Knicks Morning News (2017.06.05)

  • [NYDN] Derek Fisher arrested on suspicion of DUI after crashing car
    (Sunday, June 04, 2017 3:16:19 PM)

    Ex-Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after crashing his car early Sunday morning.

  • [NYTimes] Sports of The Times: From the Cradle of Innovation Comes a Self-Driving Team
    (Sunday, June 04, 2017 3:47:53 PM)

    The players of the Golden State Warriors, a squad run more like a start-up than a sports team, set the destination and choose the best route.

  • [NYTimes] Celebrities Flock to Warriors. And We’re Talking About Practice.
    (Sunday, June 04, 2017 5:28:21 PM)

    Golden State has invited many boldface names to watch the team work out. Some expected to see more, but for one author, “It was just plain WOWWWW!!!!”

  • [NYTimes] In N.B.A. and N.H.L. Finals, Gold Cloth Is the Standard
    (Monday, June 05, 2017 6:00:33 AM)

    For decking out the fans of the four finalists, the color has become a hot commodity, except in Cleveland. Keeping the shirts coming can be tricky.

  • [NYTimes] Warriors 132, Cavaliers 113 | Warriors lead the series, 2-0: Warriors Handily Defeat the Cavaliers in Game 2
    (Monday, June 05, 2017 4:27:00 AM)

    Golden State took a two-games-to-none lead in the N.B.A. finals as Coach Steve Kerr returned to the team and Stephen Curry had the first playoff triple-double of his career.

  • [NYTimes] Steve Kerr Returns to Coach Warriors in Game 2 of the N.B.A. Finals
    (Monday, June 05, 2017 1:54:58 AM)

    Kerr, who sought treatment for pain stemming from a back operation, stepped aside from his usual duties after the Warriors’ first two games of the playoffs.

  • [ESPN] Derek Fisher flips car, suspected of DUI
    (Sunday, June 04, 2017 1:11:32 PM)

    Derek Fisher flips car, suspected of DUI

  • [NY Newsday] Derek Fisher, Knicks’ ex-coach and former Laker, arrested on DUI charge after crash
    (Sunday, June 04, 2017 4:39:00 PM)

    Former Los Angeles Lakers player and ex-New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher was arrested Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving after he flipped his vehicle on a California highway, authorities said.

  • [NYPost] Derek Fisher grateful to be alive after crash, DUI arrest
    (Sunday, June 04, 2017 9:58:40 PM)

    Former Los Angeles Lakers player and ex-New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher and “Basketball Wives” reality star Gloria Govan say they are grateful to be OK after a crash that led to Fisher’s arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. Fisher and Govan released a joint statement Sunday afternoon, hours after Fisher’s arrest in Los…

  • [NYPost] Derek Fisher arrested for DUI after car crash
    (Sunday, June 04, 2017 9:25:31 AM)

    Derek Fisher, the former Los Angeles Laker and ex-head coach of the New York Knicks, was arrested Sunday morning on suspicion of drunken driving after he crashed his car on an LA freeway, authorities said. The California Highway Patrol said both Fisher and his lone passenger in the 2015 Cadillac, former “Basketball Wives” reality star…

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    131 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.06.05)”

    1. I’m pretty disillusioned with the NBA after last night’s game.
      The Cavs stampeded through the East, which was bad enough, but there is just no answer for this Golden State team. It’s actually not even fun to watch. JVG said it well on Zach Lowe’s podcast last week – we all enjoy greatness but we want to see greatness challenged. This is not a challenge.

      LBJ can only do so much, and watching him to try to carry ballhog Irving and gamely-trying-but-limited Kevin Love against this team is painful.

      And Deron Williams shouldn’t see the court again this entire series. Man is he awful.

      Crazy this about GS is that all their dudes are in the beginning-middle of their primes. Barring injury they could win 5 in a row.

      The NBA has serious problems on its hands IMHO. They have one superteam that is so far and away better than everyone else that it makes the season a foregone conclusion. In addition, the game is so severely distorted by the 3 point shot that it’s really a different game than it used to be, and not necessarily in a good way. 3rd – the FT shooting issue is a real problem also. All this flailing, begging for 3 FT flops, etc. makes the game unwatchable and basically caters to dudes using officials to tilt the playing field. The league really needs to find a way to police this better.

    2. I agree with you Frank, but the NBA can’t really do much about the Warriors. They can only hope that players like Iggy and Livingston will take the money this summer and that they struggle to land adequate replacements for them. Even then you’d guess GSW has enough firepower at the top end of their roster to make them the strong favorites again.

      I guess it bothers me less than it should because the Knicks are so far away from contention that in a world where they get their shit together and land more young pieces with great talent, it’d be years before they become a serious contender and by that point GSW is unlikely to be the same dominant force. For other teams at the top of the league it must be an incredibly frustrating reality to try to topple.

    3. @1
      Hunnit, Frank! Hunnit! Well said. I agree on every point. As a matter of fact, I planned on commenting much of the same. So please allow me to piggyback just a

      RE: Cleveland.
      Quite a few people I know said I was crazy because I said GS in 5. I’ve always maintained that LeBron will make it interesting bein the best player on the planet. But really this is no competition. I’ve told my friends that Cleveland’s defense isn’t good enough this season to stop GS. I’ve told them adding KD is more significant defensively than it is offensively because they are adding a perimeter-position 6’10” athlete with a 7-3″ wingspan to their defense, and they have enough weaponry to be able to afford to focus on defense. And let’s not forget that most of the roster plays good defense anyway. “You must be mad!”, they said. Ha!

      RE: State of the NBA as it relates to the 3 ball:
      Yea..it is an exciting shot, bit players rely on it too much rather than making the best play at any given moment. I remember a play last night where JR, with Cleveland down 9, pump faked the defender off of his feet and had a clear path to the rim. What did he do? Looked down to make sure he was behind the 3pt line, stepped backed and launched an off target 3. Things like that happen way too often within this love affair with the 3 ball. It reminds me of the sentiment that a player that makes pretty dunks is obviously a good basketball player. Ridiculous! AAU ball is to blame. The sport needs more Bob Knights, Coach K’s, Dean Smith’s and the like. Coaches who will teach these outstanding athletes HOW to play. More of these kids need to be willing to learn as well. It drives me crazy at times..

    4. @3 — AAU ball is not to blame IMHO. What’s to blame is that the 3 pointer is literally worth too much. Perhaps if you made it 2.5 points it would be more balanced, but only the Phil Jacksons of the world don’t see that just looking at 3 pointers (pace-adjusted) basically tells you the offensive rankings.

      Kudos to Golden State for seeing that clearly and taking advantage of every break that came their way over the last few years to build this superteam. but it’s not enjoyable to watch for the 90% of NBA fans that are not GS fans.

