Zach Lowe of Grantland makes the case for a 40-minute game: “There is an undercurrent of thought that the NBA, as the world’s best league, should be the global standard-bearer of basketball — and that most rule changes should flow in the direction of other leagues adapting to the NBA brand. “FIBA should go to 48 minutes,” Nowitzki says. “Forty is too short for me.” Adds Van Gundy: “There should be some compromise, but FIBA should align with the NBA.” And a few powerful league sources told me they liked how the 48-minute game length differentiated the NBA from both FIBA play and college basketball. Look, any major change is going to be difficult. Inertia is powerful, and doing nothing is always the easiest option — and it might be the best one for the NBA. But too many games are just too long, and the momentum of instant replay is moving the NBA even further in that direction — to the point that a few small changes may not be enough to find the happy medium for game length. The 40-minute game is the easiest catch-all solution, and the league should consider it seriously. All indications suggest that the 40-minute game will be one of many such ideas to get a detailed hearing under Silver, and the sport will be better off if the league fosters thoughtful discussion of lots of different proposals. Sports and consumer habits, like anything else, are always evolving.”
KD says he’d be up for Hakeem’s tutelage: “I don’t know. At this point there’s only one Hakeem Olajuwon. I don’t know how much he can really help me but of course I watched him as a kid and I watch films of him now. I just try to take some stuff out of his game and put it to mine’s, but it’s so hard to try to be like Hakeem Olajuwon. But I’m up for anything. I’m looking forward to learning from anybody, so… We’ll see.”
Anthony Slater of NewsOK on KD in the post: “Overall, Durant’s actually been pretty efficient with his back to the basket, scoring 1.04 points per post-up last season (stat via mysynergysports.com), seventh highest in the NBA. But it still feels like an underutilized part of his game, particularly (as Olajuwon said) when he has smaller players defending him. Only 10.4 percent of his offensive moves were out of the post last season. Will he do it more in the future? We’ll see. Will he work with Olajuwon to improve? Couldn’t hurt. But it’s not exactly the most pressing issue facing the 24-year-old or his team. Planting Durant’s 6-foot-10 frame on the block against overmatched small forwards sounds like a good offensive option. But so does isolating him on the wing, placing him in the pick and roll or just about every other possible scenario which involves getting the ball in the hands of the NBA’s youngest three-time scoring champ.”
Brazil bound. Don’t Tread.
Chris Bernucca of Sheridan Hoops with an all-time terrible column: “But you have to wonder if Durant will feel the same way about Oklahoma City three years from now if Bennett continues to ask players to make financial sacrifices and rake in revenue without raising payroll, depriving the Thunder and their loyal fan base of a championship. Because that’s not “all for one and one for all.” That’s “all for me.” When his current contract expires, Durant will be 27, still in his prime with nine years under his belt, represented by a new agent, Jay-Z. That’s nine years of virtually unmatched excellence on and off the court. Nine years of finishing second — or worse, depending on what is to come. Nine years of trying to fill the only void in his Hall of Fame resume. There’s probably a great owner out there who would love to help him. Time, and money, will tell.”
One of the things Bernucca uses against Bennett in his case of him being a bad owner: That the Thunder *only* donated $1 million to tornado relief efforts, the same as their “employee.”