Some links because things still happen in August, right?
-Taco Trey goes in-depth when examining Kevin Durant’s inability to exhibit an inability to shoot accurate jumpers during film of his new movie, Thunderstruck. Seriously, for a bit, Durant was having trouble missing on camera since he’s so conditioned to rip the twine. Look at his shot map above! Dude is the most efficient scoring machine possibly ever in the NBA. Yeah, I just used possibly ever.*
-This is old, but Chad Ford and John Hollinger, ESPN’s NBA stats bros, estimated a future top 5 in the NBA. Their top 5 in order:
- Miami Heat
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Utah Jazz
- Indiana Pacers
Um, not so sure about Indy, and I know the addition of Mo Williams in place of Devin Harris is not as clear-cut as to be “a significant upgrade,” but whatever. They still got Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, so that’s good, but they had them last year when they got shut out by the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
-Mikhail Prokhorov, the
New Jersey Brooklyn Nets owner, with a nice ear for marketing buzz, has “spiced up things” by instigating a battle of words with the New York Knicks’ embattled owner, James Dolan. He called him “that little man” in Will Leitch’s profile of the new Brooklyn Nets’ Barclay’s Center for New York Magazine. A Prokhorov - Dolan meeting would be like Fidel Castro and George “Dubya” Bush meeting in Cuba: everyone knows which man will succumb to their inherent Beta status (and a possibly a minor tinkle in the chinos).
-This could probably be a question at your next NBA trivia-themed party. Am I the only one that wants to do this?
-Among the juicier tidbits** from Mike Wise’s column on Kobe Bryant at the Olympics is this little morsel: Kobe lost 16 pounds since the NBA’s 2011-2012 season concluded for him in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. Everyone went on about ‘Melo losing 12 pounds (it’s 12 freakin’ pounds for fuck’s sake), but Kobe lost 16 (!!!) and his svelte build also got the addition of a 2-time MVP and the best big man in the game. The Lakers are gonna be awesome if they can find a way to get the best from all those guys.
-A list of guys Will (sorry if you’re getting a Leitch overload, but the dude is solid) found in his first google search for Hakeem Olajuwon’s off-season tutelage: “Hasheem Thabeet, Emeka Okafor. DeSagana Diop. D.J. Mbenga. Ike Diogu. Luol Deng. JaVale McGee. Marcin Gortat. Robin Lopez.” Of course, Seth was excited for Amare’s defense.
-Speaking of Amar’e, he thinks the Knicks did a great job this off-season and he wasn’t surprised Dwight went to LA (neither was anyone else). About Jeremy Lin, Stoudemire had the usual (disguised as diplomacy) response of disappointment (but not contrition—that’s on ‘Melo), but “that’s the name of the game.” The name of the game being, in almost every instance of a player leaving via free agency or being traded: the NBA is a business. It would behoove disgruntled fans (in Orlando and out) to remember this the next time they’re feeling shitty about their team—so quoted a Bills fan.
-The Daily Thunder’s Royce Webb responded to SI’s Zach Lowe after Lowe wrote that the Thunder should explore options to trade James Harden.***
-The Ron Swanson - Serge Ibaka Pyramid of Greatness
-The author of the excellent NBA Tumblr blog Mount Dikembe, Josh Panos, just did his first guest piece for HoopSpeak. Check it out and show him some Tumblr love.
-Supposedly, a high-performance sneaker (i.e. it reads various pieces of performance data—like vertical jump—as you’re wearing it) the LeBron X, is going to be retailing for over $300. True, one firm has it at $290, but regardless of whether it’s $320 or $290, I will not be purchasing it.
[Pic via Josh Rohde]
*I’m feeling bombastic tonight.
**There aren’t that many things most people would describe as “juicy,” but it sounds good and Mike Wise should be read by more basketball people.
***Presumably because OKC just signed Ibaka to an extension worth $48 million over 4 years (keeping him, Durant and Westbrook together for at least 4 years).