    5. Eliminating the corner 3 would help and put more value back in mid-range and post play, but I can’t see it ever happening. The league wants points at all costs and prioritizing a spaced floor helps with that and seems to have also increased the speed of the game.

    6. Golden State looks unstoppable today but they will have serious depth issues very soon the way the Clippers have depth issues that kept them from serious contention. The salary cap eventually balances everything out.

    7. Also, San Antonio was a Kawhi Leonard injury away from giving the Warriors a serious run for their money.

    8. Golden State looks unstoppable today but they will have serious depth issues very soon the way the Clippers have depth issues that kept them from serious contention. The salary cap eventually balances everything out.

      Does it really?

      They have a multi-billionaire owner, so luxury tax means little.

      Steph – bird rights this year
      Klay – signed through 2018-19 at which point they will have bird rights
      Durant – has already said he will re-sign, likely a 1+1 after which they will have bird rights
      Draymond – signed through 19-20

      Iguodala + Livingston may leave, but they have bird rights on both. Iguodala’s made a ton of money already so my guess is he’s coming back. Livingston may leave, but may not.

      West came for free
      Pachulia came for free

      Other than having to use the taxpayer MLE and having no biannual exception, there are only financial penalties for being over the apron.

      There are always players who are willing to take less on the downside of their career to play 10-15 min per game on a championship team – especially with the whole league swimming in $ right now.

      GS has 3 top 10 players in their physical primes, and a 4th (Klay) who is probably a top 20 player also in his prime. There literally has never been a collection of talent like this. 3 top 10s, maybe –> LBJ/Wade/Bosh is close, certainly Jordan/Pippen/Rodman if you love Rodman. Boston had Rondo/Allen/Pierce/Garnett but basically none of those guys were in their physical primes – you always knew that was a couple years and then they’d have to start moving on. And even that threepeat Chicago team — those guys weren’t even in their physical primes. Rodman was mid 30s, and Jordan/Pippen were in the early 30s. The GS big 4 are all 26-29 years old.

    9. Injuries happen. Time changes everything. Nothing is forever.

    10. @1 I agree with pretty much everything you said.

      The problem for the league is that Golden State has 2 franchise players. It’s hard enough for a team to find 1 franchise player. To get 2 to go along with other all the other talent they have in the starting lineup and on the bench is virtually impossible under the cap.

      The smartest strategy for virtually every team in the NBA may be to blow themselves up and go really young via the draft. That way in the 4-5 years it will take to develop your team, Durant and Curry will start aging and declining just as you are starting to peak. Even a team like Boston may be better off trading Isiah Thomas and using all their picks to build a team for the future instead of giving up picks to go for it now. Even if they can add Butler, Hayward, or George this off season they are going nowhere. Why bother? Keep the picks and keep building for the future.

      Just think about that.

      The league is in trouble when the smartest strategy for most teams trying to win the title may be for them to tank the next few years.

    11. I’m now interested to see what would happen if the corner 3 was eliminated. Like if the D-League did it for a month, and then we studied the results.

    12. Ya I’ve been saying there’s literally no reason for any other team other than Cleveland and GSW to try to win games–GSW is just too good to bother with.

      I pretty much agree with Frank here.

      Things I’d consider doing (not necessarily all of them together and some of these simply won’t be approved by the NBA):
      1. Extending the 3 point line at the top of the key or extending the 3 point line by widening the court
      2. Eliminating the corner 3
      3. Changing continuation rules to avoid these silly free throw baits by players like Harden
      4. make the more egregious examples of 3. (Like when Harden hooks you) clear offensive fouls
      5. This one idk, but maybe: bring back hand checking
      6. Eliminate the individual max salary cap

      Those would go a long way towards 1. Reducing the comparative advantage of GSW by deemphasizing the 3 point shot (which needs to be done imo) and 2. Increasing parity by eliminating the individual max and encouraging more diverse play styles other than 3 point gunning (ex the grizz!)

    13. We should clarify.

      GREAT 3 point shooters are worth too much, especially if they are going to call all these extra fouls turning them into 4 point plays or giving the player 3 free throws.

      The thing that used to help balance out the difference between 2s and 3s for most players was that you were way more likely to get fouled going to the basket and either get 2 easy free throws (which is better than the EV on a 3) or make the basket and get the free throw (which was also better). The other advantage from inside was that you will get more offensive rebounds and possessions. So for example, if KP was playing inside and got an extra offensive rebound or two, those extra possessions would add to the team’s offense even if it doesn’t help his own TS%.

      But with all the extra foul calls from outside the 3 point line, the fact that we now have multiple snipers stacked on individual teams, and there are no great dominant post players right now that can generate a TS% of 60%, draw fouls, draw double teams etc… because everyone 3 point happy, it’s changing the math. If another Kareem, Shaq, Hakeem etc.. those teams will compete fine.

    14. I agree with you Frank, but the NBA can’t really do much about the Warriors.

      Maybe it’s too late to dismantle the current Warriors but, moving forward, I think it’s an easy resolution. I think JK47 said that teams should be able to pay superstars more than they currently are.

      This way, a team like Golden State would not be able to afford having 3-4 of them and/or would not be able to stay under the salary cap. (Granted, they are special case because they are paying Steph peanuts right now.) The players would like it and the 28 other teams’ owners presumably will like having a snowball’s chance at winning.

    15. i think if SA gets cp3… they can put up a serious challenge to the warriors… this cavs iteration is too poor defensively….

      as far as league wide changes… i don’t think that’s necessary… this is a talent problem and the league will eventually adapt.. but one thing to highlight is moving screens… the warriors rely on offball movement a ton and because of that they get away with a ton of illegal screens… they also get called for the most but it really needs to get dialed up… that absolutely needs to be looked at in the offseason because the rule itself has needed to be better defined for years… right now it just doesn’t get called as often as it should…

    16. I could watch Durant and Curry every year without much issue. Would be no worse than watching Pippen and Jordan.

      They do look like they are going to be a tough out for a long time but keeping Draymond and Klay and an elite bench is going to be difficult. Steph has also had a lot of injury issues in the past.

    17. I’ve never seen a legal Zaza Pachulia screen in my whole life

    18. I could watch Durant and Curry every year without much issue. Would be no worse than watching Pippen and Jordan.

      The difference being that neither Pippen nor Jordan joined the Bulls in the middle of their dominance, if such a thing bothers you. Also, if the Warriors sweep that would be something the 90’s Bulls never did.

