Love this point from Bill Simmons: “If this lockout was happening partly because we were trying to protect small market teams from being unable to compete, mission unaccomplished. On the other hand, I always thought this point was overrated. The two-year “Where are LeBron/Wade/Carmelo going?” storyline helped give the NBA its best momentum since MJ’s second Bulls run; looking back, The Decision was one of the most important moments in the history of the league. Yeah, it’s a little tougher for small markets to keep their best guys, but it’s not impossible: either you build something meaningful that makes them want to stay (see: San Antonio and Oklahoma City), or, you fail to build a good enough foundation and they leave (see: Cleveland and Orlando). It’s really that simple.”
Chris Kaman tweeted this yesterday: “Passing through OK City, who would want to live here?!” I’m pretty sure it was just a dig at Blake Griffin and he responded in kind: “Me, Chris. Don’t you still live with your parents?”
Shoals for The Classical: “Even his war on two fronts—Oklahoma City gets the Thunder as a means to legitimacy, China gobbles down the league whole—was a strategy. The owners, his bosses, are short-sighted and sore; they control the league, and the small market teams who can least afford their own incompetence far outnumber the cities who can afford to screw things up. When the Heat came together last summer, there was no shortage of “inmates running the asylum” blather. We learned these last few months that the NBA, for all its grandeur, is always just a few rabid jerks away from the edge. The court is sacred. The walls around it, not so much so.”
Darnell Mayberry on KD as a marketing tycoon: “The next step for Durant, according to McDaniel, is to graduate from the performance category which includes shoes, apparel and nutritional supplements. When Durant lands deals in industries like banking, automotive, insurance, soft drinks, candy or jewelry, McDaniel said, you’ll know he has arrived. NFL stars such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and brothers Peyton and Eli Manning have achieved such status. But Durant, McDaniel said, possesses the potential to surpass even those mega-endorsers and move closer to an elite list that includes Michael Jordan and pre-scandal Tiger Woods.”
Trying to figure out KD’s top lockout performance. Rucker Park obviously is what comes to mind, but the 55 on LeBron is tops for me.
Susan Bible of HoopsWorld with six moves the Thunder should make: “Mullens is set to earn $1.2 million this year. Not much money, but perhaps Presti can secure something in exchange; he needs to go so the roster isn’t maxed out (a Presti pet peeve). If Jackson, Cook and Battier sign, along with the twelve already under contract, they would be at the maximum 15 players. Another thought is packaging Robinson and Mullens for picks and a surprise addition.”