4 min read

Tuesday Bolts: 9.26.17

Tuesday Bolts: 9.26.17

Nick Gallo on Carmelo Anthony joining the Thunder for Media Day: “At one point on Monday as Anthony completed his circuit, he grabbed a new Thunder sweatshirt, slipped it on and suddenly transformed into the summer phenomenon known only as “Hoodie Melo.” What surely will be a running gag this season truly does have a meaning behind it. Anthony attacked his work with a renewed focus and intensity, using the hooded sweatshirt to not only slim down, but to focus his mind. He had one thing on his mind all offseason – winning. With Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the variety of high-level Thunder role players in place, Anthony sees Oklahoma City as a perfect landing spot. The internal motivation and the collective chip on the shoulders of the Thunder’s three superstars will be a unifying and electrifying force all season.”

George and Westbrook played an active role in getting Melo to OKC: “You know, Russ don’t really do the convincing,” Anthony said Monday at Thunder media day. “He came to New York and played pickup at my gym. I saw him in Paris at fashion week. Me and Russ became close over the years.” It was that relationship — and the opportunity to pair with Westbrook and Paul George on an Oklahoma City super team — that helped sell Anthony on bailing on the bright lights of New York in favor of Oklahoma City. The idea, Anthony said, that he’d never accept a trade to one of the NBA’s smallest markets was born “because nobody really knew me.”

Media Day turned into a recruiting pitch toward Dwyane Wade: “The Oklahoma City Thunder have one more obvious goal. They already employ the NBA’s reigning MVP in Russell Westbrook. They’ve already acquired four-time All-Star Paul George and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony this summer. But that’s not enough, apparently. They want more. They want 14-year veteran and surefire future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade.”

Erik Horne on OKC having a superteam — but for how long?: “It’s a question that starts with Westbrook. As soon as the reigning MVP sat down at the podium he was asked if he’d sign the five-year, $207 million extension he’s been offered before the Oct. 16 deadline. He can sign the same deal in the summer of 2018, when George is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Thanks to an early termination clause, Anthony can become a free agent, too. ‘Oh, man, man, it’s been a long, long summer,’ Westbrook started when asked if he’ll sign a five-year extension in the next 20 days. ‘I had a baby. So I’ve been working on a little fatherhood. But like I said before, man, this is a place I want to be. I love being here. I’m excited about the season. From that, I’m going to leave it there.’”

Thunder players weren’t afraid to get political at Media Day: “On Monday, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Nick Collison and Thunder coach Billy Donovan were asked about Trump’s series of comments. Westbrook said he’s not in agreement with anything Trump says “and I never will be.

Carmelo does not plan on coming off the bench: “Who me? I don’t know where that started where that came from. Hey P (Paul George) they said I gotta come off the bench!”

Paul George continues to say a lot: “Honestly, I’m happy. The only thing I wanted out of Indiana was a chance to win my whole career there…That’s really what I want out of this, out of the league. I’m not looking for money. I’m not looking for stats. I want to win, and be able to win at a high level. It’s Year One, and the Thunder have proven – and I haven’t even gone through a season yet – and they’ve already proven everything on my check list I can check off. That’s what feels good. That’s what makes me feel like, ‘Hey, this can be a landing spot for me, and somewhere I can call home for years.’”

Tom Haberstroh puts OKC on the same level as Cleveland — but still behind Golden State: “Anthony may be 33 years old, but he’s still a star in this league who averaged 22.4 points in a broken system in the Big Apple. In OKC’s system, he should see much better looks alongside Westbrook and George. And don’t be surprised if a fourth star emerges from the mix: Steven Adams. The 24-year-old could be a monster this season as the benefactor of all the attention paid to the star trio.”

Westbrook unveiled the Jordan XXX2 “Creamsicle” yesterday: “Russ, certain to debut something special for the occasion, laced up an Air Jordan XXX2 “Creamsicle” PE for Thunder Media Day. Largely filled in Thunder orange with Royal Blue Flyknit threading, Jumpman logo, and heel construction, Metallic Silver plating marks the Wings logo at the tongue punctuating this bold new take on the Air Jordan XXX2. This PE wont be one that lands at retailers any time soon.”

Kyle Wagner (FiveThirtyEight) on the Thunder being whole again: “And that gets to the core of why the Westbrook-Anthony-George team-up isn’t quite like other recent collections of stars, Golden State notwithstanding. The core of a contending team was already in place but was gutted by Durant’s exit in free agency and general roster turnover. The Thunder were a good team with a few specific, extreme holes in the roster. Trading for Paul George filled a bunch of them, and trading for Melo has emphatically closed the rest.”