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@nomad Probably not, but we're also kind of due aganst them.

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Practice Report: Russell Westbrook gets honest about defense

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To Mayberry's point, it's a little sad that the Thunder's slump has overshadowed the fact that Westbrook is BACK. I mean, for a while there, it seemed like his career was in jeopardy because of his knee. (Maybe it still is, but let's not think about that.) But, even if the Thunder are still working it out, it's so awesome that RW doesn't appear to have lost a step. Given everything, he could (a) be a heck of a lot rustier or (b) remain on the sidelines (ala Derrick Rose). Instead, he's been pretty damn good.

4 months, 1 week ago on Friday Bolts – 3.14.14

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Zach Lowe is the best NBA writer out there. Real analysis, investigation, and thought; little hype.

11 months, 4 weeks ago on Tuesday Bolts – 7.30.13

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Holy crap: the lady who finds her dog video.  So moving.

Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way, Oklahoma. 

1 year, 2 months ago on Tuesday Bolts – 5.21.13

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@f5alcon @divisadero When? He didn't want to talk about an extension during the season, which usually means a player wants $$$ in free agency, which he'll probably get. He's a good starting PG but a great off-the-bench PG, if that makes sense. I mainly like his attitude, which is what the W's need and is often undervalued.

1 year, 2 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 5.16.13

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Noticed that somebody in ESPN's 5-on-5 mentioned OKC picking up Jarrett Jack next year.

As a Ws fan first and foremost, I sincerely hope they can keep him although it's looking doubtful. As much as I like Reggie, JJ is awesome and would be a big upgrade.  He's a lot like RW in that he just brings it every night. He keeps the energy level and production up with the second team but fits in very well with the first team. He's not afraid to take big shots, yet he's a great and generally unselfish teammate. I never really followed him before, but he became one of my favorite players this year. Anyhow, OKC probably won't pick him up as he'll demand a starter's salary and it doesn't seem like they could afford both Martin and JJ, but it would be really fun if the did. Y'all would love him.

1 year, 2 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 5.16.13

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Houstonians mocking others about being overweight is about as rich as the Dairy Queen double-fudge cookie dough blizzards the average Houstonian drinks like tap water.

[Fun Fact: Houston is consistently one of America's most obese cities. E.g., http://www.mensfitness.com/training/lose-weight/the-fittest-and-fattest-cities-in-america.] 

1 year, 2 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 5.1.13

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Good to see Russ getting some attention.  It can't be easy playing in a small market, being #2 on your own team, and being routinely vilified by certain media members.

1 year, 3 months ago on Durant third, Westbrook 12th in jersey sales

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I hate it when I troll myself by seeing what the Denver Stiffs are saying before, during, or after such games.  Hatin'st haters in all Haterdom. They are collectively like an unfunny Silky Johnson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N5p8IXzNdc

1 year, 4 months ago on Nuggets vs. Thunder: Pregame Primer

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Two notes:

 

(1) I like that KD is stepping up his vocab game (i.e., "verbatim" and "rescinded").

 

(2) Not that I know all that much about hard drugs, but I'm pretty sure "heroin" is a poor pit to describe Russell's game. Maybe cocaine or meth would be better?  Or better yet, that serum that Willem Defoe took to become the Green Goblin?

1 year, 4 months ago on Thunder stave off desperate Lakers, 122-105

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I've noticed that Marc Stein simply cannot credit Westbrook without simultaneously taking a dig at him.  It's uncanny. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Tuesday Bolts – 2.12.13

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 @Durienne Sure.  But I was thinking without a basketball.

1 year, 5 months ago on New Daily Thunder.com Friday Bolts – 2.8.13 | New Daily Thunder.com

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 @Fezzy  @[censored]  @lmp5336 Bolt would win in a scoring hot Scandinavian chicks contest. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/usain-bolt-parties-with-three-of-the-swedish-1230004.  Although, let's face it, they both ooze swag.

1 year, 5 months ago on New Daily Thunder.com Friday Bolts – 2.8.13 | New Daily Thunder.com

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 @f5alcon Possible, for sure.  But I'm pretty sure Bolt is pretty damn fast in the short distance too. He may not have the fastest starts in the 100, but a large part of that is because he's competing against the world's fastest human beings.

