Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman) on the overlaps between the Thunder roster and that of the New Zealand Breakers, which go beyond Steven Adams and reach 2020 lottery prospect R.J. Hampton: “(Terrance) Ferguson said he got to know the Texas native through AAU basketball as early as middle school. That was also before Hampton’s arrival in the United States this week with the New Zealand Breakers left the NBA scrambling to re-define its no-contact rule. The Thunder faces the Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League on Thursday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder and Breakers have a shocking number of connections for two teams separated by over 7,500 miles.”
Josh Martin (CloseUp360) has a lengthy profile of Mike Muscala, who has been working on cultivating non-basketball career skills: “In NYC, Mike and a contingent of NBA and G League players, including veteran big man Zaza Pachulia, got an overview of real estate from one of the industry’s highest perches. They sat in on an information session for new agents, talked with more experienced agents—including one, Jonathan Aka, who had been a professional basketball player in France—and picked the brain of Howard Lorber, the Chairman of Douglas Elliman. They even got to meet Fredrik Eklund, a Swedish broker who starred on Million Dollar Listing.”
Brett Dawson (The Athletic) spoke with Abdel Nader about his game and his sense of humor: “He worked with coaches on his deceleration in an effort to vary the high-speed pace at which he plays, and he’ll tell you about that, but he’d rather talk about how much fun his group of teammates is, how much he’s enjoyed the first week of training camp. Nader lost about 15 pounds this summer, he said, but laughs when he notes that he did so with the help of an alkaline diet that “kind of sucks, because you can’t eat anything. Anytime you start taking yourself too seriously, you become your own worst critic,” Nader said this week. “That’s not a bad thing to be, but you don’t want to be too hard on yourself, just like you don’t want to be too easy on yourself. It’s all about finding that balance.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander posted his first tunnel entrance fashiongram as a Thunder:
China? China. While the NBA and her national-sovereignty-loving partners have moved past mildly- or strongly-worded statements (depending which target audience you’re in) and muted consternation from otherwise glib NBA personalities into what’s feeling more like a game of chicken (as of this writing China is not canceling LeBron), the American public has progressed into what a proud, free-speech-loving country inevitably masters: smart assery. The president dunked on his biggest critics in the league, some fans in Philadelphia were removed from their seats for shouting “Free Hong Kong!” in what could only have been a sincere act of solidarity, and online commenters’ raised hackles are ensuring that any efforts to put out their fires of outrage will only cause the flames to rise higher. And to think, this whole fight is happening because of one tweet and a measly Ten Cents?
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