Thursday Bolts: 10.19.17
Season opener tonight. Carmelo Anthony talks “closing that chapter” against the Knicks: “This is an important game for me because it’s an opportunity for me to kind of go out there and kind of close that chapter,” Anthony said. “I don’t think that chapter has been closed yet. I think running out there on the court in a different uniform kind of closes that chapter.”
An “emotional” Enes Kanter talks returning to Oklahoma City: “It’s going to feel pretty emotional because I played there for two and a half years. I had an amazing time with those guys, going to war together.”
Melo spoke with Marc Stein (NY Times) about his journey to OKC: “In an interview with The New York Times this week, during a break from preparations for his Thunder debut, Anthony revealed that he needed one more nudge before telling the Knicks last month that, yes, he was prepared to be traded to Oklahoma City. “My son said he wanted me to play for OKC,” Anthony said. “Even before OKC was in the picture.’’ Anthony proudly told that story on Tuesday afternoon after practice, lounging on a comfortable courtside bench while watching his son, Kiyan, who is 10, work on his one-on-one moves against some Thunder staffers and, for a few minutes, Westbrook himself.”
Fred Katz on Sam Presti’s summer for the ages: “If this offseason played out 100 more times, it probably wouldn’t have happened this way. In other worlds, the Indiana Pacers may have sent George to the Cleveland Cavaliers instead of to the Thunder for Sabonis and shooting guard Victor Oladipo. Carmelo Anthony may have gone to the Houston Rockets, his summer-long first choice, instead of to OKC for Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and a second-rounder. But Presti, who has always been one of the league’s most aggressive GMs on the trade market, capitalized on a new market inefficiency, one that he can’t assume will ever occur again: Stars on teams without leverage.”
Jenni Carlson on why Thunder fans should enjoy this era of basketball: “As Oklahoma City readies for the start of its 10th NBA season — and arguably the most anticipated one ever — there’s another tint that comes to mind. Gold. It’s the hue of this era of Thunder basketball. We are living in a golden age. Have been for quite some time, really. And with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony joining forces with Russell Westbrook, this might be a season that glitters brighter than any we’ve ever seen.”
Ian Begley (ESPN) on Melo’s lasting impact on the Knicks: “You could never tell that something was going on. He was always calm, collected — every day. It was no big deal for him, all the off-court stuff,” Porzingis said. “And that’s one thing I can learn from him — ‘don’t give a s—‘ about the drama. He was just doing his thing and focusing on things he needs to focus on and not letting anything else come in his way.”
Erik Horne on Paul George reaching out to Gordon Hayward: “When Gordon Hayward, the Celtics’ newly-signed free agent forward, went down with a gruesome fractured tibia and dislocated ankle a little more than five minutes into his debut against Cleveland on Tuesday, Paul George’s mind went to Las Vegas. That’s where George fractured his right leg in a USA Basketball scrimmage on Aug. 1, 2014, forcing him to miss all but six games of the 2014-15 season. “Immediately after it happened I texted Gordon. We talked last night. I just tried to give him words of encouragement, just tried to be there for him.”
Danny Chau (Ringer) on the second-option phase for the Banana Boat crew: “Anthony has played 1,042 NBA games in his 14-year career, counting both regular season and playoffs. He has started in all 1,042. He has been the unquestioned first option in all 1,042. Melo finds himself in uncharted water. And on Thursday night, he’ll have to swim in it. When he faces off against Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks in his new home of Oklahoma City, he won’t be the Thunder’s no. 1. He won’t be their no. 2, either.”
I joined LockedOn Thunder with Carson Cunningham to talk 2017-18 Thunder predictions: Going through the 25 Statements Made with Extreme Confidence one-by-one.
Around the League: Oladipo and Sabonis shined in their Pacers debut…. Thad Young says the Pacers “stole Sabonis from the Thunder“…. Nike is scrambling after the new jerseys ripped on opening night…. Gordon Hayward is likely done for the season…. Last night the Suns lost a season opener by the largest margin in NBA history.