    19. I just had a weird thought. It was Larry Johnson’s 4 point play that started the whole trying to get fouled on the 3 point shot craze. I remember when that shot happened and how rare and unusual it was. It was an amazing moment (in an amazing and improbable Knicks run to the Finals). It was also in the conference finals at a pivotal moment. That was probably the first well known 4 point play off a 3 pointer. Imagine how many of the current players saw that play when they were little kids and how that influenced them. Or how maybe the league saw how dramatic that was and subtly encouraged it. But when that happened that was a very rare thing. Now it happens all the time and its annoying as hell to watch players do it. Probably every game its attempted at least 3 or 4 times. When the shot goes in and then they get the extra free throw its kind of cool but when they miss and now the player gets to shoot 3 free throws, it slows the game down. Plus its so blatant now. If the player clearly fouls you that’s one thing but when you bait the player or you make contact with them after the ball has left your hands, I don’t see why that’s a foul.

    20. The difference being that neither Pippen nor Jordan joined the Bulls in the middle of their dominance, if such a thing bothers you.

      It doesn’t bother me. I don’t understand why people get so riled up about it. Dude wants to play in a great organization. Seems pretty simple to me.

    21. I agree with the point that the biggest existential problem the league faces is that for 90% of the teams tanking is the best strategy. Perhaps, this too shall pass in terms of one team domination but whoever compares this to the Jordan Pippen Bulls is incorrect. First that team was built organically. Second for whatever reason there was significantly stiffer competition for those Bulls teams than there was this year. Look at the pt differential from even the 72 win team in the playoffs.

      I also agree that the 3 pt shot is making the game less fun. The rule changes plus the increased ability of players (or the increased focus on that shot by players and coaches) has made the game less interesting to watch. Too many teams playing the same style running the same plays. Too many wide open shots. NBA players should be able to hit a wide open 22′ shot. Too many players lacking multiple skills sets like Korver and Reddick. I think the one major change should be moving the line back and eliminating the corner. That would separate the great shooters from the merely NBA level shooters. It would actually open up the floor more but it would value a variety of skill sets and the ability to play inside.

      And those continuation calls are garbage.

    22. I could watch Durant and Curry every year without much issue. Would be no worse than watching Pippen and Jordan.

      The difference is that the Bulls were challenged in the East, most years by our beloved Knicks. And if Charles Smith makes a damn layup….

    23. @Owen it’s not about “the dude” it’s about the league. What is good for Durant is bad for the league. Same argument was had here last week. The ratings will bear this out.

      I, for one, lacked respect for Durant and still do. There is no story line or emotion to this win for him. We aren’t going to watch this and say “Wow! He finally did it.” The funny thing is that it to me it also waters down the greatness of Curry.

    24. I don’t mind KD joining GS either.

      I mean, they lost the finals last year and improved the team.

      Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?

      Lebron James is on his 6th consecutive finals for christ sake. If you wanna beat him, you better have a really good team.

    25. One thing that’s hurting the Cavs right now that few people are talking about is that Tristan Thompson has become useless. There was a time he was full of energy crashing the offensive boards giving the Cavs a lot of extra possessions. That was the one thing he brought to the table that could have an impact on the game. Now, not only is he not a major positive, he’s a negative.

    26. In 2015 and 2016 I watched almost every Warriors game. It was such a thrill to watch masterful basketball after 30 years of being in Knick prison (I was paroled following Linsanity:)

      This year, I barely watched any of the games of the entire league for exactly the reasons Frank laid out. Adding Durant to what was already the most dominant single season team ever turned the game from fun to pointless.

      I liken it to the 1998 Yankees, one of the single greatest baseball teams ever, assembled with a combination of rich homegrown talent and reclaimation projects, added Roger Cleamons (and then began a process of simply buying the best players on the market every winter), taking all the fun out of rooting for them.

      Really, the only answer the league has to re-instill competitive interest is to contract the 10 worst teams. (Say bye bye, New York Knicks:)

    27. The ratings will bear this out.

      I’m not sure what the ratings will be, but I shut the game off to watch the first week of “Next Food Network Star”.

      These are terrible basketball games. I love tennis also, but I was never interested in watching Federer or Nadal play great tennis while dominating their 1st round match. I was interested in seeing them square off and seeing what would happen when greatness matched up with greatness. There have been other teams in NBA history I think could have competed with these Warriors, but so far is doesn’t look like the Cavs are one of them even with James playing great basketball. This team is not even as good as last year’s team. Tristan Thompson has been useless, JR Smith has declined significantly, and the Warriors are better.

    28. I mean, the Knicks aren’t winning shit for the next few years, so might as well be the warriors. I agree their games are boring, and their fans are annoying, but that’s just my opinion. I can easily understand people who enjoy watching how incredibly good they are. I enjoyed the first half of the first two finals games. Next year? Maybe Iguodala finally gets old, or Steph gets hurt, or Draymond goes to rehab or KD decides to take his talents to south beach. I don’t think they need to change the rules because GS got lucky with their contracts and took advantage of some other teams mistakes.

    29. I propose 3 rule changes:

      1. Eliminate the corner 3

      2. 3 point shot worth 2.5 pts

      2. A layup or dunk counts for 3 points.

    30. @DRed. I assume the “they” you are referring to is the league. They will once they find out no one watches their season’s most important games and their sponsors start calling.

    31. Lebron James is on his 6th consecutive finals for christ sake.

      7th.

      If this year’s Warriors were the ’03 Spurs, I’d be dissatisfied with the quality of basketball. The Dubs are a joy to watch. Unselfish team players who seem to enjoy being around each other, and the “least likeable” one’s worst trait is playing dirty like he were a mid-90s Knick. I really can’t complain after last year’s all-time classic.

    32. This year’s playoffs being so bad were a result of some injuries (Kawhi, Thomas, Lowry, Conley, etc) and some bad luck. Maybe the best team in the East just missed the playoffs because of bad luck in the beginning of the year. If Miami beats Boston in round 1 and takes Cleveland to 7 games in the ECF (say), and maybe Denever isn’t coached by a moron and takes a game or two off GS and a healthy Spurs take them to 6 or 7, would people be screaming for rules changes because maybe the best team ever is putting a beating on Cleveland?

    33. @32 lmao

      @Jowles – Dubs are beautiful to watch but not necessarily that fun to watch. Most basketball fans not only want beautiful basketball but also high-leverage pressure situations. Those only come when the games are close. It’s definitely not the Warriors fault that they’re so much better than everyone else, but i do think it’s a problem for the league for the next few years.

    34. I think we are making too much of a big deal about this.

      Last year the Warriors built maybe the best team ever and almost lost in the conference finals. Then they faced the Cavs and lost. Being swept in the finals is not really an unprecedented thing either and GS also had a lot of luck with injuries in the playoffs. It’s entirely possible that they could had lost a couple of games if Kawhi, Parker, Lee, Gobbert, Hill and Nurkic hadn’t been injured and the narrative would be completely different. Let’s not rule out the Cavs at home either.

