Tuesday Bolts: 6.13.17
Welcome to Tuesday — I miss anything last night? Went to bed early.
Fred Katz on the Thunder’s interest in Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans: “After harvesting one of the NBA’s worst backup point guard situations this year, the Thunder are looking into, among other possibilities, lead facilitators. One of them is a nearby talent: Former Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans.”
Brett Dawson on the appeal of drafting UNC’s Justin Jackson: “OKC plays the long game in personnel decisions. It prepares for eventualities. With small forward Andre Roberson entering restricted free agency, it stands to reason that the Thunder could search for a backup plan in the draft. And even if Roberson re-signs, the 22-year-old Jackson has the potential to bolster a bench that needs some scoring punch.”
Erik Horne on Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon and his fit in OKC: “One knock on Lydon has been his age. Lydon is a 21-year-old sophomore entering the draft when many top prospects are a couple years younger. He’s also slotted at power forward, a position which could be logjammed should the Thunder keep Taj Gibson and continue to develop Domantas Sabonis, who is actually a month younger than Lydon.”
OK, I’ve stalled long enough. Let’s do this.
Lee Jenkins on the text that started the Warriors Dynasty: “Green stared at his phone, waiting for a reply. Up to that point the Thunder were confident they would re‑sign Durant when he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1. One Oklahoma City official kept in touch with him through June and was encouraged by his upbeat tone. “The day Golden State lost, everything changed,” the official says. “The phone calls, the text messages, they were more distant.” The Warriors would have to endure a summer’s worth of mortifying memes—punishment for squandering a 3–1 Finals lead—but by the time Green peeled off his home whites and hit the showers, he could sense that his squad would laugh last. Durant’s response flashed across the screen: “I’m ready. Let’s do this.”
Baxter Holmes on KD’s Finals MVP: “Durant becomes just the third player since 1969 to win Finals MVP in his first season with a team. Moses Malone did it with the 76ers in 1983, and Magic Johnson did it in his rookie season with the Lakers in 1980. Durant also becomes the third player to win four NBA scoring titles and an NBA title, joining Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.”
Ben Golliver on how the Warriors are just getting started: “Steve Kerr’s wet hair was spiked into a mohawk, Kevin Durant’s champagne goggles still hung around his neck, and Stephen Curry’s championship hat was still perched backward on his head, and yet the painful memories from last year and the jubilation of the present moment had already given way to a different conversation: Dynasty.”
Zach Lowe on the Warriors and how rivals can compete: “Rivals a tier below Golden State and Cleveland are contemplating whether chasing the Warriors is even worth it while all four stars are in their primes. Why exchange draft picks and young players for present-day talent if an upgrade still leaves you way short?”
Sean Fennessey asks: Will We Celebrate Kevin Durant? “We’d never seen this before, the best player available — a future NBA Finals MVP and all-time scoring artist — absconding from his small-market franchise to elevate the fortunes of an already historic team. But when Durant joined the Warriors, he became the living embodiment of unending philosophical debate: big city over small town, joining ’em instead of beating ’em, the glory rather than the struggle.”
Eric Freeman of Yahoo Sports on why LeBron James remains undefeated: “Only the most extreme James haters could argue against his greatness. Although he ultimately came up three wins short of his fourth championship, LeBron’s statistics add up to one of the greatest individual performances in NBA Finals history. His per-game numbers — 33.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists — constitute the first triple-double average in finals history, and he did it all while shooting 56.4 percent from the field and checking Durant or some other All-Star on the vast majority of defensive possessions. KD was a no-doubt series MVP, but take away the win-loss record and there’s little question LeBron was the best player in the series.”
The Nike ad that almost made me front-kick my television:
At least Alex Trebek is here to save us: