Tuesday Bolts: 8.8.17

David Aldridge ranked OKC’s offseason as third best in the NBA: ” Nobody — nobody — had OKC as a potential trade partner for Indiana, which is just the way GM Sam Presti likes it. Taking a shot that the Thunder can convince George to make the 405 his permanent home was well worth the price of Oladipo and Sabonis, talents but not yet guys a playoff team can count on. And PG-13 is certainly the best case the Thunder can make to Westbrook to stay after this season, too (as of this writing, Westbrook had not yet accept the contract extension the Thunder offered). OKC can’t do any more.”

Enes Kanter got run in a scrimmage with other NBA players: “This past weekend, Melo did reunite with his former Denver and New York teammate, JR Smith, at M7 Academy for one of NBA Trainer Chris Brickley’s “Blackout Sessions.” Other players in the pick-up game included Enes Kanter, Nick Richards, Hamidou Diallo and former Knicks Lance Thomas and Chris Smith (JR’s brother).”

Erik Horne on the Thunder assisting a long-running summer program for kids: “At Christ Temple Community Church on Friday, the Thunder Rolling Book Bus pulled up alongside the basketball court, recent additions to what’s become a summer tradition. For 19 years, Priscilla Meadows-Norwood has run the nonprofit Saving Our Youth OKC and its Midnight Basketball program so kids could have somewhere to go on Friday nights from 7 to midnight.”

Senator Jim Inhofe is ready to invite Kevin Durant back to Oklahoma: “Kevin Durant would be welcome back in Oklahoma any time he’s willing to come and I want to be the first one he calls. He took care of the victims of our tornadoes. He took care of families. Took care of little kids. So, he has a heart and he’s not a bad ballplayer.”

Interesting results to a poll we ran on Twitter: We asked Twitter what the plan should be if Russell Westbrook enters the season without a signed extension. More than 3,400 voted and 86% said they’d forego a trade and risk losing him for nothing.

Bryan Curtis on the “Sports Writing’s Old-Timers Game”: “Did you hear what Michael Jordan said about LeBron James? What Dennis Rodman said about the current Golden State Warriors versus the “Run TMC” version? What Mike Schmidt said about Odúbel Herrera, home runs, and pretty much everything? I’m guessing you did, either as it flicked across your Twitter feed or germinated into an Undisputed segment. This is sportswriting’s version of the old-timers’ game: asking a former ballplayer what he thinks of the current state of the game and then feigning shock when he says, “Get off my infield grass!” There is no more eternal, and usually lousier, form of sportswriting.”

Jonathan Tjarks on the one big thing Adam Silver can’t fix: “The NBA might be more progressive than MLB and the NFL, but it’s still resistant to change. The gap between the league’s two conferences has been an issue for almost 20 years, and it has only gotten wider this offseason; nevertheless, even if LeBron James goes west next year, the playoff format will stay the same. People have complained about the one-and-done rule and tanking for years, and the league has done nothing to fix the underlying problem.”

Using NBA 2K17 to recreate last season’s best moments: Westbrook’s dagger versus Denver gets things started.