Thursday Bolts – 7.30.09

Yesterday’s B.S. Report with Marc Stein and Ric Bucher spent a lot of time talking about remaining free agents, and thunderbolt23Oklahoma City was brought up multiple times. Including once by Simmons who accidently said, “Oklahoma Cit–” before stopping himself. They start chatting at about the 33 minute mark about the Thunder.

Chris Silva has an interesting piece about players that go to Europe: “For every welcome-to-the-NBA moment, there are moments like those of Marcus Dove and hundreds others of American ball players like him, people who move halfway around the globe to play professional basketball and to chase a dream. Moments like the one Dove had minutes after stepping off a plane in Frankfurt, Germany, early last September when he couldn’t find his driver for two hours. Dove couldn’t speak German, nor did he have a working cell phone. Not exactly how he wanted to begin a new chapter in his life.”

The Lost Ogle recapping the somewhat eventful summer and other things: “As crazy as it sounds, Smith does make some good points, such as the fact that Durant is a hard worker when it comes to the game. James basically coasted on natural ability and physical gifts for his first five plus years of his career. It was not until playing with Kobe Bryant on the “Redeem Team” that LeBron saw Kobe’s work ethic and realized that it takes effort to improve. Durant has always been a gym rat who loves the game so much it is all he wants to do. Given that KD is four years behind LeBron age-wise, Durant’s worker mentality could lead to him being much better than LeBron is now by the time he hits the 24 year old mark.”

Not that anybody particulary cares, but Etan Thomas evidently writes for the Huffington Post and The Big Poet had an entry two days ago: “My four-year-old son Malcolm knows that saying you’re sorry for something you have done to offend another person is what you are supposed to do. He knows that even if it was an accident and you had no intention of disrespecting or affronting the person, the correct thing to do is to offer a sincere apology. Oh, if we could all have the mentality of a four year old.”

Dime talking about KD’s potential: “Durant’s recently received praise from Coach K and the rest of the Team USA’s coaching staff for his versatility, hard work, dedication and pure talent is just further proof that this kid is going to be one of the best basketball player’s for years to come. I’m predicting multiple NBA scoring titles, serious MVP considerations and a title or two for Durant before it’s all said and done. The scariest thing about Durant is that he doesn’t turn 21 until September 29th. This kid is going to be a problem for MANY years to come…”

Jon Nichols at HP on players that score easy baskets: “There’s a nice mix of big and small guys. Leading the way is Reggie Evans, a bull on the inside who perhaps doesn’t have the height/athleticism to finish with authority. He’s not going to take stupid shots, so unless he’s near the basket, he won’t be shooting. Tony Paker (not shown) leads the league in total layups, but those make up only 39.36% of his attempts.”

The NBA has taken a step down a slippery slope: “The hunger for new revenue during the economic downturn has the NBA and NHL entertaining the once-taboo prospect of corporate sponsorships for game uniforms. Beginning this season the NBA will let teams sell ads on their practice jerseys, says deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who adds the league is continuing to explore the issue of ads on game jerseys.”

Matt Steinmetz of Fanhouse says the Tim Thomas signing signaled something: “The Tim Thomas signing in Dallas makes it official: Free agency is winding down. Yeah, Lamar Odom is still out there and so are David Lee and a few others. But once you get to Tim Thomas, it means that Free Agency 2009 is poised to jump the shark.”

Dime’s top 10 small forwards (h/t Clayton): “5. Kevin Durant – Admittedly, when I picked KD to lead the NBA in scoring in ‘09, I didn’t 100% believe he’d actually do it. I believed he had a shot at the crown, but the larger point of my prediction was that Durant would make a big leap from his rookie year into legit stardom. And he did. KD’s 25.3 ppg was sixth in the League, and after he permanently moved from two-guard to small forward, he flourished.” That’s right, Hedo Turkoglu is in front of KD. What are you supposed to say to that?

The Big Lead weighed in on the KD or LeBron thing: “Love Durant. Repeatedly said we would have taken him over Oden 1st in the draft. Wouldn’t be surprised if he scored 30 a night for the next five years and even took home an MVP award. But better than LeBron right now? Disagree. Still need to see more out of Durant at the defensive end, and if he’s a real superstar, he’ll carry the Thunder to the playoffs this year … like LeBron did in year three. Durant as good–or better?!?!–than LeBron?”