KD on 106.7 The Fan in DC on winning gold: “We fought so hard against each other during the regular season, but to fight against other countries for your country, that’s just on another level. I haven’t won an NBA championship. That’s my goal, but I could just see it in LeBron’s face and Kobe’s face [what it meant] to win a gold.”
Chris Palmer of ESPN.com: “The Thunder have the one much-needed ingredient needed to take down the Heat: someone who can neutralize the enormous impact of LeBron James. Durant won’t shut him down defensively (he will, however, make it tougher for James to score), but his game-breaking play can match James step for step. Durant, like James, is the rare star who can determine the outcome of a game by himself. Oklahoma City has drafted well, committed to developing its talent and has been aggressive about locking the talent up for the long haul. It’s a highly successful model that just might be the blueprint for accomplishing the final goal: winning a world championship.”
Jenni Carlson on James Harden’s wild life: “Life is good for James Harden. But you have to wonder if The Beard Express has a chance of running off the rail. Earlier this summer, his account on Instagram, a picture-based social media website, had a photo of a note with some news. “JUST FOUND OUT I GOT TRADED TO THE HORNETS,” it read. “I’LL MISS OKC.” Not long after, the picture was deleted. Turns out it was a hoax. Hard to believe the Thunder was real happy that one of its potential franchise players is joking around about that. Then again, that gold-and-black, tiger-print cowboy hat couldn’t have been a big hit either. But I’m telling you, the Thunder could use this to its advantage. Harden clearly has some wild child in him, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but here’s where the Thunder can make OKC a huge positive. Sell Harden and his people on the fact that he shouldn’t live in party city with a bunch of money. Convince them that he can visit places like L.A. and Miami in the offseason but that he needs to spend most of his time in a place like Oklahoma City. Last I checked, Lake Hefner didn’t have enough water to float a boat big enough for another All-White Yacht Party.”
I’m not big on media criticism, but one quick thought on it: The implication here is that Harden isn’t responsible enough to handle the lights of a big city if he were to sign a contract with lots of money. How this conclusion was arrived at? Because of an Instagram picture that we don’t even know if Harden did and a couple pictures of him having fun at his birthday party. Here’s something: James Harden is an adult, a grown man. If he wants to party and do crazy things, that’s his prerogative as long as it doesn’t affect his play on the court. (Another thing: These guys aren’t actually the perfect little angels that everyone wants to think they are.) This idea OKC is some safe haven where “bad things” don’t happen is silly. Also, one more thought: These so-called party cities like LA and Miami? They won’t even be in the running for Harden next summer. So it’s about convincing him to stay away from the perils an pitfalls of Phoenix and Dallas, most likely. And you know, Harden went to college at Arizona State and was still an All-American. I think he knows how to handle partying.
KD on Serge Ibaka’s extension: “It’s a really big deal. I’m happy for him, first of all, him and his family. He worked so hard to get that [extension] and I’m just excited that he’s signed on for four more years and really believes in us. He easily could have said no, waited for next summer, played well this year and got more [money]. But he sacrificed for us and we appreciate him for that. He’s the ultimate team player.”