Friday at last. Enjoy your long weekend and have a safe Memorial Day.
KD spoke to Michael Lee of The Vertical. His response to being asked about his return to OKC: “I’m not from there. That was a two-hour time slot in those people’s lives where they got some entertainment for the day. And they were going to go home and get up the next day and go to work. It’s all it was. I didn’t take it personal. I don’t hate anybody that called me any name there. It’s entertainment. That’s what they look at it as. It’s not life or death. I didn’t walk into their homes and do anything to them personally. I’m sure most people, the same thing they did on July 3, they did the same thing on July 4, July 5 and leading up to that game. Their lives didn’t change based on what I did. That two-and-a-half hour time slot where they watched the game and called me names, they forgot all about it when they went home at night and still had to live their life, just like I had to. I have no hard feelings. It was all fun and games for me, too.”
The early-withdrawal deadline has passed. NBC Sports has OKC taking SF Semi Ojeleye at 21 in the Draft: The 6’7″ SF averaged 19 points & 6.9 rebounds for SMU last season. He shot 53% from the floor, 42% from downtown and is an absolute specimen who looks NBA-ready. Draft Express profile
Fred Katz on Norris Cole never getting a chance in OKC: “Coach Billy Donovan inserted him into the second point guard spot right away. He was the first point off the bench during the Thunder’s March 2 game against Portland. Previous backup Semaj Christon slid to third string. And Cole continued as first off the bench for the ensuing three games, as well. But that was it. Christon passed him, and the Thunder buried Cole, who played from then on only in blowouts and when the Thunder were shorthanded.”
Complex ranked the Thunder’s Twitter account as the least entertaining in the NBA: “Oh god. Where to even begin…Imagine what it would look like if your dad won a contest and the grand prize was that he would get to take over an NBA team’s social media accounts for a game. That’s @okcthunder every single night. From lame and played out platitudes, to incorrectly used emojis, to #SuperLongHashtagsThatLookLikeThis, the Thunder are brutal on Twitter. And it’s really a shame. They’ve got one of the most exciting players in the NBA, a dude whose nonstop motor and eclectic sense of fashion make him a social media manager’s dream.”
Odds & Ends
Cavs/Warriors III is on deck: “Every once in a while, a rivalry teases us with potential long-term appeal, but it rarely develops the inertia required to cast itself over the game over the course of several years. Cleveland and Golden State have no such issues. The teams’ rosters each feature a collection of players squarely in the prime of their careers. Each has taken a title from the other, and each wants to stake its claim as the defining team of its time.”
LeBron James as one of the NBA’s all-time greatest dynasties: “He’s boasted an unrelenting stranglehold on his half of the Association for the better part of a decade, following up losses to the Orlando Magic (2009 Eastern Conference Finals) and Celtics (2010 Eastern Conference semifinals) by putting together a run like none other. This is now James’ seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, which puts him—and James Jones, who’s ridden on his coattails all the while—in some rarified air.”
LeBron passed MJ as the all-time playoffs scoring leader: “There is a new postseason scoring king. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James passed Michael Jordan for first place on the all-time playoffs scoring list with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 2:40 left in the third quarter of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday.”
The San Francisco Chronicle on KD being vilified. This part was hilariously bad: “At 28, after seven years in one place and in possession of the free agency that he had earned, Durant chose to come to the Warriors. A team without a dominant alpha male but a collaborative mentality, both on and off the court. A new and beautiful area to live in. A place with a general manager and coach who are not dictatorial but who take input from players, work to make them welcome and don’t disparage them when things go wrong. Those are all things that, by most accounts, Oklahoma City lacked.
Bill Simmons on why the NBA is owning the NFL on the Internet: “The NBA is still doing it so much smarter than the NFL. I think literally the smartest thing the NBA did the last 10 years was to make all their stuff just available. And it’s like, “Oh, you’re watching a game and you wanted to cut that Blake Griffin dunk and just put it on YouTube? Go ahead, knock yourself out. You wanted to cut montages of all the 3s the Rockets hit this season? Knock yourself out.” They allow people to use their footage because they feel like it’s the best marketing they could have.”