      We already had several three-peats before, the league survived and the Warriors has yet to win one. At some point they will decline and other team will take the “unbeatable” narrative.

      It sucks to be a fan of a non-contender but it was always this way.

    35. I do agree that this year could be an outlier in terms of the dramatic competitive imbalance. However, what I think you will see more concentration of talent at the top not more parity.

      For example, you will see George, Butler, Paul, Melo (fwiw) and the other top tier “available” players going to SA, Cleveland, Boston. (I think the LAC will take a bath this summer.) This may be good for next year’s playoffs. But it will also reenforce that concept that if you aren’t on that tier then tanking may be best for like 80%+ of the league.

    36. Watching the Warriors feels like this years All star game. I did not watch more than a quarter of the All star game this year.

    37. @32, LOL I was wondering when that was going to come up.

      The Warrior took advantage of something that never happened before in league history. It’s really the league’s own fault for helping create the apparent Warriors dynasty. A man wants to leave an organization that failed him (and OKC failed him horribly) and go to the organization that has all the perks and runs well. With people that are passionate about playing a style he favors and can pay him close to what he’s worth on the open market. Who says no to that?

      And as a basketball fan, I’m perfectly fine with it honestly. The Knicks weren’t going to be contenders during this stretch anyway, so let the Warriors work their way into the conversation of one of the best all-time teams/potential dynasty. I’m just looking for the Knicks to position themselves to try and be next up for serious contention. And to that end, it’s time to hoard picks like the 76ers and Celtics have. What I don’t want is for those teams (6ers or Celtics) or any other team to be significantly better than us when Lebron is done and the Warriors are on the back end of their run.

      And we haven’t seen if the Cavs can muster something once they get back home either. I doubt it, but stranger things have happened.

    38. The NBA is not just about the sport (for some of us, at least), it’s “drama.” Goliath getting his brother and the two of them pummeling David is just not very compelling theater.

    39. I think a point differential of +18 in the postseason (and getting LARGER in the finals) on top of being undefeated is probably unprecedented, and exceedingly boring to me.

      Actually the 1st half of yesterday’s game was pretty entertaining I guess.

    40. Ratings are actually up for this year’s Finals, but I’m not sure why.

      http://deadline.com/2017/06/nba-finals-game-2-tv-ratings-up-abc-1202107405/

      I do think it will be bad for the league to have one team running roughshod over everyone for years. Golden State is the 0.1%. I feel bad for fans of the 2nd-tier contenders. If you’re a Raptors fan or Clippers fan, what’s the point? You will never beat GS no matter how many PJ Tuckers and Carmelos you acquire. If you don’t have at least one Top 5 player and two more Top 25 players, forget it, you have no chance.

    41. The NBA is not just about the sport (for some of us, at least), it’s “drama.” Goliath getting his brother and the two of them pummeling David is just not very compelling theater.

      Not sure if we should call Lebron James “David”

    42. Not sure if we should call Lebron James “David”

      Ha, I knew I was going to get that comment. The Warriors were the favorites throughout the playoffs last year and went up 3-1 in the Finals… David doesn’t have to be LeBron.

    43. Ratings are actually up for this year’s Finals, but I’m not sure why.

      I think inevitably there’s going to be a lag. This year’s finals are basically piggybacking off of the massive hype generated from last year’s finals. The entire season felt like a buildup to this moment. It honestly would have been shocking if people hadn’t tuned in to games 1 and 2. The question is if this year’s finals play out the way it seems like they’re going to are people really going to tune in next year to watch it happen again?

    44. How did OKC fail Durant exactly? Because they didn’t resign Harden? Sure, Harden is a superstar but I feel like he left as much because he wanted to start and be the main guy on a team as much as OKC didn’t want to pay him. And if I’m not mistaken wasn’t Adams a draft pick that they got from Harden leaving? Last year they took the Warriors to 7 games and lost partly because Durant didn’t come up big in game 7. Pretty much the entire time Durant has been at OKC they’ve gotten to at least the second round, several WCF and the Finals and last year’s team was their best version since the beginning of that team. One more key role player addition to that team or you know, Durant being more clutch (looking at you Jowles!) and OKC could be in the Finals. I get that not every move they made was great since they drafted Durant and Westbrook, but they’ve remained competitive every year. I feel like they would have punched through and won a championship one year if he’d remained patient and stayed. But he wanted the easy path.

    45. But he wanted the easy path.

      I loved watching OKC every year after the Knicks were eliminated, so I was really disappointed too. But making a decision between two employers is a little more complicated than that. I am sure KD wanting to stay loyal and keep trying for a title in OKC was one reason to stay, but a host of other reasons to leave obviously won out… I think it’s on the league to make any changes that need to be made, not the players.

    46. How did OKC fail Durant exactly? Because they didn’t resign Harden? Sure,

      fixed it for you

    47. OKC could have easily won a chip if they didn’t trade Harden for KEVIN MARTIN

      that could very well be the worst trade of all time. What are the other candidates? The Stepien trade leading to the Stepien rule + Worthy pick by the Lakers? The Eddy Curry trade? The Bargs trade? (I’m seeing a pattern here)

    48. OKC could have easily won a chip last year if Klay didn’t have one of the all-time great shooting performances in game 6. At the same time I imagine playing with Russell Westbrook for a scorer as highly skilled as Durant wouldn’t be fun at all.

    49. Last year they took the Warriors to 7 games and lost partly because Durant didn’t come up big in game 7.

      So wait, 27 points on 21 TSA (.650 TS%) isn’t coming up big against the league’s first 73-win team?

      You sure it had nothing to do with Russ’s 7-21 shooting performance? Or Waiters’s 2-9? Or Andre Roberson’s 2-11? Or Steven Adams’s 4-11?

      Nah, it was definitely Durant for not helping his teammates shoot better than 15-52. You right.

    50. OKC could have easily won a chip if they didn’t trade Harden for KEVIN MARTIN

      They were never beating Golden State.

    51. They were literally one Klay Thompson supernova away from beating the 73 win iteration last year

      they could’ve won w Harden.

    52. OKC could have easily won a chip last year if Klay didn’t have one of the all-time great shooting performances in game 6.

      So basically, OKC would have won if it weren’t for a Warrior playing better than them.

      What?

    53. They were never beating Golden State.

      Yeah, they only pushed them to 7 games last year. Silly to think they had any chance of winning that series after going up 3-1. What was I thinking?

    54. OKC could have easily won a chip if they didn’t trade Harden for KEVIN MARTIN

      I will leave the search for THCJ, but I recall a lot of posters here claiming that the trade was good because Kevin Martin was giving exactly the same production Harden used to had for a fraction of the price. LOL!

