Grant Hughes (B/R) on new star duos and couples counseling: “Westbrook, competitive and success-driven as he is, has a way of marginalizing the greatest of teammates. His one-man show, which hit a new level last season, has yet to produce significant success or maximize surrounding talent. Fortunately, George, though not on Durant’s level as an overall talent, may be better equipped than most stars for the challenge of fitting alongside Westbrook.”
KD discusses conquering the cupcake thing: “My favorite memory of red velvet was being called a cupcake in Oklahoma City every time I touched the ball. That was fun. It definitely showed that the fans get really creative and are really invested in their team and the sport of basketball, so I looked at it as a positive.”
The Houston Rockets sold for $2.2 billion: “The Houston Rockets have been sold to local billionaire Tilman Fertitta, who called the purchase of his hometown team a “dream come true.” Terms of the sale, which was announced Tuesday, were not disclosed. A league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, however, that Fertitta agreed to purchase the team from Leslie Alexander for $2.2 billion, a record sale price for an NBA franchise.”
Fred Katz on what you need to know about the sale of the Rockets: “Leslie Alexander, who bought the Rockets for $85 million in 1993, announced he would put the team up for sale earlier this summer. Forbes valued the organization at $1.65 billion in its most recent franchise valuation estimations. The sale to Fertitta will be the most expensive franchise sale in NBA history.”
Magic Johnson asked the Lakers to take the $500,000 tampering fine out of his paycheck: “Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations, took full responsibility for the team’s $500,000 tampering fine and said he told owner Jeanie Buss to take the money out of his paycheck… Last Thursday, the NBA issued the fine to the Lakers for violating the NBA’s anti-tampering rule after general manager Rob Pelinka was found to have had contact with Paul George’s agent after the team had already been warned.”
NBA players discuss who’s hardest to guard: “First off, I’d probably say Russell Westbrook. He’s tough because he’s always going 100 miles per hour and is always a threat to score.” -Elfrid Payton
Rich Bucher (B/R) with Tampering 101 — if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying: “The dirty little secret when it comes to how the league functions, though, is that tampering occurs all the time. Teams refrain from demanding an investigation because they accept it as part of the business and they don’t want to be held to the same standard. “If you’re not cheating by the letter of the law,” says one former GM, “you’re not trying.” Adds a current Eastern Conference GM: “You don’t get free agents without it. [Tampering] is what the whole league is built on. That’s the only way you can get anything done.”
NBA 2K18 may have leaked one of the Thunder’s new alternate jerseys: A Reddit user mocked-up the leak and created what appears to be an acceptable model for what this uniform would look like.