Wednesday Bolts – 7.22.09

Not so much a doin’ on the Thunder front today. But worry not ladies and gents, I found a few things for you to peer at on this lovely Wednesday.

A story on Dime about James Harden and his destiny to be  star: “Harden was known as being unselfish (sometimes too much) on an ASU squad that didn’t feature much depth offensively. This will be a huge added benefit to Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. Harden also has a reputation for deferring individual success and credit back towards his teammates. Doing this will not only help the Thunder have a calming presence on the floor, but will also solidify him as a player that teammates love to play with – and that, my friends, will lead to a lengthy career.”

NiceKicks.com has an interview with Kevin Durant: “Last week we caught up with Kevin Durant at the Gatorade Player of the Year Awards honoring the best high school athletes. In this interview, Kevin Durant discusses who inspired him on the on and off court, what he thinks about the controversial “1 year”, and of course a number of sneaker questions you would ask him as well.”

Tim Potvak of FanHouse on the NBA age limit rules: “Don’t you just love it when the politicians put their noses where they don’t belong, knowing they’ll probably screw up things? The NBA has been defending its age-requirement rule – a good rule that would be even better if another year was added — after Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) strongly urged the league to scrap it.”

More from Kevin Durant’s Nike commercial shoot with Rashard Lewis and Mo Williams:

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Luke Byrnes of HoopsWorld looks ahead to the 2010 draft: “Willie Warren, So., Oklahoma – Warren is without a doubt the top shooting guard prospect in the 2010 NBA Draft. With former teammate and the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft Blake Griffin off to the NBA, Warren will have the opportunity to show scouts he is capable of carrying a team on his back. The 6’4″ Warren plays the game with great energy, intensity and confidence, never shying away from the big shot, and emerged late in his freshman season as one of the top scorers in college basketball. Warren uses a quick first step to get into the lane where he can create for teammates, finish in traffic and get to the free throw line. Warren is something of a tweener (PG/SG) and must improve his decision making and shot selection and become more of a factor on the defensive end of the floor but is a definite lottery selection.”

Is OKC in the hunt for Ramon Sessions?: “What’s more, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities a third team — NBA officials at the recent NBA Summer League in Las Vegas speculated Oklahoma City — may make a last-minute attempt to land Sessions as well. Officials from the Knicks and Clippers contacted Bucks general manager John Hammond Monday and they discussed Sessions’ situation. Both teams are considering offering Sessions their mid-level exception, which starts at $5.854 million in the first season. The annual salary then can increase each year thereafter by a maximum of eight percent — or $468,000.”

HoopsWorld graded the top six picks: “James Harden – Grade: B… Review: Because the Oklahoma City Thunder participated in both the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues we got a chance to see an extensive amount of James Harden and he did not disappoint. Harden may only have two years of college experience under his belt, but he plays the game like a six-year veteran. At times Harden looked just flat out scary alongside Russell Westbrook in the backcourt and when you also throw Kevin Durant and Jeff Green into the mix he’ll look even better. The Thunder have to be very pleased with what they saw from Harden.”

Steve Kyler thinks KD will make a huge jump next year and sees the Thunder as playoff bound: “OKC is my darkhorse team in the West – if Kevin Duarnt has a huge jump like LeBron did in his third year OKC could be a 40-plus win team … I think the Thunder, Clippers and Suns all finish within a game of each other… a lot like the East was this year… save the hate Houston fans hard to give you much love without Tracy and Yao.”

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