    55. @54

      there’s an incredible difference between “average Klay performance on 2015-16 GSW” and “41 point Klay Thompson game w 11 made 3s setting an NBA record”

    56. Yeah, they only pushed them to 7 games last year. Silly to think they had any chance of winning that series after going up 3-1. What was I thinking?

      That was OKC’s ceiling and they still couldn’t do it. Durant realized he will never have matched Golden State and left.

    57. How did OKC fail Durant exactly? Because they didn’t resign Harden? Sure, Harden is a superstar but I feel like he left as much because he wanted to start and be the main guy on a team as much as OKC didn’t want to pay him. And if I’m not mistaken wasn’t Adams a draft pick that they got from Harden leaving? Last year they took the Warriors to 7 games and lost partly because Durant didn’t come up big in game 7. Pretty much the entire time Durant has been at OKC they’ve gotten to at least the second round, several WCF and the Finals and last year’s team was their best version since the beginning of that team. One more key role player addition to that team or you know, Durant being more clutch (looking at you Jowles!) and OKC could be in the Finals. I get that not every move they made was great since they drafted Durant and Westbrook, but they’ve remained competitive every year. I feel like they would have punched through and won a championship one year if he’d remained patient and stayed. But he wanted the easy path.

      Partially the Harden thing. Betting on Kendrick Perkins being the missing piece is another. Not trying to get a real distributor so that Russ can stop being so ball dominant is another. It’s not fun playing with a ball hog. And Russ is who he is, he’s likely not going to change his mentality, so it’s up to the management and/or coaching staff to pull the ball out of Westbrook’s hands.

      For my money, he’s been patient. He’s been in the league for 9 years now. He probably has another 5 years being as good as he is now. Why would he not maximize his potential? I’m sure he wanted to be loyal, but OKC looked like they had a ceiling with him on it. They were not putting shooters around him and Westbrook. Ibaka was regressing. And the team with a higher ceiling came calling and offered to make basketball life easier, pay you about the same and a role that fits you better than the one you’re already doing.

    58. I’d much rather live in the bay area than in Oklahoma City

      Net worth: $100,000? OKC.

      Net worth: $100,000,000? San Francisco/Berkeley/Walnut Creek. No question.

    59. I’d like to see the corner 2 removed.
      I’d like a rule preventing vets from getting waived and signing on w/ contenders.
      I’d like the continuation rule changed as applies to jumpers, that unless you are fouled while already in the act of shooting, it’s a foul on the floor.
      I’d like a rule where the guards playing against Zaza get to wear helmets.

      The rest of it, leave it alone. GS is great, but you can’t argue the fact that the personalities gel and are unselfish. Guys signing for below market to be a part of it, I have no problem w/ that….they are leaving $$ on the table. You could take Melo or Harden or a dozen other guys, double their skills to equal KD or Curry…..they still would not put in the EFFORT to play D like Durant, Klay or even Iggy. You can’t really call it unfair when a great deal of their success is they flat out play their asses off on both ends, unselfishly.

    60. The only worry I have with making 3 pointers more difficult by extending the line/eliminating the corner 3 like i suggested is that it might make GSW even better in comparison to the rest of the league, since none of their 3 point shooters are reliant on corner 3s/most of their shooters have unlimited range unlike every other team in the league is for 3 pt productivity.

    61. @64 kind of like the PGA tried to Tiger-proof golf. The thing is what happens up happening is that their true greatness will at least be more evident as was the case with Tiger. But also maybe Klay and/or Draymond cant hit 35%+ from that deeper range. That would completely change the game.

    62. Things are a touch lopsided but as much as I enjoyed the 90’s Knicks and the toughness and grit that Oak and Mason embodied, it’s pretty hard to feel that much nostalgia for a bygone age of unlimited contact and unregulated handchecking. It was often brutal and boring to watch, the OJ Anderson basketball era.

      I don’t mind the three point bombing. Some people might find it boring to see Steph Curry pull up from the hashmark and swish it. I do not. I think it’s pretty exciting actually that features of the floor never before remarked upon are suddenly becoming relevant.

      I don’t know, there have been tons of uncompetitive series before. I far prefer to see a team like GS out there dominating than, say, the Duncan Spurs. Watching Durant and Curry is damn fun in my book.

    63. https://streamable.com/8fzr0

      Look at the way Curry keeps Korver in no-man’s-land with his eyes, Iguodala stays near the line to let Curry OR Livingston have space to operate, and Richard Jefferson — waiting for his man to get into the halfcourt — gets caught guarding a passing lane because of the threat of an open Klay three.

      You can’t change the rules to stop this. If you push the three-point line out, they’d just have more room to drive and dish.

    64. why would you want to change the rules to fix this? this is skill. let others develop it.

    65. I think its a combination of feeling like the Warriors are way better than everyone else AND the style of play is basically the same style that everyone plays.

      I know I probably look back on the 90s with rose colored glasses (and not just with hoops), but back then you had different teams doing different styles. You had the run and gun Suns and Warriors, you had the grind it out defensive teams like the Knicks, then you had the Bulls running the Triangle. It was fun bc you could see different teams with different styles go against each other and sometimes certain styles would win and other times other styles would win. No one could stop the bad boy pistons there for awhile. You had the showtime lakers in the 80s running and gunning. As soon as one team became dominant with one style, another team would come along. Until the Bulls of course…but I found the end of their 3peat boring for the same reason I don’t like this now.

      But now not only are the Warriors so much better than everyone, everyone basically plays the same brand of basketball. And I think its a little boring. I love 3 pointers but now so many players Heat check or take bad 3s just to get back into the game. The statistics have pushed everyone to this but I can’t wait till a team comes along and smashes that to bits.

    66. I could see changing the corner 3; it’s too easy now, and doing so might encourage some teams to focus more on the post. but, beyond that, unless you move the entire line back, why make drastic changes? I know GS is good, but if they win, we will be talking about a team that has won 2 of 3. That’s hardly absolute domination. We can’t give them credit for the 2 more they are likely to win. If we want to make it more competitive we should just outlay Lebron and Garnett from trying so hard.

    67. That’s a good take. Reasonable people can disagree about this. But I like watching Curry and Durant play together.

    68. Yeah, I always figured living in the earthquake and tornado capital of the US would be unappealing. Maybe Durant really liked Seattle and SF was as close as he could get?

      There’s nothing wrong with the rules. The Warriors were built mostly organically, got lucky on player development/contracts, had lots of cap space to fill out the roster. It’s a rare combo and none of the proposed rule changes would affect it much.

    69. It’s not as exciting as last year, but I don’t mind how dominant the Warriors are. It’s beautiful team basketball, and I can always turn off the game early and do something else with my time.

