On today’s podcast we discuss the following topics:
- Cam Payne’s foot
- NBA 2K Ratings
- Southwest Division Preview
- Most expensive fast food trip ever
- And much more!
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Happy September, folks. Just 46 more days to go.
The Lakers were fined $500,000 for the Paul George tampering fiasco: “The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules, the league announced Thursday. The conduct at issue involved Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka communicating with Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George’s agent, expressing prohibited interest in George while he remains under contract, the NBA announced. The penalty followed a warning given to the Lakers because of comments president of basketball operations Magic Johnson made about George on national television April 20. The NBA added that the investigation did not reveal an agreement or understanding that the Lakers would acquire George.”
Michael McCann (SI) on the Lakers getting caught: “The Lakers could thus have suffered a much more severe penalty. If, for instance, Silver had prohibited the Lakers from signing George for the next two years, the team’s strategy for future transactions would have been altered—perhaps dramatically so. A $500K fine, in contrast, likely has no tangible impact on the team’s expected recruitment of George.”
B/R says OKC’s signing of Patrick Patterson was the second most underrated move of the NBA offseason: “The 28-year-old might be a specialist—65.9 percent of his shots were threes in 2016-17—but his specialty addresses a glaring need (shot 37.2 percent from beyond the arc). If he can stay healthy, he’ll provide a boost to one of the Western Conference’s most intriguing teams.”
Brett Dawson on why OKC won’t make any moves on today’s stretch deadline: “The Thunder has 16 players under contract. It needs to cut that number to 15 by its Oct. 19 season opener. But don’t expect Oklahoma City to cut anyone loose on Thursday, the last day an NBA team can waive a player and use the league’s stretch provision to pay his guaranteed salary over a period of years. Waiver speculation has centered on forward Kyle Singler, whose playing time and production have dwindled since OKC traded for him during the 2014-15 season. It’s unlikely, though, that the Thunder will waive Singler or anyone else by Thursday’s stretch deadline.”
GQ introduces Russell Westbrook — The Style Dad: “Why not? Those might be Russell Westbrook’s favorite words, appended to most of the all-world guard’s Instagram posts. They explain his explosive on-court style (Why not slalom through five defenders?), and his off-court style, too. Why not wear an ab-bearing t-shirt? Why not wear overalls? Why not wear a pair of Nike Air Monarch IVs, the Swoosh’s famously ugly dad sneakers?“
B/R makes record predictions against Vegas odds: “Even without factoring in the upside that stems from potential internal improvement, the Thunder already should’ve been expected to win 51 games. And this was written before OKC inked Patrick Patterson—a power forward who fits perfectly with the other expected starting pieces—to a bargain of a deal. Improving much beyond the 51-win benchmark is a difficult task as the Thunder try to weave in new players seamlessly. But after watching Russell Westbrook serve as a one-man show throughout his MVP-winning campaign, they now get to place so much more talent around him. Expect big things.”
On today’s podcast Jon Hamm joins to discuss the following topics:
Vegas set the Thunder’s over/under win total at 51.5 — good for fourth in the West: “In the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are all expected to be among the top competitors to Golden State. These are also the only teams with better than 20-1 odds to win the conference, per Odds Shark.”
Enes Kanter started a fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey relief and donated $25,000: “So, from Chicago on Tuesday, Kanter told The Oklahoman he’d pledge $25,000 to Embrace Relief, a non-profit organization which focuses on humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Kanter’s contribution comes in partnership with the Raindrop Turkish Cultural Center in Houston…. “I see like everyone commenting on social media. There’s nothing wrong with that but we need to do some action. I encourage everyone to help me fund raise.” (Direct link to his fundraiser)
First look at the Jordan 32 — to be worn by Russell Westbrook this season: “The sneaker was designed by Tate Kuerbis, who also designed the Jordan 18, Jordan 19, and Jordan 31. Its design inspiration is similar to the Jordan 31: That shoe looked to the Jordan 1 for cues, and this shoe pulls from the Jordan 2. Specifically, 32 channels the Italian heritage of the Jordan 2 and uses a similar toebox. As has been the tradition recently, the shoe will be worn on court by Jordan Brand athlete Russell Westbrook.”
Russell Westbrook gave a sneak peak at some new Thunder gear from Nike: “Westbrook routinely posts stories to Snapchat and Instagram that feature him belting out tunes while driving. The one he posted on Monday shows him wearing a white Thunder T-shirt featuring the Nike swoosh. A team spokesman confirmed it’s official team gear from Nike. The videos post as mirrored images, with the writing backward, but a Photoshop adjustment reveals a more straightforward look at the shirt (albeit with a seatbelt across the front).”
Marc Hinton (Stuff) on Billy Donovan visiting New Zealand with Steven Adams: “Adams, resplendent in his trademark camo jacket, long locks tied back, and the early stages of a fresh beard, told a media posse at Bruce Pulman Arena in south Auckland that he just hoped he left the right impression on his coach who had left for the long haul home earlier that morning. “My main focus was just showing him what our culture is as a country, trying to teach him where I’m from and also introducing him to my family and whatnot.”
Steven Adams discusses Paul George: “They bring in really good people who fit well into the locker-room because all that matters, because you could bring in a really good player, but if they screw up the locker-room you’ll still lose games. And the whole point is winning games. The front office does a great job of analyzing them as a person and then bringing them in. We’re just lucky that Paul George is really, really good as well.”
KD says the Pacers “gave away” Paul George: “Paul George is so good. A lot of people disrespect him. Because I play against him and I respect my position. So that was shocking because Indiana just gave him away. And I ain’t think OKC would even think about giving up anything to trade for him. I didn’t think they would do it.”
Russell Westbrook’s former college coach says Russ can average a triple-double again: “Ben Howland, who coached Westbrook at UCLA from 2006 to 2008, disagrees. To Howland, another triple-double season is very much possible — even with more help around and less pressure on the NBA’s reigning MVP. “The best indicator of the future is what’s happened in the past,” Howland said. “The fact that he did it last year, absolutely he can do it again.”
Billy Donovan is in New Zealand bonding with Steven Adams: “Somewhere off the coast of Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday – it still was Friday back in Oklahoma City – Thunder center Steven Adams and his coach, Billy Donovan, had other priorities. As part of a party on a fishing boat, they watched as lines were cast and divers dove, producing lobster and blue cod and sea urchin that the passengers ate fresh out of the water. “I got skunked” as a fisherman, Donovan said in a Saturday phone interview with The Oklahoman from Wellington. “I sat there and watched. But I ate a lot of what was on the boat, I’ll tell you that.”