Ethan Sherwood Strauss pooh-poohs the Summer of KD: “Think about it this way. KD struggles to create his own shot, relative to other superstars. He still manages to lead the league in scoring on mostly assisted jumpers. While some score easily on layups and dunks, he rakes in points by lofting difficult attempts over the best defenses. Durant somehow fills it up while only averaging 3.6 shots at the rim (73rd in the league). So when the game comes easier–as it does in these summer days–he’s Harrison Bergeron unbound. Kevin’s one dimension is absolutely crushing when it faces no rebuttal. Durant’s shaky handle and lack of court vision mean nothing when his scoring brilliance is free to flex and shout. KD’s inability to create should hold him back from becoming the league’s most effective player, though. I hope I’m wrong, because Durant is so fun to root for. But it’s a bit odd to predict “best” for a wing who has never tallied more assists than turnovers through four years in the league. “Consistently great” seems like a more realistic expectation. In the meantime, Kevin Durant is creating a groundswell of enthusiasm, divorced from NBA context, divorced from an operating NBA.”
Holly MacKenzie of The Basketball Jones on KD’s new tats: “It’s definitely a huge tattoo, but it’s one filled with a lot of meaning. From his coach to his hometown, Durant continues to make it clear that he isn’t about to forget where he came from or who helped him get to where he is today.
Trey Kerby of TBJ noticed KD loves his wings: “Of course, when you consider the Thunder seem to be legitimately concerned with Durant’s eating habits, maybe getting money to say, “Fried chicken wings are soooooooooo great” isn’t the best fit. Might anger some higher-ups in OKC, though I’m guessing they will be OK if the worst thing their franchise player does is endorse a delicious bar snack.”
Tom Ziller on Durant’s specialized game: “To me, the high rate of assisted baskets is a feature, not a bug. I mean, do we really want more isolation plays? If Durant can be the two-time defending NBA scoring champ taking passes from a chaotic guard like Westbrook, where’s the issue? To beat your man off the dribble is heroic, but to find open space is divine. How can we denigrate the predictability and inefficiency of “hero ball” and in the next breath ding Durant for letting his team’s creators create? Maybe Durant won’t be the Greatest Ever — Almost no one tagged with the potential to get there makes it. But I see no on-court flaw right now that will prevent him from doing so. The greatest summit that lies ahead is not within Durant. It’s what MJ has set as the standard.”
Mark Medina of the LA Times analyzing if the Thunder are a threat to the Lakers: “The Lakers have always had trouble keeping up with Oklahoma City’s speed and athleticism, but they succeeded because of their experience level. An off-season of rest and the Lakers’ early playoff exit will fuel one last burst of energy into them securing superiority over OKC. Rest and motivation will provide a factor for all teams, but it’ll prove more critical against the Thunder because of its distinguishable advantage in youth and quickness. It’s also too presumptuous to think the Thunder will iron out its chemistry issues in just one season. Young teams take time to reach the championship level. Just ask Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher about their experience with the Lakers in the mid-’90s.”
Dime did a Q&A with Westbrook: “What have you been doing this summer? We haven’t seen you in any of the major playground games. RW: Nah. Not at all. I’ve just been working out, man. Just working out, trying to get my game right and my mind prepared for next year.”
Via the Sporting News, Nate Robinson put the NFL dream on hold: “The NFL is an alternative but he did not say he wanted to play in the NFL. He just wants to play basketball for now,” said Aaron Goodwin. “He is interested in coming to Europe during the lockout.”