ICYMI: Danilo Gallinari opened up about the night COVID-19 interrupted the NBA, and its impact on him as an Italian. “I ended up staying awake until like three or four in the morning because I was hoping to get some news from our team, or from the NBA. By the time everybody started waking up in Italy, my phone went even crazier. But those people — family and friends back home — they didn’t ask me what was going on.
They knew all about it. They’d been living it for weeks.”
ICYMI: DT’s Alex Mcewan on a big “what if” from 2016: The Shimmy Shot. “Several two-word phrases or terms correlate with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Loud City, Triple-Double, Jones Fracture, Meniscus Tear, Two-Way Contract, etc. None resonate more than what if. What if Kevin Durant never broke his foot? What if Patrick Beverly never injured Russell Westbrook’s knee?
Today’s what if does not involve an injury. It pertains to one specific play that occurred four years ago, on February 27, 2016. Warriors superstar Steph Curry hit a half-court buzzer-beater to defeat the Thunder in OT. ESPN starlet Rachel Nichols said the shot changed the NBA. Daily Thunder guest scribe Stephen Dolan insists it did not. If one is wrong then the other must be right. It’s a great question that will never have an answer. With that, let’s imagine what might have changed because of Curry’s three-point marksmanship.”
2. Sam Presti, Oklahoma City Thunder
“He’s had his major hiccups in the past, but Sam Presti has proven time and time again that he is a brilliant executive. When he’s backed into a corner, he somehow manages to get himself out of it. He also somehow makes himself look smarter when he comes out on the other side. This time, Presti has made himself look about as brilliant as he’s ever been.
He already did everything that a smart executive would do in his position this past summer. He blew up the squad and squeezed every asset he could out of Russell Westbrook and Paul George. He has his point guard of the future. He has plenty of draft assets at his disposal to cement a new era. The only catch was eating Chris Paul’s contract. Who knew that wouldn’t be much of a catch?
Even through all of that, he managed to assemble possibly the most entertaining Thunder team since the Kevin Durant days.”
Ryan Novozinksy (Daily Thunder) grades Lu Dort’s rookie season here. “In a strange way, Dort embodies the Oklahoma City Thunder season. He had a solid season last year in college that wasn’t enough, so he decided to shake things up and work even harder this year. Now he’s become one of the best underdog stories in the NBA. He’s a great fit in Billy Donovan’s system who should be a fan favorite for years to come.”
Stay safe, all you cool cats and kittens.