Jenni Carlson: “Jay Fair took lots away from two days at Kevin Durant’s basketball camp — lessons in dribbling and defense, loads of memories, not to mention some pictures with the Thunder superstar himself. But he left something behind, too. Eighty pairs of shoes. The 8-year-old from Rowlett, Texas, wanted to do something to help Oklahomans who were impacted by tornadoes in May, so he collected kids shoes. He knew there would be kids like him who would need shoes for school.”
Via Darnell Mayberry, KD talked about OKC’s offseason: “People that really knew, as far as our money situation, knew that we couldn’t sign anybody too big,” Durant said. “We got myself, Russell (Westbrook), (Kendrick Perkins) and Serge (Ibaka) all locked in on big contracts so it’s kind of hard to sign (someone). Everybody wants us to get the biggest free agents, but it’s kind of hard to do that with the money that we have (committed) and the tax and the new CBA. So it was kind of difficult. But we knew the business side of it. But we know we have a really good team.”
Brett Pollakoff of PBT on KD’s comments: “It’s true the Thunder are still relatively stacked, and a healthy Russell Westbrook is better than any addition another team could have made. But remember, while Kevin Martin was inconsistent at best off the OKC bench last season, at least he was someone who could occasionally (though randomly) be counted on to drop 20 points in a game. Martin left in free agency, and the Thunder were unable to replace him with a player possessing a similar kill set. It’s likely Durant was initially frustrated by the summer’s turn of events. Now that the free agent frenzy is over and things have had a chance to settle down, he’s coming to terms with the way his team stacks up against the retooled competition. The Thunder are still going to be a top team in the West next season. But there’s no question that the other teams have closed the gap.”
Russell Westbrook’s outfit for the Teen Choice Awards last night. Help him, someone.
Perk: “I’ve been working, man … Been in the gym and basically just working more in the weight room on my explosiveness and touch around the basket, hook shots and stuff like that. I’ve been shooting a lot of jumpers, making sure I make 300 a night. I’m just trying to prepare.”
The road in front of Chesapeake Energy Arena might be renamed to “Thunder Drive.” What would you name it?
In a 5-on-5, Amin Vafa of Hardwood Paroxysm says Perk is the most overrated center: It’s probably a bad idea to call such an imposing presence “overrated.” However, his continual lack of top-tier production makes him more of a liability on the court than an asset. He’s proved to be an average player for whom we have above-average expectations. But is that his fault?