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Wednesday Bolts: 9.20.17

Wednesday Bolts: 9.20.17

Sam Amick (USA Today) spoke with Kevin Durant about the Twitter gaffe/his apology to the Thunder: “I look at my life as like a big playground streetball game, because I play in the NBA and I try to – when I think about playing in the NBA, that’s how small I try to make it, so I can control it and so I can really feel the joy of playing basketball,” he explained. “It’s just another way of me talking trash. Like I said, I took it too far, and I regret talking about Billy and the Thunder. It’s just stupid of me. I feel so bad about this (expletive), because I don’t never want to affect anybody else with what I say.”

Chris Mannix (Yahoo) on KD’s string of odd behavior: “Yet Durant doesn’t shy away from reminding people of how tormented he was by his decision to leave the Thunder – and how hurt he was by the 140-character-infused reactions to it. In an interview with Modern Luxury, Durant described the Internet backlash in the aftermath of his decision as “more than I could take.” His manager, Rich Kleiman, recalled a near meltdown in a hotel in China when Durant called and asked Kleiman, “Why the [expletive] did you let me do this to my life?”

Enes Kanter came to Oklahoma City’s defense yesterday: “I don’t care what anyone says. Oklahoma City Thunder is the best and most professional organization in the NBA and got the craziest fans. We win — we lose but the most important thing we stick together because we are one. And those cats, I call them FAMILY.”

Erik Horne spoke to some of the OKC roster about KD’s comments: “I mean, it’s only gonna keep being relevant the more we talk about it, so I just don’t like to touch on it,” Roberson said. “Can’t control it. We control what we do over here in our organization. I just leave it alone and it is what it is.”

Several Thunder players visited the state fair yesterday. Nick Gallo recaps:  “McDermott, who grew up going to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, said the Oklahoma version brought back fond memories of his childhood. His first chance to go somewhere with his friends without parental supervision, the fun competition of the fair games and enjoying the rides with his buddies. On top of the natural powers of time, events like this one have helped McDermott settle into Oklahoma City over the past seven months since he arrived via trade. “It finally feels like home for me, which is good,” McDermott said. “I really like it here. The people are awesome. Everybody really cares about the organization and the team. It really fun to be a part of.

Patrick Patterson hopes to be healthy for the beginning of training camp next week: “It’s been almost six weeks since Patterson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to clean up an issue that gave him discomfort last season in Toronto. He’s still in the rehab process and “gradually feeling it get stronger every day,” he said Tuesday during an appearance at the Oklahoma State Fair.”

Ian Levy (Fansided) lists Steven Adams as the 14th best player under 25: “Adams posted a Defensive Plus-Minus of just above 1.5 in 2017, which ranked 24th stingiest among NBA’s centers. According to FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projections, his DPM projects to jump to more than two points next season where it should remain for the coming years. Why? An above average defensive rebounder who using his length and brute strength to shove pesky opponents away from securing additional caroms (five defensive rebounds per 36 minutes); when coupled with his defensive acumen — 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes — Adams has the makings of a all-NBA defensive first team selection.”

Vinson Cunningham (The New Yorker) on Russell Westbrook’s style speaking volumes: “The master of this accidental, organically developed form is Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning M.V.P., whose peacocking, frequently jokey sartorial displays are only amplified by his attitude toward the camera, and, really, toward the media at large: unstated but total scorn. When, last season, he showed up to a game against the Golden State Warriors dressed in a fluorescent photographer’s vest—a clear shot at his former teammate, Kevin Durant, who had taken up photography as a hobby—the visual joke was made funnier, and somewhat subtler, by the certainty that Westbrook would never admit that he’d made it.”

An OKC-themed Nike PG1 drops on October 1: “aul George has been a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder all summer now, so Nike has had plenty of time to cook up an OKC colorway of the PG 1 for his newest fans to rep as the new season begins. It looks like the shoe is done, with a subtle nod to Paul’s new blue and orange team colors on the outsole of the otherwise neutral grey upper in suede and mesh with a graphic print on the heel. Making the Thunder reference official, “OKC” and “PG 13” are also found on the suede paneling between the large black Swoosh and midfoot strap.”

Brian Windhorst & Zach Lowe reported that nearly half of NBA franchises lost money last season: “Despite a flood of new national television cash, 14 of the NBA’s 30 teams lost money last season before collecting revenue-sharing payouts, and nine finished in the red even after accounting for those payments, according to confidential NBA financial records obtained by ESPN.com. The gap between the league’s most profitable teams and its weaker siblings will be addressed at the league’s Board of Governors meeting on Sept. 27-28 in New York. Owners have planned a half-day review of the league’s revenue-sharing system, sources said.”