Justin Verrier of ESPN.com on what makes a great NBA uniform: “A similar effect seems to be happening with the Oklahoma City Thunder. In a vacuum, the Okies have, by far, one of the worst looks in the league. The double-decker city name on the away tops, the bizarre black/blue/dark orange/light orange color scheme, the logo with the pointy & things sticking out of it — it’s all pretty rough. But many of us have grown so attached to this team in its accelerated leap from plucky upstart to Finals runner-up that it may be strange to see Kevin Durant & Co. in different shades. It sure isn’t pretty, but it is the Thunder.”
UniWatch is ranking every uniform in sports and OKC checked in at No. 37: “Very underrated. The home design is particularly strong — one of the best in the league — in large part because of the orange and gold trim, which really pops. The road design would probably be stronger if they put “City” below the uni number instead of stacking the two words, but it still works. Sort of amazing that they haven’t come out with an “OKC” alternate yet, but that’s presumably right around the corner.”
Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas on how the Mavs match up with OKC: The Thunder exposed Dallas’ weakest positions during the first-round sweep. No one came close to covering Westbrook and Harden, particularly in the Game 4 fourth-quarter clincher. They drove unabated and untouched to the rim time after time. The Mavs feel they’re better equipped to deal with those threats this season with speedy Darren Collison at point guard and Chris Kaman and Elton Brand protecting the rim. But look, OKC is a matchup nightmare. Ever catch Durant standing next to 7-footer Dirk Nowitzki? Let’s just say Durant is not 6-9 as he’s officially listed, and he acts like a 2-guard. Shawn Marion will again get the call to guard Durant, and at 34, that job doesn’t get any easier. The 6-3 Westbrook might have the quickest first step in the league. Collison’s speed will be a welcome asset for the Mavs in the backcourt, but at 6-foot, Collison will be hard-pressed to keep the ridiculously bouncy Westbrook from freely launching his free-throw jumper right over him. The Mavs will have to take advantage with potentially their best-scoring frontcourt in Nowitzki’s career. Chris Kaman and Elton Brand will give Perkins and Ibaka challenges they didn’t face with previous Mavs teams.”
KD on sharing the Olympics with his teammates: “It was special because it’s kind of like you’re seeing the maturation process of us all. Me not playing on the Olympic team and Russ not being on there (in 2008). We’re all growing and playing in the Olympics. I had to sit down and think about it that we’re all playing in the Olympics. That’s an amazing accomplishment just to be there. But to get a Gold and a Silver and bring them back to OKC, that’s just on another level. So we’re excited that all of us had the opportunity to experience that, and we had fun.”
Sportige lists the top 13 most hated NBA players: “Whenever something doesn’t work for the Thunder, it usually gets blamed on Russell Westbrook. Maybe if he wasn’t playing alongside someone as likable as Kevin Durant, he wouldn’t be getting this kind of treatment. But Westbrook is a shoot first kind of guy which sometimes doesn’t perfectly complement the most efficient scoring machine in the NBA, and he’s usually the easiest person to blame when things go wrong.”
Jeff Green officially got his deal with the Celtics finalized yesterday. Four years, $36 million. Good for Uncle Jeff.