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Tom Ley of Deadspin: “I’ve grown somewhat tired of the ways in which people choose to describe Westbrook, reaching into a bag of clumsy metaphors in an effort to get across a simple idea: This guy is out of control. It’s a way of disguising a curmudgeon’s complaint in a literary voice, and the complaint isn’t even correct. It’s far too reductive to see Westbrook’s season as the result of his basketball id being set loose on the court every night, and it ignores just how much control it takes to play like he does.”
Erik Horne: “They were the words of an expectant father, a man tired from 86 games of gas-pedal-to-the-floor intensity and historical feats seemingly by the night. A day removed from the Thunder’s dismissal by Houston in the first round of the postseason, Westbrook said he didn’t have his future with the Thunder on his mind. Between now and the start of next season, others will. While Westbrook may not be thinking about the lucrative contract that will be waiting for him this summer when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement goes into effect, his decision is the key to the franchise’s future. Here’s what to know about Westbrook and the Designated Player Exception.” Keep Reading…
The Thunder held the 2016-17 exit interviews on Wednesday in Oklahoma City, and they didn’t disappoint in terms of quotes/soundbites. Below is a collection of bits and pieces, with a few videos as well.
There’s a lot to unpack in terms of the Thunder season — particularly on the playoffs/exit interviews/what comes next front. But I’m going to divert from that briefly and have a little fun because it’s the offseason and that’s when we let our hair down.
An article posted by Deadspin this morning revealed a sheet from the Thunder’s hotel in Houston, and on it is the complete list of aliases used by the players. There’s nothing quite as impressive as Mike Vick’s “Ron Mexico” (my favorite hotel alias of all time), but there is a lot here to enjoy and speculate on.
Micah Peters of The Ringer is for Russ: “Everything else that we claim to want from a basketball player, from a pro athlete, we have in Westbrook. He stayed instead of agitating to join a better team or go to a bigger market; he plays hard, and he gives everything. The weird commonality among Westbrook’s detractors– aside from pretending that double-digit numbers (in triples) don’t mean more to us than single-digit ones– is that none of them are satisfied with just the consistent application of those values. Westbrook needs to play a more efficient brand of basketball that fits more neatly into the bigger picture of modernity. He needs to be less like himself.”
Brian Windhorst in a 5-on-5 on OKC’s future: “He’s one of the top five players in the league, which makes him the cornerstone of a franchise and the kind of piece that can absolutely be the foundation of a champion. I think it’s dangerous to look at this season and think that’s the way it’s going to be forever. This was an outlier season for Westbrook in a lot of ways. He’s an intelligent player, and he knows this style won’t work at a championship level. The team will adapt, and he’ll adapt.” Keep Reading…
Despite the first round playoff exit, Oklahoma City Thunder fans will never forget this season.
After the events of July 4th, and subsequently August 4th, the state of Oklahoma made Russell Westbrook a god. We worshiped him, just as the organization did everything it could to serve him. And what more could have been done for him than putting him in position to win a scoring crown, to average a triple-double, and almost certainly to win MVP?