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Thunder Notebook: Wednesday, May 30

KD Has Jokes

At today’s media session ahead of the NBA Finals, Kevin Durant was asked about his play and what he’s added to his game recently. He went on to explain that he’s been this good for a very long time — doing so in a way that has caught the ire of Thunder fans.

To be clear, KD appeared to be joking. I mean, he’s smiling throughout and you can see the grin spread across his face when he thinks of what to say before the reporter is done asking the question. But still — folks are mad online and, making matters worse, it’s been exactly two years to the day since Golden State defeated OKC in Game 7 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals. Not exactly the best timing here.

This shouldn’t be a big deal but it’s already being treated as one. Kev should probably get out ahead of this thing and blame it on the Ambien before it gets totally out of hand.

Collison’s “Backbone Award” & Documentary

A couple items of note regarding Nick Collison:

(1) NBPA Backbone Award. Players on every NBA team chose the backbone of their roster and those men were honored by the NBPA today. Unsurprisingly, Collison was given the honor for the Thunder — as has been the case every year since the Player Awards became a thing in 2015. I reckon someone else will win it for OKC next season, but would it really be that surprising if Collison somehow pulled it off again?

(2) “Mr. Thunder” documentary. As mentioned in today’s Bolts, Collison has a documentary titled “Mr. Thunder” debuting on Saturday, June 9 in Oklahoma City. The event will be held at 9:00 PM CT on the Great Lawn of the Myriad Gardens and is free/open to the public. According to The Oklahoman, “Collison reflects on his time in the NBA, the work and approach required to make it happen, and the relationships that made it special. Thunder cameras followed Collison over the two-week stretch that included his final seven regular season games.”

Should be interesting but I’ll be really upset if we don’t get at least 10 minutes devoted to the strategy involved with fixing his hair.

Banana Boat Sets Sail? 

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Chris Paul has already started trying to recruit LeBron James to Houston when he hits the open market this summer. Here’s my hypothetical: CP3’s contract is up and he can sign for whatever, he’s trying to get LeBron to join him, and Dwyane Wade is an unrestricted free agent as well. That leaves one more guy to account for.

LeBron in 2016:

“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together. At least one, maybe one or two seasons — me, Melo, D-Wade, CP — we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that. … It would be pretty cool. I’ve definitely had thoughts about it.”

You know what you must do, Melo. No one ever said your banana-laden destiny wouldn’t cost you millions upon millions of dollars.

Stop it, Klay.

At today’s Finals media session, Klay Thompson was asked about the Warriors and Cavs being the last teams standing for the fourth consecutive season. His response: “The rest of the NBA has to get better. It’s not our fault.”

Completely ludicrous statement from the one palatable player on the team. Everyone knows

it’s Kevin’s fault

the entire point of the Warriors is to be better than everyone else’s best. Certainly that isn’t lost on him or anyone else in the Bay Area.

Tom Crean says nice words

Tom Crean, Victor Oladipo’s head coach in college, joined the Pardon My Take podcast on Tuesday and gave some love to Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. When speaking about how OKC helped shape Oladipo into the All-NBA player he became this season, Crean said:

“Being around Russell Westbrook — competitive, true alpha-dog — that was really, really good for him. And I thought the Oklahoma City organization and Billy Donovan, Sam Presti, all those guys were good for him.”

It kind of does, though:

Alright, that’s enough. Only about 150 more days until the start of the 2018-19 season.