Monday Bolts: 5.22.17
Happy Monday. Best of luck to you.
Enes Kanter had quite the weekend: “Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter landed in New York on Sunday morning, one day after he was detained in Bucharest, Romania, for what he said were political reasons relating to his opposition of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter’s agent, Hilmi Cilnar, told ESPN that his client will hold a news conference on Monday in New York.”
Royce on Kanter being back in the US, and his 9:30AM press conference in NYC: “According to sources, the NBA worked with the State Department to get Kanter to London late on Saturday, with Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford making calls on his behalf. Kanter is a citizen of Turkey, but he holds a green card to work in the U.S. Kanter had a number of remaining stops left on his charity tour, but all have been canceled.”
Kanter discusses the ordeal on CBS This Morning: You can check out a snippet below. Follow the link for the full interview.
Russell Westbrook was named a finalist for NBA MVP: “For much of the NBA season, the MVP race was widely thought to be a two-man contest between Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, or a four-man race if San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Cleveland’s LeBron James were included. According to the league on Friday, it’s a three-man race. And let’s just say that James is probably not a happy Cavalier about it.”
CBS Sports with your latest “Russ to the Lakers” rumor: “Russell Westbrook signed an extension with the Thunder. He’s set to make the DVPE next year, which could keep him with the Thunder forever. But imagine the Thunder take a step back or Westbrook’s mindset changes. Westbrook, from California, entering his prime, able to go play with Paul George? Paul George and Russell Westbrook? Now you actually have something.”
Bleacher Report’s latest mock has the Thunder selecting Josh Hart (G) out of Villanova at 21: Hart averaged 18.7 PPG for the Wildcats last season, shooting 40.4% from downtown. The 6’6″ shooting guard was a Third-Team All-American.
Odds & Ends
Zaza Pachulia says Pop’s criticism led to threats on his family: “But what Pachulia can’t tolerate and what he wishes Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would have considered when he fanned the rage of so many fans by deeming the 33-year-old a dirty player and even comparing the play to “manslaughter,” are the social media threats to his family that have left them all shaken. While Pachulia was hesitant to share too many details, the situation was serious enough that security guards were deployed to the entrance of his childrens’ school in the San Francisco Bay Area as a precaution.”
Don’t like the playoff blowouts? KD says you shouldn’t watch: “Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has a message for fans that have been complaining about the 2017 playoffs being boring: ‘If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.'”
Marcus Smart had the most random Marcus Smart game of all time last night: “It took all of 23:39 for the Cavs to build a lead big enough to cover that 17-point margin, and they led by as many as 21, but Thomas’ replacement in the starting lineup, Marcus Smart, scored a career-high 27 points to lead a remarkable comeback. It all culminated in Celtics teammate Avery Bradley drilling a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining in Boston’s stunning 111-108 victory in Game 3.”
LeBron doesn’t like you, Kenny.