Michael Rosenburg (SI) on how KD’s Twitter antics prove his critics right: “I’ve written this before, but it needs to be said again: Nobody thinks Durant is a bad guy. He’s not a villain. He is a great player who used his free agency to take the easiest possible path to a championship. This was obvious last summer. It is obvious today. He had a right to do that. I didn’t like it. Some people did. Well, that’s sports. We argue about this stuff, and that’s part of the fun. But while the move put Durant in line for multiple championships, it also put him in this awkward position, and there is no good way out of it.”
Darren Rovell and Bobby Marks (ESPN) on how much the NBA’s stars actually earn: Russell Westbrook will make $28,530,608 in the 2017-18 season, but after escrow, taxes, agent fees, 401k, etc — the total comes out to $14,773,931.
OKC comes in fifth on The Ringer’s list of Nike’s new “Statement” uniforms: “Paul George and this jersey have a lot in common, both being solid new additions for OKC.”
Rumors of LeBron, Russell Westbrook, & Paul George teaming up in LA: “Now, that means that the Lakers have been found guilty of tampering with Paul George and now accused of tampering with LeBron James. I wonder if they’ve also had contact with Paul George’s new running mate, Russell Westbrook? Why do I ask? Because Brodie is also apparently headed to L.A. next summer. Late last week Ramona Shelburne suggested Westbrook could follow George to L.A. if he doesn’t sign an extension in OKC.”
Michael Shapiro (SI) lists OKC as one of four teams on the brink of rebuilding: “However, if the Thunder fall short of Finals contention, they’ll likely be hit with a double whammy two months later. Unless Westbrook signs an extension with OKC prior to opening night on October 16, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. And with George’s contract also expiring at the end of the season, it projects to be a nerve-wracking summer in Oklahoma two years after Kevin Durant left for Golden State.”
Dontaira Terrell (Huffington Post) had a fashion-forward Q&A with Russell Westbrook: “It’s all about being true to you. In today’s society, I believe a lot of people’s centered interests are on others beliefs because that is what’s easy for them. In any given situation, I honestly think it’s important for individuals to just be themselves especially in fashion. Regardless of what people say, you should always go with how you feel. If you feel good or better yet great, when doing something, then you should go and do it.”
Brett Dawson on how Enes Kanter plans to continue speaking his mind: “Kanter said on Sunday that the team has worked out an arrangement to allow him to travel to games in Toronto and Mexico City even without a passport. But Kanter — who said he’ll continue to speak out on issues that matter to him — wanted to make sure his budding activism didn’t interfere with his hoop career. So he threw himself into offseason preparation.”
Dirk Nowitzki says the NBA is not about loyalty anymore: “The new NBA is a little different. It’s about making money, it’s about winning and not as much about being loyal anymore.”