Bradford Doolittle of ESPN Insider says the Thunder are fallers: “The Thunder are a paradox. On one hand, Oklahoma City is a clear championship contender, with a big three of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka that is as strong as any other team’s core. However, the talent around that trio has been whittled away by cap restrictions and the Thunder’s position is much more tenuous than it was a year ago at this time. For one, James Harden was still a part of the equation back then. Now, not only is Harden gone but so is his replacement, with Kevin Martin now in Minnesota. No good team has as big a lineup hole as Oklahoma City has in the middle with nonproductive center Kendrick Perkins. The fifth starter, Thabo Sefolosha, is solid, but he’s strictly a role player. Beyond the starters, the Thunder have talent but also a lot of unknowns. Can Jeremy Lamb take a step forward? Can Reggie Jackson repeat the gains he made in the playoffs after Westbrook was injured? Are any of DeAndre Liggins, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, Perry Jones III or Grant Jerrett ready to contribute? Is Derek Fisher really expected to do anything at age 39?”
Sean Fennessey of Grantland comparing Kendrick Lamar’s to KD: “What Kendrick Lamar has done is sui generis. It’s a sort of in-game shit-talking session. This is what Kevin Durant does when he shows up for the Drew League — I really am this good. Try and stop me. Only Kendrick sounds angry. I’m on the record about Kendrick. He’s already more talented and more accomplished than everyone on that list of his, save Drake depending on how you feel about the commingling of luxury, sensitivity, and ignorance. But it doesn’t make the verse any less jarring.”
Berry Tramel on KD’s love of Seattle: “In May, Kevin Durant wore a Seattle SuperSonics cap to a Thunder shootaround in Memphis. Over the weekend, Durant played a streetball game back in Seattle and turned all melancholy. “I love and miss Seattle…damn” he tweeted. To which I say, I…” I don’t know what happens next because it’s behind a paywall.