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Tuesday Bolts: 6.6.17

Tuesday Bolts: 6.6.17

Michael Rosenberg’s (SI) open letter to Kevin Durant: “If I see one more analyst point to a piece of lint in front of you and claim it’s a hurdle, I’m going to get physically ill. Your coach couldn’t sit on the bench? Come on. You had to learn to “coexist” on the floor with Curry … I mean, really? This is like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett figuring out how to split the dinner check. It’s not adversity; it’s accounting.”

Billy Donovan’s name was bound to pop up for the Ohio State vacancy: “This could be the moonshot option, but there’s a reason Donovan’s name has been circulated with big job openings this year. First it was Indiana. Now, potentially Ohio State. Donovan, 52, won consecutive national titles at Florida, defeating the Buckeyes in the ’07 title game. Donovan would obviously need to be lured away from the NBA lifestyle and with a massive paycheck. Fortunately, money will not be a problem for Ohio State. The Buckeyes boast one of the most lucrative athletic departments in college sports. I think Donovan could walk back into college hoops and succeed immediately.”

Bleacher Report on how Andre Roberson could be a surprise max-contract candidate: “Some team might bet on fixing him anyway. All-world defenders don’t grow on trees, or even in underground laboratories. But the Thunder might actually depress his value. Where other squads are liable to overpay for in-house talent they cannot afford to replace, they have to worry about potential luxury-tax implications. They didn’t sprint into the tax for James Harden, and they’re not doing it now for a 47-win squad and player with a broken outside stroke. Teams That Might Be Willing to Pay the Max: Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings.”

Erik Horne on the upcoming interrogation of Enes Kanter’s father: “Kanter’s agent, Mevlut “Hilmi” Cinar, told The Oklahoman via text Monday his sources said Kanter’s father, Mehmet Kanter, will not meet with Turkish authorities until Thursday. Kanter announced Friday that his family’s home in Istanbul had been raided and that his father was arrested.”

Tramel takes a look at the payrolls in the Northwest Division: “The team’s core is locked up, which is good, but OKC has little salary space, which is bad. The Thunder is firmly between the projected salary cap ($101 million) and the projected luxury tax ($121 million), and that’s without keeping Gibson or Roberson or adding newcomers.”

The Finals have the highest TV ratings since MJ’s final appearance in 1998: “The first two games of the NBA Finals are the most-watched since Michael Jordan’s final championship in 1998. Despite two lopsided outcomes, Golden State’s two home wins over Cleveland averaged 19.6 million viewers, according to numbers released Monday by the Nielsen company. That’s an increase of 5 percent from the 18.6 million average in 2016. The Warriors’ 132-113 victory on Sunday drew an average of 20.1 million viewers, up 13 percent from Game 2 last year and the most for a Game 2 since Chicago and Utah met in 1998. The telecast peaked with 23.1 million viewers.”

Baxter Holmes on how KD & Steph are literally destroying nets: “Meanwhile, over in Oakland, on the goal where Durant and Curry drill endless jumpers, they have to change the net out about every few weeks, estimates Eric Housen, the Warriors’ longtime equipment manager. “This season,” Fraser adds, “it’s gotten worn down more.”

Vegas says this Warriors team would beat the 1995-96 Bulls: “ESPN spoke with seven Vegas bookmakers and asked them to set the odds in a game and series between this year’s Golden State team and Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 Chicago Bulls squad that went 72-10 en route to an NBA title. Five of the six had the Warriors favored, from as high as -8 at the MGM (per Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports at MGM Resorts) to as low as -2 at William Hill US (per Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading, William Hill US).”

Fox Sports spoke to an NBA exec about what to expect with the switch to Nike uniforms: “More than two years after the NBA announced its global merchandising and marketing partnership with Nike to become the league’s official uniform provider beginning with the 2017-18 season, the logistics are beginning to fall into place. The idea of switching out all of the existing product for that which is yet to come seems like a daunting task, but retailers have been preparing for the event for quite some time to ensure a fairly seamless transition. In order to figure out exactly how all of this will go down, we reached out to Lisa Piken Koper, the NBA’s vice president of global partnerships, to get as much information as possible on the league’s upcoming uniform switch from adidas to Nike.”

Apparently KD and LeBron made a rap song in 2011? “As legend has it, stashed away somewhere is a 6-year-old, never-before released hip-hop track by James and Durant. League sources informed ESPN that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors superstars collaborated on the track during the lockout in 2011 while Durant, then a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was visiting James, who had joined the Miami Heat, for workouts in Akron, Ohio. Both players are music junkies, and in between workouts they decided to kill some time by writing their own lyrics and heading to the booth, sources told ESPN.” (23 seconds of the song popped up on Twitter. It’s predictably terrible.)