Chris Paul is the latest “Take it There” guest (with a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander cameo):
In case you needed to gas up the Thunder any more:
Nick Crain (Forbes) says that the health and play of Steven Adams could determine the Thunder’s fate: “As a long rest over NBA All-Star Weekend all he needed to begin producing at a high level again? While only a small two game sample size, it appears that may be the case. On top of the 20.0 points and 15.5 rebounds per game on 57.7 percent shooting over this stretch, Adams has looked like a completely different player. His energy, athleticism, endurance, and power has looked the best it has in a long time.”
Joe Mussatto (The Oklahoman) on Chris Paul’s support of Langston University: “Paul went to Wake Forest, but several of his family members attended HBCUs. The Chris Paul Family Foundation donated $50,000 last April to Winston-Salem State, an HBCU in Paul’s North Carolina hometown. “They don’t always get the same funding that a lot of other schools get,” Paul said, “so I try to bring a lot of that knowledge to the forefront because it’s education.”
Here’s a throwback Jose Martinez (Complex) look at some of the NBA’s less heralded trailblazers–the first black players: “While Earl Lloyd, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, and Don Barksdale may not be the household names that Russell, Wilt, and The Big O have became over time, their positive and lasting contributions to the NBA cannot be overlooked.”
Damian Lillard is tired of “The Wave” clapbacks from Thunder fans:
I’d typically side with Dame, but let’s not forget he played a heavy hand in chronicling that first round playoff round as career-and-franchise altering epic. Not just with the bravado after the shot eliminated OKC, but with the embedded access he gave to Chris Haynes in the leadup to the Thunder’s proverbial burial. He did all he could for us to think of him as the undertaker, so a good bit of iconoclasm is due.
Zach LaVine got clipped in a(nother) moment of frustration against the Thunder on Tuesday. The Bulls guard tells Eric Woodyard (ESPN) that his trash talk was directed at Dennis Schröder, not Jim Boylen as many had (and might still) assumed.
Dan Favale (Bleacher Report) thinks the Thunder would make good a post-buyout home for Kent Bazemore: “Even if he sticks, signing Bazemore wouldn’t be superfluous. He is slightly taller and longer than Dort, and in the event he’s coming off the bench, Dennis Schroder is the only player who projects to be in front of him. Oklahoma City is already making its case as a viable postseason irritant. This is a team that could throw the entire bracket for a loop by winning its first-round series. Adding Bazemore to the wing rotation would only increase the chances of the Thunder upending the Western Conference’s playoff picture.”