Mark Cuban on if the NBA has missed Seattle: “I don’t think it’s a fair assessment. Obviously Oklahoma City’s done a great job, and so when I say I’m pro-Seattle, it doesn’t mean I’m anti-Oklahoma City. In reality, among our small-market teams they’ve probably done the best. And so as much as people don’t really like Clay, Clay has done a good job down there. … Based on where we are, there are teams that would pop into consideration.”
BrewHoop breaks down KD vs. LRMAM: “By crowding Durant and staying physical with him — while still having the quickness and length to effectively challenge shots and shut down driving lanes — LRMAM forces KD into tough situations on the perimeter. The choices for Durant are often whittled down to: (1) give the ball up, (2) take a contested jumper or (3) try to force a drive into the paint. The degree of difficulty imposed by Luc leads to more turnovers and less free throw attempts for Durant.”
Kicks on Fire’s NBA preview of the Thunder: “Harden also has a huge decision to make on the sneaker front as well. Despite starring in a hilarious Foot Locker commercial with Russell Westbrook in Nike gear, Harden is in a similar middling situation with the swoosh. If he stays in OKC and rocks Nike for the rest of his career, he will be a cult hero but never be considered the man. But if he leaves the Thunder and Nike for the big bucks elsewhere, he runs the risk of becoming the next Joe Johnson.”
KD says he wants to be more “mean.” Things he says he does wrong: He leaves his clothes on the floor and leaves juice on the table. What a butt.
Jenni Carlson: “So, the question is this — is Harden ready to leave all this? That is the question Harden must ask and answer in these contract negotiations. Is he ready to leave a still youthful but supremely talented team that went to the NBA Finals last season? Ready to leave a nucleus that only seems to get better? Ready to leave a franchise that has built a culture that players rave about? Sure didn’t sound like it Monday.”
Darnell Mayberry: “If you buy what James Harden is selling, he won’t be going anywhere. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year spent the majority of his media day session with reporters Monday insisting he still wants to be a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder and expressing confidence that it’s only a matter of time before his highly anticipated contract extension gets ironed out.”
Nick Collison’s stance on the flopping rules: “We’ll see how it plays out. I’m not really sure how it’s going to work. I think it’s something the league feels like they need to do something about, but they’re not sure exactly the best way to do it. I guess, until I hear what the system is going to be and what exactly is going to define a flop, I don’t really know exactly what to say about it… Some of them you get pretty hard, others not as hard. So I’m definitely interested, curious to see how they regulate it.”