The Portland Trail Blazers have long been rumored to be interested in acquiring Anthony, but as of this point, all signs point to an unwillingness on the part of the high-scoring forward to include Portland in his thinking. As for the Thunder, it makes sense that Anthony may want to partner with the duo of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, but in the same breath, Oklahoma City isn’t necessarily the easiest trade partner for the Knicks.
Enes Kanter is set to earn nearly $18 million this season with a player option for $18.6 million in 2018-2019. While Kanter is useful given his offensive and rebounding prowess, he certainly is not a bargain on that contract, and in short, the Thunder don’t have a lot of large salary (aside from Westbrook, George and Steven Adams) to aid in facilitating a move for Anthony.
Creativity can be useful in putting together three-team trades, though, and the Thunder came out of nowhere to add George back in June. Sam Presti is fully capable of pulling a rabbit out of his hat, and if the reporting is accurate, Oklahoma City will at least be able to “pitch” Anthony on approving a deal if they are able to consummate one.
Kevin Garnett is one of the most unique players in NBA history, both on and off the court. On the court, Garnett was known for his defense and tenacity that would occasionally border on psychotic. Off the court, he’s one of the few former basketball players to successfully transition to NBA analyst, accidental F-bombs aside.
Needless to say, a Kevin Garnett stamp of approval is something every NBA player should strive for. So when Garnett was asked during his AMA on Reddit on Thursday afternoon which player in the NBA today reminds him the most of himself, the one guy Garnett named was on the receiving end of a major compliment.
“Well when I watch Westbrook’s energy it reminds of the energy I thought I played with until I saw him play. Westbrook’s energy is remarkable,” Garnett said. “When I watch him I’m still in awe. If I was to say that someone, in how they approach the game, I approached the game very similar to how I see Russell approach the game. He doesn’t do a lot handshakes, he’s very focused, he’s to himself, he does his own thing. I was pretty much a little bit like that.”
It’s not difficult to see where Garnett is coming from on this answer. Russell Westbrook plays with a similar kind of hate you just don’t see in the NBA these days. This isn’t the first time Garnett went out of his way to give Westbrook some major props, either. When the NBA All-Star starters were announced last season and Westbrook wasn’t named as one of the starters, Garnett said it “might be the league’s all-time history snub right here, seriously.”
It’s a unique shoe that does an excellent job capturing who Durant has been since joining the Golden State Warriors last summer, but the shoe and the statement said shoe makes has its detractors. As recently as this morning, Stephen A. Smith was on ESPN roasting Durant for putting “Bandwagon” on the insole because that is exactly what Smith believes Durant did: jump on the Warriors bandwagon.
Durant was in the middle of one of his nightly twitter roasting when one Celtics fan simply asked him for a pair of shoes because he’s ‘broke as f—.’
Scenario : you send me a pair of your new shoes because im broke as fuck
Needless to say, this is a pretty cool gesture from Durant, and one that likely won’t improve his standing with NBA fans at all. The Warriors are the most hated team in the league right now, and having their star player send a stranger some new kicks isn’t going to change that. What it will do is open Durant’s Twitter mentions up for thousands and thousands of free shoe requests, so have at it, kids. Tell Santa Durant what you want for Christmas. You just might get it.
Mind you, Bell is no pushover on defense. On NBA.com’s annual rookie survey, Bell received 23.7 percent of the vote for Best Defender in his class.
“It’s different than what you see on TV. It’s waaaay different.” […]
“It’s crazy how big he is, how quick he is for his size and how smart he is,” Bell recalled. “He was standing straight up, and I’m thinking he can’t go by me if he’s standing straight up. I’m in a good defensive stance. He’s not crouching.
“But there he goes. I’m not going to say he got by me, but I didn’t realize he was so quick. For him to be standing straight up, there’s no way he should be able to move that fast. I’d understand that quickness if he got lower, but I’ve never seen anybody so quick while standing straight up.” […]
“I thought I did a pretty good job on him, but he obviously hit some shots,” Bell said. “But he would get on the block, and I’m containing him, not letting him back me down, and he would fade away from the block to the 3-point line — and make it. And I just played the best defense of my life. It didn’t matter.”
The NBA’s domestic broadcast rights are locked up through 2025 thanks to a monstrous deal with ESPN and Turner that led to skyrocketing salary caps, contracts, and franchise valuations. However, despite the NBA being set financially thanks to that deal and with no changes coming for nearly a decade, commissioner Adam Silver is still thinking about what’s next and how to enhance the product being presented to consumers.
One of the things the league is continuing to look into is streaming games and how to format those broadcasts and try to adapt to the modern consumer. Silver, as much as any commissioner in pro sports, understands that the status quo can’t simply be maintained and expect the same success and growth. The NBA has done a fantastic job in recent years adapting to the social media age, but that is only the beginning.
At a recent talk with Recode, along with Fanatics executive Michael Rubin, Silver was asked about Amazon and Facebook streaming and whether the NBA had plans on tapping into that market. While noting that broadcast rights in the U.S. are locked up, Silver spoke at length and with excitement about what he thinks the possibilities are in the near future — he said three to five years — for how NBA broadcasts can look dramatically different and pointed to Twitch streams as a model (20:55 mark of the below video).
