Friday Bolts: 9.27.19

Psst. Peep that new masthead. Believe me, I am as eager as our readers to hear from more voices than Cray McBoltface at Daily Thunder, and we think you’ll be really pleased with what our writing team cooks up in the very near future.

ICYMI: Sam Presti gave a wide-ranging press conference yesterday to Thunder media. You can see the transcript here, read my thoughts here, and watch the video below:

Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman) gives some context to Presti’s announcement from the same presser that Eric Maynor has been named an assistance coach for the Thunder’s G League affiliate: “Maynor is “following what we’re establishing as almost like a former Thunder alumni coaching internship program,” Presti said. “It worked really for Royal (Ivey), obviously, and Eric is in it now.” Ivey began his coaching career in 2014 as a Blue assistant. The organization promoted him to the Thunder in a player development role the following year, making him the first former Thunder player to become an assistant coach. Ivey now works for the Knicks as an assistant coach.”

East L. Dockery (The Undefeated) observed Chris Paul’s recent talk about business and achievement with students at North Carolina A&T: “His passion for HBCUs and business is part of a bigger plan, Paul said. “When I’m done playing, I would definitely love to own a professional sports team,” Paul said. “But I think that work, as far as education goes, I don’t think that stops. I always say that if I’m only known for being a good point guard, then I did something wrong.” At the master class, Paul recounted how he attended a Harvard class taught by Elberse in 2017. “I was already in the NBA for about 10 years at the time and I had the opportunity to go and be a student,” he said. While at Harvard, Paul stayed in a dorm room, did case studies and took the class with his brother. He said Dwyane Wade took the class first, which is what inspired him. He hopes students will share what they learned in Wednesday’s master class with others at N.C. A&T.”

Nick Crain (Forbes) notes that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shouldn’t be considered a lock to become an All-Star based on his rookie accomplishments: “Of the last 30 players to make NBA All-Rookie Second Teams prior to the 2018-19 class, only D’Angelo Russell, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Andre Drummond have made an NBA All-Star Team. This means 90 percent of the entire sample size still have not turned out to be NBA All-Stars yet. Again, history isn’t always the best indicator of future success. Of course, there will always be the player here and there that breaks the mold. Could that be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander? Although it isn’t his fault, the fact that he was traded as the key piece in return for Paul George as well as given the reigns as point guard of the future after Russell Westbrook, he is expected by many Thunder fans to one day become an NBA All-Star caliber player.”

Do you hear that? It’s the death rattle of offseason content, with Bleacher Reports own top-50 all-time rankings sneaking in before training camp gets underway. Andy Bailey vouches for Russell Westbrook at number 36: “Westbrook’s numbers at Robertson’s pace and playing time would be a ridiculous 47.5 points, 18.8 rebounds and 18.4 assists. There’s no way of knowing whether Westbrook’s production would hold up at that pace and for 44 minutes per game. But we’re likely taking his previously unseen level of production for granted. Yes, some of the criticism about chasing numbers is fair. But it generally hasn’t come at the expense of the team. On the contrary, OKC’s net points per 100 possessions jumped an astronomical 10.3 points when he was on the floor over the last three campaigns. Right now, Westbrook is among the game’s most divisive players. In a poll that asked whether he was a top-10 point guard of all time, 56 percent of voters said no. Years from now, with the benefit of hindsight, Russ should get his due.”

James Hansen (SLC Dunk) tried out for a G League team. If you think this is funny, wait till you see John running with the Blue.

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