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Monday Bolts: 8.26.19

Brett Dawson (Athletic) on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s expectations in the wake of Russell Westbrook: As Oklahoma City nears a rebuild, the hope is that Gilgeous-Alexander will be an integral part of whatever rises from its teardown, the first foundational piece of the Thunder’s next era. These are new expectations for him. Thursday, he seemed as unfazed by them as by that PA call for Ms. Harrington.  “I am not Russell Westbrook,” said Gilgeous-Alexander, whose easy demeanor with reporters underscored the point. “We do not have the same name, same body type, nothing like that. I’m just gonna try to be myself and be the best me. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Maddie Lee (Oklahoman) on what Darius Bazley’s trailblazing internship with New Balance looked like: “His days were rarely the same. The marketing department served as home base, but Bazley also gave input to other teams, including apparel and digital & social media. He crammed two to three workouts, which were another opportunity for product testing, around an eight-hour work day.”

Deonte Burton released “MY PATH”, a short film about the role poetry played in his life while he pursued basketball and lost his mother to breast cancer. In addition to production credits for the video, Nick Gallo (okcthunder.com) authored an accompanying profile of Burton.

Chris Paul will be in the 2019 Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine:

The 2K ratings you’ve been waiting for have arrived:

Royce Young (ESPN) reports  that the Thunder have guaranteed Abdel Nader’s contract for the 2019/20 season.