammates to score 30 points in a NBA All-Star Game. The others were Bob McAdoo (30 points) and Julius Erving (30 points) in 1977.”
Nice piece by Jenni Carlson on KD’s dad: “The superstar’s dad could’ve quit his job the day his son declared for the NBA Draft, could’ve handed in his badge and his gun when his kid signed that first contract, could’ve punched his last time card when his boy snagged that massive contract extension. Instead, Wayne Pratt is taking vacation days to see his son make his first start in the All-Star Game. Ever wonder why Kevin Durant is a humble superstar? Look no further than the superstar’s dad.”
Video of KD talking All-Star postgame. KD says, “If [Kobe] passes the torch to me, I know what to do with it.”
Darnell Mayberry looking into the crystal ball a bit: “One of his most reliable refrains has been about his young roster. Presti maintains that the organization still isn’t quite sure of the extent of its team’s talent. The players, Presti says, “have yet to reveal themselves.”
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com scores KD an A-: “Durant scored 25 points in the second half and 34 overall and it appeared for a minute or two as if his total output might overtake Kobe’s. A rhythm shooter, Durant had a tough time early getting comfortable in the flow, but found his shot and then some.”
And Westbrook an A- too: “The OKC guard was the portrait of how to play an All-Star Game — always looking to start a play or finish it. If there was a way to stylize a move, Westbrook put his signature on it. He charted serious aerial distance on a breakaway dunk, then later unleashed a crossover on Wade, then stepped back and knocked down a J.”
Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com: “Best Potential – Russell Westbrook: Of the first time All-Stars, few looked like they belong as much as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who threw down a vicious dunk in transition, yanked his defenders around with crossovers and finished one move in the paint with an acrobatic lefty hanging flip shot. He will be a staple of future All-Star Games for years to come. Westbrook finished with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists in 14 minutes.”