Henry Abbott of TrueHoop on sneaky tanking: “People are quick to praise the Thunder approach, but slow to acknowledge the lynch pin of reaching elite status was not merely getting Durant. It was getting Durant … and then staying absolutely terrible for two more full seasons while adding Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka. While Durant was messing around at shooting guard the then-SuperSonics won a cruddy 20 games despite having once-in-a-generation talent on the roster. That was such a bad performance they got an incredibly high draft pick with which they could select Westbrook. Then Westbrook sprayed the ball around the court as if it were buttered, and that’s how a roster with two blossoming All-Stars only managed 23 wins, leading to the draft where they added James Harden and Serge Ibaka. Only after that did the team take off, winning 50.”
Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post tagged along as KD took media on a tour of where he’s from: “After a stop at the neighborhood basketball courts, the tour returned back to the Seat Pleasant Activity Center for panel discussion and a Q&A session where kids from Seat Pleasant got to ask Durant questions. One by one the youngsters, who were the same age as Durant was when he first set foot in the gym, addressed him as ‘Mr. Durant’ and ‘Mr. KD’ and asked questions about his life, his career, and inevitably, what it’s like to play against LeBron James. At the end of the session, Durant was given a key to the city of Seat Pleasant, and took the time to address the kids directly and encourage them to have hope.”
Chuck Martin, former coach at Marist, has accepted some sort of job with the Thunder. I’m thinking it’s not a coaching position as Martin went 48-118 in five seasons as Marist, his only head coaching experience.
Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com ranks Kevin Martin the sixth best shooting guard free agent: “His trade to Oklahoma City highlighted what statistical analysts have known for years — Martin is one of the league’s most efficient scorers. Unfortunately, he’s a defensive liability and gives up much of that value at the other end, limiting him to a reserve role for most teams. Several teams will pursue him for instant offense even in the wake of a quiet postseason.”
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com on OKC’s needs: “Kevin Martin is a free agent and unlikely to come back, so they’re going to need some bench scoring on the perimeter. They are probably going to keep looking for center depth as well, and power forward is a question mark, too.”