ESPN ranks Russell Westbrook as the 35th most famous athlete in the world: “The do-it-all Thunder point guard literally did it all this season after Kevin Durant’s departure to Golden State. The 28-year-old’s star is still very much on the rise after he led the NBA in scoring and became the first player to average a triple-double for an entire season since Oscar Robertson did it 55 years ago. Westbrook’s jersey is the No. 4 seller worldwide in the NBA rankings, behind only Steph Curry, LeBron James and Durant. Look for Russ to move up on this list in 2018.”
Enes Kanter joins USA Today’s ‘A to Z podcast’ to talk about his ongoing issues with the Turkish government: “If family or friends in Turkey text me, they might be in jail the next day.”
Erik Horne discusses why ‘Can’t Play Kanter’ isn’t true: “Unlike Gibson, Kanter didn’t have the luxury of being able to battle primarily against the Rockets’ weak link in the frontcourt. Only one of Kanter’s playoff shot attempts came with Anderson as the primary defender. Yet, that doesn’t excuse the Thunder missing opportunities to stretch Capela out. Capela is a far better pick-and-roll defender than Anderson, but the Thunder didn’t attack him with variety.”
Fred Katz on how Enes Kanter’s travel issues could bleed over into the NBA season: “Kanter no longer has a valid passport. It’s led to uncertainty about his future in a job that requires a decent amount of travel. The Thunder fly charter, but some airports still require players to show identification when they travel. ‘I’m going to talk to team lawyers, see what should we do,’ Kanter said. ”
Bleacher Report has OKC taking UCLA’s TJ Leaf at 21 in their latest mock draft: Leaf is a 6’10” PF that averaged 16.3 PPG and 8.2 RPG for the Bruins last season. Shot a blistering 64.4% from the field and 46.6% from deep. Here is his Draft Express profile.
WalletHub ranks OKC as the sixth best US city for basketball fans: “With basketball fans in mind, WalletHub crunched the numbers to find the best spots in America to love on your favorite sport. We compared 293 of the largest cities based on 17 key metrics, ranging from the performance level of each city’s NBA and NCAA Division 1 basketball teams to ticket prices to stadium accessibility.”
The Ringer NBA Show takes a look at the top 3-and-D players in the upcoming NBA Draft. “Kevin O’Connor and Jonathan Tjarks discuss the best wing players in the 2017 NBA draft. Topics include: Justin Jackson’s upside (8:00), Wesley Iwundu’s sleeper status (14:00), the importance of basketball IQ (18:00), the next Malcolm Brogdon (23:00), and the best dark horse wing prospects (28:00).”
Wall Street Journal on why you shouldn’t be doubting LeBron and his Cavs: “Cleveland has LeBron James. He’s the greatest hole card in sports. Fourteen seasons in, can there be any questions about James’s talent, intensity, durability, or ability to take over a game through his own, individual will? The doubts of a few attention-seeking cranks aside, those questions seem thoroughly resolved.”
ESPN ranks the Top 10 Hoops movies of all-time: I don’t want to spoil it, but He Got Game not winning is a complete and utter tragedy.