    70. Reub find more YouTube vids please of that kid who is Jordan 2. We should trade up and draft him.

    71. That was Hamidou Diallo. We’ll have to wait til next year for that one. :)

    72. How about readjusting point values for the following:

      1. Change 3 point shots to 4 points
      2. Make all shots in the paint worth 4 points. Maybe even go with the trapezoid paint area
      3. Have all shots in between worth 3 points.
      4. Make all free throws one-and-ones.

      Even if the league just changes paint shots to 3 points, that’ll reincentivize post play and dribble penetration. And, ironically enough, that by itself would probably make DRose a max player.

    73. Why not eliminate the three point shot?
      While they are at it, eliminate carrying, cuffing or otherwise cradling and making like a running back with the basketball. I think that is not so much an issue but it was Marbury’s pet move and always looked so unbasketballish.

      As for GS, I loathe LeBron and the nauseating amount of endless LeBron or Jordan blah blah blah that you get anytime you dial into a sports talk station, in particular ESPN. I am loving the beatdown, but I was last year and wound up disappointed.

    74. The Warriors are the result of quite a few anomalous things so I think it’s pretty important to not overreact. That said, I think the max salary system is both unfair and inevitably leads to unequal talent distribution around the league. So if the owners are serious about increasing parity, they can start, and probably come close to finishing, by eliminating the rule they installed in order to protect themselves from being too stupid.

      I personally find the current situation a bit unfortunate as while I really do love watching the Warriors, the games tend to be over pretty quickly and this was the least I’ve been intrigued by the NBA playoffs since I’ve been a fan. The only party I blame is the owners collectively, as Durant and the Warriors’ front office both made decisions that were objectively good. It simply isn’t their job to care about some vague, subjective notion of the “health” of the NBA or whatever.

    75. Let’s eliminate the shot clock, while we’re at it. How about getting rid of the free throw? Maybe we can narrow the rim by another inch. And raise it to 12 feet.

      Last year’s Finals were amazing and this year they’re not! Burn the witch!

    76. The NBA will never redefine the game during a dynasty’s run. They didn’t do it to stop the 1960s Celtics run or the 1990s Bulls run to accommodate their competitors so why do people believe that it will happen during the 2010s Warriors run? If there is a player who has an unfair advantage I can see them instituting a 3 second rule like they did with Wilt or a palming penalty like what was attempted with Iverson. But they’re not going to penalize a team for perfecting a brand of basketball the league has legislated for a decade and a half since the end of the Jordan era.

    77. Ratings were at an all-time low when Tim Duncan was wearing people down with grinding half-court defense and 12-foot shots off the glass. This brand of basketball is beautiful — Warriors, Cavs, Spurs, Rockets all are playing it. The Warriors just got lucky after years of being smart. Let’s end the “fix the game” discussion. We all know that max contracts are the culprit. The NBPA will never let the 95th percentile players have the share they deserve.

    78. You know what’s weird. This is the owners fault in their infinite greed.

      The stupid salary cap, the stupid max salary, The new collective bargaining to stop super teams. These dudes are amazing at sabotaging themselves

    79. The NBA will be fine in a couple years. Franchise crippling trades like what Brooklyn did to itself (and what most of us want the Clippers to do for Melo) should be outlawed in the league, not the forming of teams like GSW. They drafted well and made moves in Free Agency while hiring the next Gregg Popovich (damn what anybody says about Brad Stevens).

    80. I’m not really for changing the rules because of gsw dominance–I think that was mostly the stars aligning. But I would like to see the 3 point shot just *slightly* deemphasized because it’s so clearly, obviously better than any other strategy (as D’Antoni showed us with his extremely overperforming Houston team this year.) I want more parity and variety in the league, so give me a slightly longer three point line (which would open up spacing that rewards drives while simultaneously discourage hoisting up 3s) mayybeeee doing away w the corner 3, and eliminating the individual max and I’ll be content w riding out the golden state dynasty

      I feel like that’s relatively reasonable. Am I wrong?

    81. Yeah I don’t fault the warriors at all.

      I honestly think the max salary will be eliminated in the next deal. It’s the only way to spread out top talent

    82. What I don’t like about some of the Durant talk is that the guy obviously didn’t like playing with Westbrook. I keep on seeing stuff like, “He betrayed his brother” or whatever. Dude clearly didn’t like playing with Westbrook, so whatever else you think about the guy, him not wanting to play with a guy he didn’t like playing with was a notable factor and it’s hard for me to give him much guff about it. The money is the same either place, so it’s a matter of playing for a much better team in a much better city with players he likes playing with (and is friends with outside the court) versus playing for a worse team in a city that shouldn’t have an NBA team period with a player he didn’t like playing with (that he was not friends with off the court).

      So you’re going to pick the second one just to appease anonymous fans who think you’re not being a good enough competitor for leaving when they would then give you shit for not winning a title with OKC if you stayed? Come on.

      Now, you want to blame the league for having max salaries, sure, I’m down with that. I don’t like that rule myself, either.

    83. Minus 3 points for airballs on 3 pt attempts inside half court!

      1-fling and pray for whistle now riskier
      2-airball rate probably higher on corner 3s
      3-crowd would dig it; like an interception
      4- ~2.5pct airballs rate means not just a gimmick but doesn’t totally change the game
      5-Knicks would def be first to lose a game by airballing a 3 in a last second tie game

    84. Maybe *rubs the genie jar and asks for a wish* Durant re-signs and Kerr says, we need more defense and more touches for Durant & Steph- which then leads them to trading Klay for Lee & KOQ.

      *Totes McGoats punches himself in the face for even dreaming of that scenario*

    85. Another thing that’s important to note is parity goes both ways, and the Warriors don’t force other teams to make the plethora of decisions that are clearly stupid.

      As we know all too well (maybe better than anyone else), these decisions are quite common and contribute to the huge difference between the NBA’s rich and poor. If just these blatantly obviously dumb decisions were no longer made, this would be way less of an issue despite the Warriors’ talent accumulation.

      Basically the Warriors have raised the stakes for everyone. The margin of error for bad decision making is slimmer than ever, because the best front offices have all but eliminated poor decision making.

    86. What I don’t like about some of the Durant talk is that the guy obviously didn’t like playing with Westbrook. I keep on seeing stuff like, “He betrayed his brother” or whatever. Dude clearly didn’t like playing with Westbrook, so whatever else you think about the guy, him not wanting to play with a guy he didn’t like playing with was a notable factor and it’s hard for me to give him much guff about it.

      I have one problem with this view (even though it certainly may have played a part). Until Durant bailed on OKC the public perception was that he had a great relationship with Westbrook and he absolutely loved playing in OKC.

