“Be yourself.” — Russell Westbrook on fashion
“Be yourself.” — Russell Westbrook on fashion
I listened to Starships the whole time I wrote this. That is because of this. That’s not a lie, either. Nor is it an over-exaggeration. I listened to that song twenty-two times. I write slow.
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Russell Westbrook likes clothes. This has been a talking point since that night he showed up wearing a pair of red lensless glasses and a Lacoste shirt. The shirt had fishing lures on it. A lot of them. Like Rashaun Woods designed it or something.
That love for clothes came to a head during New York City’s Fashion Week. Russ sat next to royalty. The fashion icon. The lady that Merryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada was based on. The woman he dubbed #fashionqueen. Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief, Anna Wintour. Keep Reading…
Bee Shapiro of the NY Times on Russell Westbrook at Fashion Week: It was hard to miss Russell Westbrook during New York Fashion Week, and not just because the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard stands 6-foot-3 and weighs around 185 pounds. There he was last Friday, in the front row at the Rag & Bone show — in a blue-print, long-sleeve shirt, olive trousers cuffed into capris and a felt bowler hat — as paparazzi swarmed around him and his seatmate, Anna Wintour. There he was again Saturday night, among the early arrivals at Altuzarra, dressed in a print T-shirt and overalls, and chatting with Vogue editors (he was once again a guest of Ms. Wintour) and other members of the press while waiting for the scheduled 8 p.m. show to finally begin.”
OK, let’s put a bow on this Five Years of Thunder stuff. And to do that, my 10 very favorite moments from the last five years.
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.” Keep Reading…
Kelly Dwyer of BDL: “‘Dependable’ might be a curious choice of words for a player that missed out on the last nine games of his team’s 2013 playoff run, someone that is coming off of a significant meniscus tear (a scary injury that sees you back on the court quicker than ACL tear sufferers, but one that leaves you far more prone to reoccurring knee wear and tear). We use the word not because, prior to Patrick Beverley’s feint, Westbrook had not missed a single game due to injury dating back to his high school years, but because (more than ever) his Oklahoma City Thunder will be relying on Westbrook’s All-NBA-level production to chase after that elusive NBA championship. They’re going to badly depend on it, as the West gets deeper and tougher. It’s a strange word to use for someone that is known as much for his 4-15 nights from the field as he is all-around brilliance, but this is where the Thunder are at now. James Harden and Kevin Martin are gone, with only increased usage from Westbrook and Kevin Durant to take their place (unless you think second year guard Jeremy Lamb is ready for his close up), and Oklahoma City’s chances rest on Westbrook returning to becoming a high-efficiency, high-scoring, high-energy playmaker. Coming off the first real (and major) injury of his playing career, can Westbrook handle it? Depends.”
KD took some heat for the way his Redskins performed last night. First, Russell Westbrook, then KD responded, then Serge Ibaka, and then the capper with LeBron: “Can somebody please check on @KDTrey5. He may be heading to the ledge! Hahahaha.” Keep Reading…
Kevin Durant is wrapping up his Nike tour of Europe and in his stop in Barcelona was asked about Russell Westbrook and his return from knee surgery.
At a Nike&Foot Locker event in Barcelona (Spain), Kevin Durant said he expects Russell Westbrook to be ready for the start of the season.
— Raúl Barrigón (@BarriHoopsHype) September 9, 2013
Westbrook’s original timetable — one that was never officially released by the team — had him scheduled to be back on the floor early in October barring any setbacks. Typical recovery time from a full meniscus repair is 4-6 months. Westbrook’s surgery took place in late April, so four months would be now, six months would be early October. Keep Reading…
Kurt Helin of PBT’s take on Durant’s recent comments: “The reality here is pretty simple — Durant wants to win. Multiple titles. When he can be a free agent in 2016 he is going to make a decision about OKC based on how the team has done and how it is poised for the future. It will be about how much he trusts the front office of the organization. It’s the same calculation every star player has to make: Kobe Bryant in 2004, LeBron James with the Cavaliers, even Dwight Howard with the Lakers this summer. Right now, with the team they have in OKC and the opportunities in front of him, it’s hard to picture Durant leaving. But in three seasons things could feel radically different. Three years is an NBA eternity. I’m sure between now and then Durant will get asked variations of this same question 453,971 times, so we can discuss plenty more over the next few years.”
Thought-provoking piece from Amin Elhassan of ESPN Insider on eliminating max deals: “Closely related to the previous point, the current CBA dictates that a max salary is either the leaguewide max (based loosely on 25/30/35 percent of the cap), or 105 percent of the player’s previous salary – the aforementioned grandfather clause — whichever is greater. But this is only an upper limit. The problem with testing the upper limit of those max salaries is that it can skew average annual values, so that in 2014, when LeBron James is a potential free agent, it’s very possible his max salary will somehow not be the highest in the league. Why? Because of the discount he took with Miami. This system also hamstrings teams in the case of older max players whose production no longer matches or justifies their max salaries. It has become standard practice to continue to pay older max players based primarily on past production, but this off-kilter valuation often makes it difficult to field a competitive lineup.” Keep Reading…