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Friday Bolts: 6.9.17

Friday Bolts: 6.9.17

Happy Friday, friends. Enjoy your weekend

Forbes has Russell Westbrook as the 13th highest-paid athlete in the world: “Westbrook renegotiated his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder during the summer of 2016. The new pact added $9 million to Westbrook’s 2016-17 salary and the three-year deal is worth $85.6 million. With the departure of Kevin Durant, Westbrook took his game to another level and set an NBA record with 42 games with double-digits in points, rebounds and assists. He is just the second player after Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for the season.”

Draymond Green called KD from the Oracle Arena parking lot after last season’s Game 7 loss in the Finals: “Green was already working on that as he left Oracle Arena after that gutting Game 7 loss. Green sat in his car in the parking lot and called Myers, telling him he had to sign Durant. “It’s on you,” Green told Myers. Green hung up, stayed in the parking lot, and made another call — to Durant. “That was my very next call,” Green said. Two weeks later, Durant signed a maximum contract that put him in a Golden State uniform for at least one season, with several more seasons likely to come.”

Sam Vecenie has OKC taking Semi Ojeleye at 21 in his newest mock: “Oklahoma City could use a combo forward that is a good shooter from distance. Ojeleye fits that perfectly, and would be able to provide interesting looks in frontcourt combinations with all of Domantas Sabonis, Steven Adams, and Enes Kanter. If he can space the floor for what the Thunder hope will be Russell Westbrook at point guard, that makes it even better.”

Actual headline in New Zealand — Steven Adams is back in NZ, and so is his beloved camo jacket: “New Zealand’s NBA star Steven Adams is back in New Zealand and has been seen hanging around with the women’s Otago Gold Rush basketball team. It is usual for the Oklahoma City Thunder centre to return to New Zealand at around this time each year, but he had kept a low profile during his current visit, not posting anything on his social media platforms.”

Monty Williams will receive the inaugural Sager Award: “Turner announced that San Antonio Spurs vice president of basketball operations Monty Williams will receive the inaugural “Sager Strong” award at the NBA Awards show, which airs on June 26 on TNT. Turner says the award will be presented annually to “an individual who has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion and grace.”

Kevin O’Connor says rumor has it LeBron has LA in mind as his next stop: “Multiple league sources I’ve spoken to think the Lakers or Clippers are viable destinations for King James. Jalen Rose said this week on First Take that he expects LeBron to make a move from Cleveland to California, where he already owns a house 30 minutes away from Staples Center. The Lakers make sense if LeBron wants to build a sustainable winner with a core blend of veterans and youthful talent like Paul George .”

Chris Herron of FiveThirtyEight on KD closing the door on LeBron: “Durant was spectacular and will undoubtedly be named Finals MVP once the Dubs win a fourth game. His impressive showing here, largely against the best player of the past generation, figures to prompt conversation about whether we’re seeing a changing of the guard concerning which player deserves to be considered the best in the world.”

LeBron doesn’t care to discuss the fairness of superteams: “It’s part of the rules,” James said, adding, “Is it fair? I don’t care. I think it’s great. It’s great for our league. Right now, look at our TV ratings, look at the money our league is pouring in. I mean, guys are loving the game, our fans love the game. Who am I to say if it’s fair or not?”

The NBA season might end tonight. Here’s a Game 4 primer: “Now 15-0, the Warriors are outscoring opponents by a ridiculous 16.1 points per 100 possessions, according to the league’s official site. In the Finals alone, their net rating is plus-13.3. This level of team brilliance has rarely, if ever, been seen before. And the chance for the first-ever 16-0 run through in an NBA postseason is in play.