      No one ever questioned that because any time there were any controversies they always went to bat for each other in the strongest possible way & said so. Whenever Westbrook was criticized for his shot selection and usage relative to Durant’s, it was always Durant that trashed the media in the strongest possible way suggesting that Westbrook had to play that way for OKC to be successful and that all the journalists didn’t understand the game.

      On top of that, Westbrook’s reaction to Durant leaving suggests he thought the relationship was extremely close. He was obviously deeply hurt by the move.

      I think Durant looked at GS, saw how good they were, got terrified that his legacy was going to be that of the great player that never won a ring, and rather than take that risk, he bolted. Then he started searching for rationalizations for what deep inside he knows was a move prompted by a character flaw. A flaw that’s still gnawing at him. That’s why he’s still out there talking about it. He’s still not comfortable with it so he’s trying to convince himself and everyone else that he left for other reasons.

    87. Re my use of the term “character flaw”.

      One of the reasons a lot of very talented people never reach individual greatness in their field is that they aren’t competitive and mentally strong enough. They actually FEAR competition because they fear the emotional pain of failure so much, it overwhelms their desire to win. Others have little or no fear of failure. They throw themselves to the wolves and actively search for the challenges that will prove their greatness. Those challenges then help develop their greatness.

      To guys like us, this may seem like nonsense because we are so far removed from that kind of thing. But it’s not some bat shit crazy idea. I’ve seen this among competitors at the highest level. At that level, winning is partly mental. In team sports you have a semi graceful way out from that fear of failure that you don’t have in individual sports. You can team up with other great players and increase the probability of winning and share the responsibility of losing.

    88. I have one problem with this view (even though it certainly may have played a part). Until Durant bailed on OKC the public perception was that he had a great relationship with Westbrook and he absolutely loved playing in OKC.

      That was the public perception because there’s no benefit in putting it out there that you don’t like playing with a guy you’re stuck playing with. I mean, seriously, what kind of moronic thing would it be for Durant to tell the world back when he was on OKC that he and Westbrook didn’t hang out off the court? Who could that possibly benefit (well, besides Stephen A. Smith, of course)? Westbrook said he was surprised that Durant left, but also note how he says that they communicated with each other. It was just the occasional text. They clearly weren’t real friends. On the other hand, Durant was actually friends with Draymond Green BEFORE he left for San Francisco. As in “hang out with during the offseason” friends.

    89. You guys want to remove the basket and the ball and Theo was the one who got banned?

    90. like, I enjoy human interest speculation as much as the next guy, but y’all realize we’re trafficking in bullshit when we try to spelunk into Kevin Durant’s innermost emotions, right

    91. No, no one knows anything about themselves and fans know more about individual sports players than the players could hope to know about themselves

      Armchair psychology!

    92. >be Big 12 Player of the Year
      >be #2 overall pick
      >don’t bust
      >be Rookie of the Year
      >make 5 consecutive All-NBA 1st teams
      >make 2 subsequent All-NBA 2nd teams because people got tired of you being so good at basketball
      >be 4-time NBA scoring champion
      >be FIBA World Championship MVP
      >be MVP of the most competitive basketball league in the world
      >shoot .650 TS% on 19 FGA in a game 7 that your team loses
      >have random idiot on a blog say you lack the heart of a champion because you decided to be a millionaire in the Bay Area instead of passing your kick-outs to Andre Roberson

      checks out

    93. I’d much rather talk about stealing Rubio, drafting Jonathan Isaac, and trading back into the 1st round for the 12 or 15 pick than Durant and the Warriors.

    94. So Kevin Durant doesn’t have the mental fortitude to succeed, because he switched teams in order to succeed.

      Word.

    95. Re: trading up for Lonzo if he somehow falls to 4th or 5th

      What would we have to give up to Orlando or Sacto?

      We’ve two good young players, one of whom dumb teams like Orlando & Sacto probably don’t think is any good, and one who we’re probably not trading to move up. So future picks maybe?

    96. Would you give up our 2018 first and our #8 to move up for Lonzo?

      I’d do it in a heartbeat 1. because we’re not gonna be bad enough to be bottom 5 and get Doncic et al (the draft class after 5 or 6 is p meh imo) and 2. because Ball might be the best prospect of either draft class

    97. Yeah, probably, but with the caveat that I know absolutely nothing about next year’s draft class

    98. From my impression next year’s draft class is strong ina top heavy way where 3/5 of the top 5 picks will become very good players but I don’t see much depth really.

    99. If we can get back into the back end of the first round I wouldn’t mind taking a stab at Juwan Evans, especially if we draft Ntilikina or a non-PG

    100. Juwan Evans looks p good relative to his draft position and has projected p well in the models I’ve seen (I’ve only seen like three models tho)

    101. I’m not a big fan of teams taking 30+ 3pt attempts per game. The 3pt shot should be a specialty shot. To me, basketball was at its best from mid-80s to mid-90s. Bird vs. Magic was my kind of basketball, even though I disliked both teams.

    102. i wouldn’t move up for lonzo…. for fultz yeah… and for fox or smith it would be close….

      our draft fortunes would be about 10x better if we just won that coinflip with minny….

    103. DJ I know you’re low on Lonzo, but why? Is it because of the low volume fta and low volume of two pointers/his wonky form?

      Because I think he’ll mature into an average or slightly above average defender (like curry did) and he’ll be positively elite at spotup 3s and distributing, which is more than can be said for some of the other similarly related prospects. And he’s universally considered the best prospect according to draft models.

    104. The NBA will never redefine the game during a dynasty’s run. They didn’t do it to stop the 1960s Celtics run or the 1990s Bulls run to accommodate their competitors

      The league actually did intervene during the Bulls run in the ’90s by shortening the 3 pt line to help the offensively challenged teams that were built specifically to physically stop the Bulls actually put points up on the board. Of course, the plan failed, as Jordan went from a 24% 3pt shooter to a 43% shooter. But the league did try, because they wanted a better product than the current rules were allowing for.

    105. Juwan’s 2pt % is a red flag, bit late first, early second I think he’s worth a shot

    106. I’m annoyed everyone just breezed right past my brilliant 4 point shot plan.

      Sorry, DRed. Somewhere out there, Antoine Walker sheds a single, solitary tear, and knows in his heart that it was all worth it.

    107. I would like to add that I fucking love three pointers. After those D’Antoni squads, I’ve realized there is nothing like that glorious barrage when an entire team gets hot from deep.

