The Norway tragedy hits close to home too: “The people of Oklahoma City know, more than most, that such resiliency is possible — but it is also difficult. Watkins said that the city’s memorial and museum plans to offer its assistance to the people of Norway, including children’s psychiatric counseling and other resources. One lesson that the Midwestern city’s residents have learned, the hard way, is that evil exists and it can strike at any time — at times perpetrated by seemingly the least likely people.”
Connor Hutchen of HP on Russell Westbrook: “Westbrook mentions the Thunder’s playoff series victories by saying, “We were winning”, but that quote is ultimately hollow for a simple reason: The Thunder stopped winning when they came up against the Dallas Mavericks, and his inability to consistently make the slight changes necessary to improve his play were part of the reason for that decline. Westbrook can still improve various aspects of his game (Note: He’s 22 years old), and some of that improvement will come with added experience. I hope that occasionally making minuscule changes, changes that can alter the outcome of a game, will go hand-in-hand with that experience.”
Another nasty dunk from Manilla, this one featuring CP3 off the backboard to KD.
Darnell Mayberry on TattooGate: “But the majority of Durant’s tats are inspirational sayings in the form of scripture or names and images that pay homage to his family and hometown. Inscribed at the bottom of the right side of his stomach, Durant has “Walk by faith not by sight,” coming from 2 Corinthians 5:7. Immediately above that is a cross. Directly above the cross is another scripture, this one adopted from Proverbs 15:33, which reads, “The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” On the left side of his stomach, Durant has an image of a house, which he once told me was the home he grew up in. In front of the house is a boy wearing a No. 35 jersey dribbling a basketball. And above his belly button, Durant, a suburban Washington, D.C. native, has the Washington Nationals’ squiggly red “W’” insignia. It’s all the same stuff about Durant that fans have come to love. It’s just packaged differently.”
Larry Coon for HoopsWorld on the bargaining: “Honestly, I don’t think anything is bizarre or outlandish. I think it’s all a part of negotiation. Both sides have their own perspective on the situation, both want the best possible deal for themselves, and both are willing to spin it in order to make themselves look better. Both sides go into negotiations asking for more than they think they’re going to get, and eventually they start serious horse trading and meet somewhere in the middle. Right now we’re still at the point where the two sides are asking for the moon and the stars, and haven’t begun to make serious concessions toward a deal (although the owners moved more than I thought they would prior to July 1).”
Rob Mahoney in an ESPN.com 5-on-5 on most underrated point guards: “Russell Westbrook gets an unbelievably bad rap for a legitimate star. It’s true that many of the Thunder’s demons are in some way related to Westbrook’s performance, but he still brings an incredible level of production in a wide variety of ways. He may not be as controlled or deliberate as some other guards, but his explosiveness holds its own virtues and, contrary to common perception, its own incredible success.”