Tuesday Bolts: 5.23.17
Welcome to Tuesday. These are the Bolts.
The Ringer looks at Enes Kanter and the NBA’s brand of activism: “I’m not a journalist, I’m a basketball player,” Kanter said Monday. “But right now, my family can’t even go out to eat. My brother told me my dad went to the supermarket and they spit on his face. I try to be the voice of those innocent people.”
Kanter still receives death threats daily and wants US citizenship: “The 25-year-old expressed hope that U.S. authorities could “speed up the process a little bit” of granting him citizenship. “It would definitely be nice,” he said. “Right now my next move is becoming an American citizen. Almost every day I get death threats in America [and] Turkey,” including two more Monday morning, Kanter said. His family disowned him last year, vowing support for Erdogan and opposition to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who is living in exile in Pennsylvania and with whom Kanter has sided.”
Erik Horne recaps the Kanter press conference: “Kanter addressed questions on how he returned to the United States and more after he spent close to four hours Saturday stuck in an airport in Bucharest, Romania, due to his Turkish passport being canceled. Kanter’s story went viral after he posted a video on social media Saturday morning in which he said he was detained because of his political views, which are in opposition of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”Outside The Lines
:Full CBS This Morning interview
:Desus & Mero of VICE:
SI examines Russell Westbrook/Thunder’s ability to bounce back after KD: “Oklahoma City had an unambiguously successful season after Kevin Durant left for the Warriors without compensation or much of a chance to replace him. Russell Westbrook had an MVP-caliber campaign, the Thunder made the playoffs and their key contributors are under team control moving forward. However, their off-season drama is far from over as Westbrook’s contract situation will be a major factor while the front office tries to re-tool with the goal of creating a successful, sustainable team around him with limited resources. General manager Sam Presti will need to be ready to again adjust on the fly but more likely he will have to make the absolute most out of their first round pick and Mid-Level exception to build a competitive team in a strong Western Conference.”
Katz grades Victor Oladipo: “The Thunder tried some now forgotten ways to open Oladipo up early in the season. They ran him off screens far more, but didn’t like how those sets worked and quickly abandoned them. They posted him up some in the preseason. They stopped there, too. So, Oladipo parked in the corner. Sometimes, he’d get the ball on the wing to create something, usually a mid-range jumper. But that was it. He may know his spots heading into year two with the Thunder, but that doesn’t mean coach Billy Donovan won’t try to reassign him some new ones. He is, after all, a still-developing 24-year-old. And he made it clear that he’s ready to work, especially after struggling in the Thunder’s first-round postseason loss to Houston.”
Odds & Ends
KD is certain the Warriors were the right choice: “I made the 100 percent correct decision, win or lose,” Durant told The Undefeated after the Warriors’ practice at AT&T Center in San Antonio on Sunday. “I feel like this is the place I was supposed to be. I appreciate everything I’ve done before this. But I’m here now, and I feel like it’s a great spot for me to be.
Speaking of KD, he’s headed back to the NBA Finals: “When Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston was asked what mood their newest superweapon, Kevin Durant, was in back in the locker room after their Game 4 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, just like his team in each of its series so far, he kept it brief. ‘Joyous, man.'”
Spurs fans shower love on Manu Ginobili in case this was it:
You didn’t just retire in Spanish, did you, Manu?
Garth Brooks is returning to OKC for the first time in 20 years: “The concert, also featuring Trisha Yearwood, will be held Saturday, July 15th, 7:30 p.m. at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. A release from the tour says it’s the first time Brooks’ will play in OKC in 20 years. Brooks won Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards for the fifth time in 2016. It’s a first for any artist. Tickets go on sale June 2nd and are expected to start at $74.98, after taxes and fees.”