    108. i’m lower than most on lonzo because he only avg’ed 4.7 2pers per 40… which is about half what normal ppl take… and i’m pretty sure over half of those were in transition… so the .700 on 2p’ers is a bit of a mirage… taking so few 2p’ers and thus free throws is a huge red flag to me… you can’t really get away with that in the pros if you plan on playing in any kind of pnr and it’s also by the far the hardest skill to develop…. the models… i am pretty sure are not keeping track of his attempts since they are so extreme and just look at his efficiency and TS.. which is a mistake…

      if he’s not willing to drive into the paint or does so inefficiently then his value goes way down… and simultaneously increases his bust potential… how many assists can he get if he’s always just spotting up? to me.. he’s more calderon(low usage, low ftr, good 3p%) than kidd(high usage, high ftr)…

      i still think someone like that has value so he’s the last guy in my top 8 tho still significantly better than your usual mid lotto pick… he’s still head and shoulders better than smart or dunn or mudiay were for example…

    109. and the reason volume matters is because scoring in the nba is extremely difficult.. you get put in a million different scenarios just around the basket to try and score… so someone who’s not as efficient but scores a ton in a variety of ways has a better shot at succeeding in the pros than someone who’s more efficient but on low volume… ideally you want both but if you had to choose one.. you would choose volume because it shows a level of creativity that is required when you have bodies flying around you faster and quicker… to get them to be good you just have to put them in better positions to score efficiently or have some control in their shot selection….

      for guys who don’t shoot as much it’s going to be tougher for them to stop being as guns shy in much tougher environments…. that’s why someone like fox and smith are better than ball as a prospect.. they have volume… if less but still good efficiency… in the spots that translate to the pros…

    110. Cleveland needs to trade for Melo pronto. They have to match Golden States fire power.
      #becausepoints

    111. so someone who’s not as efficient but scores a ton in a variety of ways has a better shot at succeeding in the pros than someone who’s more efficient but on low volume…

      hey it’s me ur Carmelo

    112. Until Durant bailed on OKC the public perception was that he had a great relationship with Westbrook and he absolutely loved playing in OKC.

      I know from a previous thread that you are a traditional marriage kind of guy, but doesn’t this illustrate that lifetime contracts can be onerous? It seems like Durant tried to make it work in OKC while he was committed to it, but when given the option to evaluate the relationship, he chose to seek happiness elsewhere instead of gutting out “in the best interests of the kids”.

    113. @124 great analogy. I think it fits, he sure seems happy about his decision now.

    114. I agree about Ball. In the NBA low volume is fine but it’s a huge red flag in college. If he is truly a potential star he should be more dominant in all ways not just passing against inferior competition. I want to see him be more aggressive and assert his will more. As it is he is a huge question mark. There has never really been a prospect like him and he could be great but I think he has the highest bust potential out of anyone in the conversation for top 5.

    115. My kind of basketball is Curry smoking Lebron off the dribble, Durant hitting that beautiful post fade away over lbj, LeBron steamrolling to the rim. I like the 3 -that shot when it open things up for those plays. The sky hook. The dream shake.

      I don’t like it when guy just bomb away w/o considering looking for a higher percentage 2 pointer.

    116. That was the public perception because there’s no benefit in putting it out there that you don’t like playing with a guy you’re stuck playing with. I mean, seriously, what kind of moronic thing would it be for Durant to tell the world back when he was on OKC that he and Westbrook didn’t hang out off the court? Who could that possibly benefit (well, besides Stephen A. Smith, of course)? Westbrook said he was surprised that Durant left, but also note how he says that they communicated with each other.

      I understand and completely agree that it would make no sense for Durant to publicly declare he didn’t like playing with Westbrook. That would be insanity. But there’s a HUGE difference between keeping quiet about something like that and aggressively defending him to every ex player, basketball writer, call in talk radio show, and fan that suggested that Westbrook didn’t share the ball enough, took too many shots, and had bad shot selection. That’s what Durant did. He practically called everyone that criticized Westbrook an idiot that didn’t understand basketball.

      That would be like Phil Jackson being on the same club as Mike D’Antoni and going all out to defend the heavy use of P&Rs, high volume of 3 pointers, and run and gun offense etc… and then after leaving saying he never liked playing that way.

    117. There is no question that top players value rings. None of them wants to be the star that doesn’t win a ring. IMO, they are wrong to do so, but to a large extent that’s how players measure THEMSELVES. You see in interviews, articles, and in the current drive to create these super teams. It’s all about winning rings PERIOD.

      Do you think anyone would be having a discussion about CP3 going to the Spurs if it wasn’t because everyone knows how badly Chris Paul wants a ring? It’s the nuttiest idea ever other than the ring potential.

      Would Phil suggesting Melo would be better off on another team make any sense at all (and it’s the best advice he’s ever gotten) other than he knows Melo won’t win a ring in NY?

      Do you think Charles, Patrick, Karl, and all the other all time greats that were denied a ring enjoy being measured partly by that failure?

      The reason some of you guys don’t understand that fear of failure is a character flaw that even great athletes have to cope with is because you have no personal experience with it and never discussed it with someone that was one of the greatest to ever live at what he did.

      I had the opportunity to be close friends with an all time great.

      If I told you his name, you would not recognize it. The reason you would not recognize it is because he was afraid of public failure in an individual sport and refused to play in tournaments that would have potentially either proved his greatness or proved he was not up to the task. It takes inner strength to go into battle when you know you are outgunned and will be judged by your success and failure.

      Kevin Durant left OKC and went to GS for an easier path to a ring even though he was on a team that was within inches of being good enough to win one. Everything else was a side benefit that is now being used to justify the move so he doesn’t look weak.

    118. I understand and completely agree that it would make no sense for Durant to publicly declare he didn’t like playing with Westbrook. That would be insanity. But there’s a HUGE difference between keeping quiet about something like that and aggressively defending him to every ex player, basketball writer, call in talk radio show, and fan that suggested that Westbrook didn’t share the ball enough, took too many shots, and had bad shot selection. That’s what Durant did. He practically called everyone that criticized Westbrook an idiot that didn’t understand basketball.

      That would be like Phil Jackson being on the same club as Mike D’Antoni and going all out to defend the heavy use of P&Rs, high volume of 3 pointers, and run and gun offense etc… and then after leaving saying he never liked playing that way.

      Not only is Durant a good teammate, but he also famously dislikes the media, so nothing about him defending his teammate seems out of the ordinary.

      Again, note that noone has disputed Durant’s claim that they weren’t friends off the court, including Westbrook, who surely had all the reason in the world to throw Durant under the bus if they were, indeed, friends, when Durant said that they weren’t.

      Again, this has nothing to do with any other complaint about Durant leaving (I don’t agree with them either, but this is not about them). This is just about whether Durant “left his friend behind” or whatever.

    119. There is no question that top players value rings. None of them wants to be the star that doesn’t win a ring. IMO, they are wrong to do so, but to a large extent that’s how players measure THEMSELVES. You see in interviews, articles, and in the current drive to create these super teams. It’s all about winning rings PERIOD.

      I agree that players want to win championships, but it is not a “character flaw” for them to want to win championships.

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