Kurt Helin of PBT riffing on silly Dwight Howard speculation: “OKC, you have not had a team for that long, so let me give you some advice — enjoy the journey. If your mentality is “title or bust” you’ll come off as arrogant, entitled Lakers fans. You have as good a young core as there is in the game, good players and good people who are fun to watch. Savor that, it is too rare. The titles will come. They will. Let them and enjoy the journey because that is the fun part, not the end result. As for the people who want to jump on this idea, know there is no way this happens. No. Way. It will not even be discussed. Because neither side would do it.”
Marc Gasol on which U.S. player he thinks is most dangerous: “I like Kevin (Durant) because he makes it easy. He doesn’t need to do much. He doesn’t have to dribble. He just gets the ball and shoots it. He plays well with the ball and off the ball. But with those guys, you have a No. 1 guy and then you have 1B, 1C, 1D and so on. Kobe (Bryant) is also a very dangerous player. He’d be dangerous even with cricket rules. LeBron (James) is also scary. They all have their tools.”
Marc Stein of ESPN.com on Spain: “If Marc Gasol does wind up playing alongside Pau and Oklahoma City Thunder center Serge Ibaka, Team USA will get its first up-close look at the front-line trio that, to most international basketball experts, makes Spain more of a threat than ever before and represents the biggest obstacle to the Americans repeating as Olympic champions.”
David Aldridge of NBA.com on OKC’s hangover from the Finals: “A lot of promising teams — think the Sonics in ’96, the Magic in ’09 — got to the Finals once, but never got back. OKC certainly looks poised for a long run, but nothing is guaranteed. The Thunder, understandably, stood pat in the offseason. OKC took care of Scott Brooks, but needs to save whatever money it can to stay under the tax threshold to be able to pay either James Harden or Serge Ibaka — or both. The main issue for the Thunder now is the mental game. Can Oklahoma City make that last step that all champions have to make — learning how to deal with the pressure and expectations of a contender. And the pain of losing takes a while to lag.”
Congrats to Cole Aldrich who got engaged to his long time girlfriend.