4 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 5.24.17

Wednesday Bolts: 5.24.17

Enes Kanter in the Player’s Tribune: “I remember my 21st birthday, four years ago. I celebrated it in Turkey, at home with my parents and my brother and sister. My mom made türlü. It’s a Turkish stew with vegetables and meat. I dream about that meal. My mom makes it the best. But I haven’t been back to Turkey in over two years. I haven’t spoken to my parents in two years either. My brother told me that they are afraid to go out in public. I don’t know if I will ever be able to return, or if I will ever see my parents again. One day my father went to the grocery store and a cashier spit in his face. He told my father that it was because of me. I feel terrible about it.”

Erik Horne on how Kanter’s outspokenness affects his trade value: “If Kanter’s representatives were worried about his outspoken political views affecting his value, it wouldn’t have let him do a media circuit which included him telling his story to CBS, ESPN, Viceland and The Players’ Tribune in the last two days. Kanter’s mass media tour of New York City when he returned to the United States wasn’t spearheaded by the Thunder. The organization didn’t send anyone to Manhattan, instead, letting the player conduct his own media while remaining in communication with Kanter’s agent, Mevlut “Hilmi” Cinar.”

The Vertical has OKC taking SF Rodions Kurucs in their Mock Draft 3.0: “Oklahoma City struggled to make shots consistently this season and didn’t get enough out of its forwards offensively. Kurucs may not offer an immediate solution to what ails the Thunder, but he has great size for the small-forward position to go along with outstanding scoring instincts.” (DraftExpress Profile)

Fred Katz on Semaj Christon: “It’s not like departing with Christon would save the Thunder much money. Christon makes only $1.3 million, and if they were to release him, they couldn’t just leave his spot empty. They’d need to find another point guard to replace him. So, it’s certainly plausible he winds up back with the Thunder, even if it’s in a less prominent role, a season after OKC’s consistent point guard issues behind Westbrook.”

Tim Cowlishaw says KD was better in OKC, but the playoff run justifies the decision: “I still think — and I don’t believe there is any real debate on this — the game was better served by Durant remaining with the Thunder and extending a great rivalry in the Western Conference. But I will give him this. If the Warriors, now 12-0 and finals-bound, can complete an unbeaten run through the postseason, Durant will be recognized as a huge part of what some will call the best playoff team of all time. It will take sweeping LeBron James and the Cavaliers to reach that level.”

Odds & Ends

The Ringer on how we will someday love the Cavs/Warriors “Boring Era”: “I look at this NBA and wonder — can anybody change anything about the power structure in this league? Does anything that anybody does matter? NBA teams have two options: They can be like the Jazz, who just fought super hard to win a seven-game series over the Clippers before getting blasted to oblivion by the Warriors, or they can be like the Clippers, who merely lost to a team that lost the Warriors. We knew that nobody was close to the Cavs and Warriors; this postseason has taught us that nobody was close to being close. Is this the beginning of a distressing new era when 28 of 30 teams are doomed from Day 1?”

Kyrie Irving put the Cavs on the brink of another Finals showdown with Golden State: “Let’s not mince words—Irving was the difference for Cleveland on Tuesday, exploding in the third quarter before finishing with a playoff career-high 42 points. Irving was playing at his very best in the third, gracefully dancing into the paint before artfully spinning the ball off the glass on balletic lay-ins, earning trips to the foul line, and knocking home back-breaking threes. The heroics from Uncle Drew were needed, especially as LeBron James long struggled to find his rhythm while playing much of the game in foul trouble.”

Zach Lowe on CP3-to-San Antonio: “There’s been a lot of rumblings about Chris Paul, and I think that’s real,” Lowe says. “I think there’s mutual interest there. I don’t know how real it is given the Clippers can offer a gigantic amount of money and are also a really good team; and the Spurs, like I said, have no sort of cap flexibility to get there. I’m very curious about what they do this summer and who’s on the team next year.”

JR Smith’s daughter was born five months premature in January. She went home yesterday: “Smith’s daughter Dakota was born in January and has been at the neonatal intensive care unit at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, since then. Dakota weighed one pound at birth and now weighs 7 pounds, 5 ounces.”

Tramel on Oklahoma City Blazers hockey and the “Blazermania” of days past: “Joe Burton and Hardy Sauter became as much household names in OKC as Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito had been in Boston. Boosters would supply the low-paid players with cars. Players stayed in Oklahoma City during the offseason, they loved the place so much. Fans would travel in bunches to road games in the geographically-tight league. The Blazers averaged more than 9,000 fans a game year after year after year.”