Darnell Mayberry on reasons KD may have dropped out: “It’s the NBA. You’ve got to have a conspiracy theory. And this one might be as crazy as all the others. But it’s hard to ignore. Durant reportedly is on the verge of leaving longtime sponsor Nike and signing a massively lucrative endorsement deal with Under Armour. Well, guess which shoe and apparel heavy hitter sponsors USA Basketball? That’s right, Nike. It’s possible, perhaps even probable for all we know, that some Under Armour executive requested Durant bow out of the competition so that he wouldn’t be plastered in Nike apparel for a month. Sure, it sounds far-fetched. But this is big business, and Durant might soon have 300 million reasons why he would have granted such a request.”
Kurt Helin of PBT on KD’s minutes: “The Thunder have one key reason they should be able to keep Durant’s minutes down next season — a healthy Russell Westbrook. He has missed almost half the season last year due to knee surgeries and that put added strain on Durant, this season Westbrook should be around the full season. The Thunder again will be hesitant to sacrifice regular season wins in the middle of a tough Western conference, but it could come to that at times. The top coaches like Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers do it at points, and Scott Brooks is going to have to consider it. Or, better yet, they could get quality depth and Brooks could trust it. What the best teams also do is get wins without just riding their stars every night.”
Here are your 2014-15 Thunder Girls, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Mel Bracht of NewsOK.com on the search for a new TV analyst: “The Thunder also appears to prefer someone who will be a team booster and paint a rosy picture for viewers. A former Thunder sideline reporter complained privately that the team went overboard in putting on a “positive” front.”
Tom Ziller of SB Nation on the age limit: “That money is a total drop in the bucket compared to what the top prospects stand to make in the NBA. (Wiggins will earn $5.5 million this season.) Heck, it’s even less than the small salary afforded to NBA D-League players, which is around $25,000 per season. The O’Bannon ruling doesn’t make a financial case for players to choose college over the NBA. But it weakens one of the stronger cases against the age minimum, and that may be all Silver needs to push through his vision.”
Thanks very, very much to the kind DTers that send along a baby gift. Unbelievably nice for y’all to do that.