1 year, 5 months ago on New Daily Thunder.com Friday Bolts – 2.8.13 | New Daily Thunder.com

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Bolt and Westbrook NEED to have a half-court race. My money is on Bolt, but I don't think Russ would fare poorly,

1 year, 5 months ago on New Daily Thunder.com Friday Bolts – 2.8.13 | New Daily Thunder.com

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Remind me not to make Perk the GM of my team.

1 year, 5 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 1.31.13

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 @f5alcon Love to see them try to cope with Russ killing them.  Remember when they used to passionately argue that Ty Lawson would be the better PG? . . . yeah.

1 year, 6 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 1.17.13

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The Papa John's commercial was great . . . until Papa John--aka the least charismatic man in America (and now Russia)--appeared on screen.

1 year, 6 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 1.3.13

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 @SolidLenin8  @DXL Boom!

1 year, 7 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 12.12.12

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It's ABOUT TIME someone compared the Thunder to the TMNT. 

1 year, 7 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 12.11.12

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 @Crow There's only so far you can take the statistical-never-won-a-title arguments.  Every single year, a team wins the title in some way that defies past statistics.  This is because there are simply a buttload of statistics out there.  Anyhow, I don't necessarily disagree with your broader point, but the never-won-a-title stuff just doesn't seem to mean a whole lot IMO with reference to narrower statistical categories.

1 year, 7 months ago on Thunder Player Power Rankings: Russell, the hero

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 @sammasaaron  @Fuzzy Logic Fantastic: "effeminate raptor" 

1 year, 8 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 11.15.12

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Memphis fans enjoying troglodyte Gasol's cheap shot on Russ . . . makes . . . Hulk . . . ANGRY!

1 year, 8 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 11.15.12

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I like the two-tone.  Always has a classic feel.  Otherwise, meh.

1 year, 8 months ago on Thunder unveil alternate, to wear it Friday against Detroit

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 @MissYouCole That seems like pretty flimsy evidence to level an accusation of racism, but to each his or her own. I read Simmons fairly regularly (omitting everything about the Red Sox or his extreme Patriots homerism in the mid-2000's), and I frankly don't see it. Like I said, to each his or her own.

1 year, 8 months ago on Sunday Bolts – Bye-bye Beard Edition

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 @MissYouCole You completely lost me at "extremely thin veiled racist overtones." ??? Anyhow, I'll still take Simmons' analysis, warts and all, over 97% of the other basketball analysts.

 

Incidentally, I didn't mean to infer that you or anybody else is necessarily a blowhard.  My point was simply that internet forums like this one kind of center around blowhardism (e.g., people spouting off opinions a little too strongly), and so it's strange to call out someone like Simmons on that account. 

1 year, 8 months ago on Sunday Bolts – Bye-bye Beard Edition

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 @MissYouCole As opposed to anonymous posters on an internet forum?  Simmons certainly has his moments, but he's still one of the best basketball analysts in the media. (Which isn't to say, of course, that his opinions should be taken as the gospel.)

1 year, 8 months ago on Sunday Bolts – Bye-bye Beard Edition

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 @Legendary_Dork Thanks.

1 year, 8 months ago on Sunday Bolts – Bye-bye Beard Edition

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 @Legendary_Dork Source?

1 year, 8 months ago on Sunday Bolts – Bye-bye Beard Edition

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FYI: Simmons is basically tweeting an entire article on the trade: http://twitter.com/sportsguy33.  His general take is that OKC low-balled Harden/didn't think he is a max player.

1 year, 8 months ago on Sunday Bolts – Bye-bye Beard Edition

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 @Bsooreal Two points:

 

(1) Javale McGee is awesome on a great number of levels.  Here's one--he rides around Denver on an all-terrain Segway: http://deadspin.com/5945061/heres-a-picture-of-javale-mcgee-riding-his-segway

 

(2) Urkel, Jaleel White version, once hit on my girlfriend when all three of us were at UCLA.  To my everlasting gratitude and ego, she turned him down.

1 year, 9 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 10.25.12

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 @FletchMFletcher The question: "How many weeks will it take the national media and Lakers fans to freak out when the Lakers start off slowly in spite of their lofty expectations?"

 

(It was a Jeopardy! style question, right?)

1 year, 9 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 10.18.12

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How does the new 90-second rule doesn't speed up the game when the game hasn't even technically begun? It's ridiculous.  To echo what's already been said, if the NBA wants to speed up the game itself, it should lessen the quantity and duration of timeouts and commercial breaks.  If there's one thing that drives me crazy as a spectator, it's when the last three minutes of a closely contested game are somehow stretched into 15 minutes. It kills the flow of the game.

