James Harden doesn’t think he got crossed by Nigeria. Trey Kerby of TBJ investigates: “From the look of that second frame, James Harden is getting crossed over. Sure, it looked way worse once his feet started sliding, but that’s what will happen when you’re off-balance. From being crossed over. Which is what happened to James Harden. Case closed.”
Reggie Jackson has been working with his college coaches on his shooting form this summer: “I’ll do whatever it takes to get on the court and help the team,” Jackson said. “You have to be a leader and understand how to handle tough situations. It’s a different game as you go up every level, and the ones that are confident are the ones that stay around. The biggest thing last year for me was I was questioning myself about certain things. You have to trust in your game. Once I got on the court I was thinking about everything instead of just playing. I’m getting back to just playing ball and having belief in my abilities.”
John Schuhmann of NBA.com on the Magic’s plan to be the Thunder/Spurs: “If it’s not the Spurs, teams want to emulate the Oklahoma City Thunder model, which, of course, was put together by another guy — Sam Presti — who was hired out of San Antonio years ago. The problem with those plans is that there is only one Tim Duncan. There is only one Kevin Durant. And really, there is only one Gregg Popovich. Yes, you can strip your roster down in order to bottom out competitively and increase your chances of a No. 1 pick. And you can certainly have high character standards when drafting, trading and signing to improve your locker-room culture.”
Tyson Chandler on James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook: “They’re like the cousins that come from out of town. They have all these things and inside jokes, which now we’re all a part of.”
Matt Breen of the Washington Post on KD’s father: “It took Pratt nearly a decade to seek forgiveness from his two sons and worked out a decent relationship with his now ex-wife. He said Wanda was always a positive person and strong enough to raise two sons. While his father was gone, Durant spent most of his time at Seat Pleasant Recreation Center. There, he met Taras Brown, who taught him basketball, coached his AAU team and became known as his godfather.”
Two years ago Usain Bolt said KD was a role model for him. Kind of cool.
John Hollinger with a wise note: “In theory, the new CBA was supposed to change that. In reality, we still have maximum salaries that make it easy for superstars to collude and get to teams like the New York Knicks and Miami Heat, and rules on sign-and-trades and extensions that were supposed to prevent stars from jumping but instead only push them into free agency. For example: No matter what Oklahoma City does, Kevin Durant would almost certainly choose unrestricted free agency in 2016 over signing an extension. Let that one sink in for a while.”