What I think will happen over the next several years, and these discussions are going on now, when you think about the way games are produced on ESPN for example, it’s the same way it looked 30 years ago. I mean, high definition’s made a huge difference, but if you look at the basic way games are broadcast, there’s a mid-level play-by-play camera that follows back and forth and two end zone cameras that can follow the action and others. But it looks pretty much the same way it always has.
Now if you think about, if anyone here is a gamer, if you go on Twitch for example and see what it’s like to follow those competitions, it’s sort of constant chatter of fans there’s all kinds of other information appearing on the screen. I think to older consumers used to looking at sports it might look incredibly cluttered, but as Facebook and other services experiment with live sports rights, and I’m sure Amazon’s going to be doing the same thing, I think they don’t have the same limitations cable and satellite historically have had.
Really, it’s not for a lack of creativity from the great cable and satellite companies, its the limitation of technology of the cable box. And what they do over the top is you can have unlimited fields on your screen. You can have information popping on, coming off. You can have descriptions of plays and information about players, and what’s most interesting to me, and I’ve seen a lot of the R&D work that’s being done by these over the top services, is I think our game, not next year, but three, four, five years from now it’s going to start looking very different.
Think about it, you can have unlimited audio feeds, for example. You may not want to listen to the same standard play-by-play you always get, instead it could be your friend doing play-by-play, it could be a comedian doing play-by-play, it could be a celebrity doing play-by-play sitting courtside. You could be getting all kinds of information about those players. Where they’re from, biometrics — wearables is a hot area in sports right now. It may be fascinating to see how much, try to measure stress on players when they’re going to the line. Unlimited information. Then there’s daily fantasy, moving likely towards legalized gaming or gambling and sports betting in this country. There’s going to be all these new fields of information, and I think, in a way, when you look at games now it’s like a silent movie.
Silver’s comments are quite interesting and eye-opening for fans of the NBA game. It’s clear that Silver and the NBA, who are in the process of launching an eSports league, have looked seriously at how the gaming community provides so much information and fan interaction in their streams, and how the NBA can find ways to take some of those tricks and apply them to their own productions.
It was clear that Silver thinks the current broadcast is outdated, noting that he thinks it’s like a “silent movie” without providing more on-screen information. As for what we can expect to change, Silver has a lot of thoughts from providing alternative audio commentary to having on-screen stats for daily fantasy, and when sports betting is eventually legalized, potentially adding live-betting and other information to broadcasts.
However, what may be the most interesting bit that he brought up was the possibility of having players wearing biometric devices that could potentially offer viewers real-time information about how much stress they’re under or their physical output while on the court. While all of these things are simply ideas right now, it’s clear that Silver wants to apply pressure to those broadcasting games now and in the future to keep pushing boundaries or he’ll find someone that will when the rights agreement runs up.
Russ appeared on the show to promote his new book, an opportunity Fallon used to gently mock the reigning MVP for his taste in clothing.
Fallon suggested a few came up with an interesting nickname suggestions for Westbrook and new OKC Thunder teammate Paul George.
Per The Oklahoman:
Westbrook spent six mostly silly minutes on screen, promoting his new book “Russell Westbrook: Style Drivers.” Rocking a Gucci t-shirt and a pink sweatsuit with the top tied around his waist, Westbrook called his mother “my style inspiration.” He laughed as Fallon showed him Photoshopped images of Fallon in some of Westbrook’s most fashion-forward outfits.
Fallon suggested “RuPaul” as a nickname for the new Thunder duo of Westbrook and Paul George.
Westbrook laughed and said, “I see a lot of shaking heads. I don’t think people liked that.” Then Fallon made a second suggestion – “Thundercats” – that included a mocked-up picture of characters from the animated show in Oklahoma City jerseys.
Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double on his way to the 2016-2017 NBA MVP, and he did it while rocking Jordan Brand. Now, after that memorable and historic season, Nick DePaula of ESPN brings word that Westbrook will be spending the next 10 years as “the face of the brand.”
The report indicates that Westbrook will be locked up with Jordan Brand through the 2025-2016 NBA season and it is described as “the most lucrative total endorsement deal for a Jordan athlete to date.” Prior to this agreement, Westbrook’s signature shoes of been off-court models but, as DePaula writes, the new contract sets up his first on-court signature with the brand to accompany his transition to a bigger spotlight.
Now that the decade-long deal has been locked in, the process is underway to begin developing an on-court Westbrook signature. The shoe is expected to undoubtedly highlight his flashy and unpredictable fashion lens — “unlike anything that Jordan Brand has done before” — according to an industry source. There’s also been a distinct separation in his tastes for games and lifestyle sneakers, as he prefers deconstructed and simplified casual shoes off the court, versus highly sculpted, molded and responsive basketball shoes.
It remains to be seen as to what Westbrook’s new line of sneakers will resemble but this is huge news in the sneaker industry. Jordan Brand has been notoriously frugal about handing out this kind of investment in the form of a signature and that makes sense within the shadow of, well, Michael Jordan himself. Still, this investment in Russell Westbrook looks to a massive one, even before we know financial details of what it will resemble — DePaula reported that “Westbrook has been positioned as the face of the brand.”
Westbrook’s performance a season ago helped to vault him to a new level among fans and pundits alike but his on-court impact wasn’t the only thing affected by the MVP showing. Now that this is out of the way, Thunder fans will hope that their star focuses his attention on signing a different extension.