: “I am not exactly sure where on the list of career triumphs having one of the cutest animals in all of nature named after you falls, but I’d imagine it’s pretty high. Just guessing, I’d put it behind a statue but significantly ahead of some family naming their child after a player and the player never knowing about it. How many NBA players do you know with zoo animals named after them? Probably not very many. And how many of those very few are animals that everyone sees and goes “Holy smokes, that thing is cute whatever it is?” Even less, I am guessing. Of course, you have to wonder if there are other animals at this zoo named for other players on the Thunder. Is there an ornery turtle there named Russell? A bearded dragon named James? A very wise but very slow elephant with a particularly angry disposition called Perk? The possibilities are endless.”
HoopSpeak on top pick-and-roll combos: “James Harden – Nick Collison: It certainly seems like a stretch to see a reserve big man make this list, but Nick Collison is no ordinary sub. He’s not exactly a top-flight finisher, but over the years Collison proved at least capable in that department (unlike his turnover-prone teammate, Kendrick Perkins). Combined with his best attribute – the ability to set bone-jarring screens — it helps Collison turn even marginal ball handlers into scoring threats. But his partner on this list is no ordinary ball handler — it’s foul-drawing machine James Harden. With Collison setting him loose, Harden becomes an even bigger threat to rack up free throws and buckets against overwhelmed defenses.”
Jenni Carlson: “Because the number of potential viewers is less, a small-market team is never going to be able to do a TV deal that compares to what those big markets have. That means a team like Thunder can’t spend itself out of a problem. But does that mean the Thunder is willing to pay nothing in luxury tax? I say no. And even though Presti isn’t going to come out and say it, I don’t think the franchise is opposed to paying some luxury tax. Consider this: the Thunder has been negotiating with Harden. That alone is a signal that the team would be willing to pay something in luxury tax. If the team wasn’t, it wouldn’t even be talking with Harden’s representatives because the number it would be offering would be laughable.”
KD is the third best active player in NBA2K13, coming in rated a 94 before Dwight Howard and LeBron James. Russell Westbrook and James Harden somehow weren’t in the initial list, but Serge Ibaka is an 81.
An anonymous GM about Jeff Green: “You’re talking about a guy who you’re now making a part of your future who Oklahoma City knew they couldn’t win a championship with. He doesn’t have a position. He doesn’t rebound it well enough to be a power forward, he doesn’t shoot it well enough to be a small forward, he isn’t quick enough to be a small forward, so you can’t replace Kevin Garnett and you can’t replace Paul Pierce. So not only do you overpay him, but you don’t get an [injury] exclusion on the heart?”