1 year, 9 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 10.18.12

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 @supreme35 It was either that or debate whether Tebow should be a starter for the 999,999th time.

1 year, 9 months ago on Practice Report: Perry Jones and playing time

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 @novelisticbee0 Agreed.  No way to defend that one.  It made me think of the comparisons that have been drawn between Harden and Manu.

1 year, 9 months ago on Monday Bolts – 10.15.12

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 @Legendary_Dork I looks like that put Chris Webber's head onto Perkins's body.

1 year, 9 months ago on OKC is wearing a Christmas jersey? And is this it?

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If that's the Christmas jersey, I think chunky KD needs to lay off the pumpkin pie and turkey this year.

1 year, 9 months ago on OKC is wearing a Christmas jersey? And is this it?

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I dig the new jerseys.  Two-tone schemes > three-tone schemes.

1 year, 9 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 10.10.12

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 @Arent  @ThunderBelize I obviously don't follow hockey very closely, but from what little  I've seen, it has the potential to be hugely compelling. And, yeah, even as a casual observer, it seems wrong to take hockey franchises from Canada and plant them in places like Florida. (That said, I'm originally from San Jose, and the Sharks are very popular there. So it is possible to market hockey in regions in which hockey is not a native sport.)

1 year, 10 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 9.25.12

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 @novelisticbee0 Along the same lines, somebody else requested that the refs be searched for Buffalo Wild Wings pagers.

1 year, 10 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 9.25.12

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One person who might benefit from last night's debacle: David Stern. His iron-fisted management (or mismanagement) of the NBA doesn't seem quite as bad today.  

 

But, man, it's not a good time to be a major league commissioner: Goodell (heavy-handed tyrant, who, on behalf of his owner-bosses, is managing to tarnish the image of the most marketable league); Stern (heavy-handed tyrant, who, on behalf of his owner-bosses, managed to further tarnish the image of the NBA at a time when the product was better than ever); Selig (cotton-headed ninny muggins); [insert name of NHL commissioner] (seemingly helping to make an unpopular sport less popular).

1 year, 10 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 9.25.12

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In case you missed it on Deadspin, JaVale McGee on an all-terrain Segway in downtown Denver. I love both JaVale McGee and Arrest Development, so this resonates with me: http://deadspin.com/5945061/heres-a-picture-of-javale-mcgee-riding-his-segway

1 year, 10 months ago on Friday Bolts - 9.21.12

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 @Patrick OKC No disagreement here. 

1 year, 10 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 9.13.12

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I'm waiting for Bayless's inevitable foray into politics as a yelling head or as an actual politician.  He clearly "gets it": One can obtain popularity and even a reputation of expertise through the loud repetition of simple messages notwithstanding things like facts, nuance, or reason. (This isn't meant to be a partisan comment.)

1 year, 10 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 9.13.12

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 @Jax Raging Bile Duct  @Crow Barnwell's recent football articles are good. I also like anything by Charles Pierce, sports-related or not. As for Simmons, I loved him in the early 2000's, hated him in the mid-2000's (when the successes of all his teams made him unreadable), and have come back full circle to liking his stuff again. Anyhow, Grantland is still relatively new, but I like where they're going with it. 

1 year, 10 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 9.12.12

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Big loss for SI and gain for Grantland to land Zach Lowe.  He's one of the better basketball analysts.

1 year, 10 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 9.12.12

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Among rhetorically questionable ways to begin a sentence, this one ranks high: "And like Stephen A. Smith wisely pointed out . . . ."

 

SAS only appears wise to the extent that it's his job to generally be loud about the opposite of what ever Bayless is loud about, and Bayless is very frequently loudly wrong. 

1 year, 10 months ago on KD responds to Skip Bayless’s comments

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 @dancassidy35/FreeFezzyFel from GSW!!! His last name is Goldman and he's from New England, right?  I was amused to seem him on the cover of the current issue of Backcountry (a ski magazine that probably has zero readership in OK). 

1 year, 10 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 9.11.12

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 If the Dos Equis guy ever retires, I think Harden would be a superb replacement as the World's Most Interesting Man.

1 year, 10 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 9.11.12

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It's cool that RW's brother goes to UCO. I take this as more evidence that (a) the Westbrook family is tight (can't imagine the bro'd have gone to UCO if RW wasn't in OKC) and (b) they are embracing Oklahoma.

1 year, 10 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 9.5.12

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Love that photo.

1 year, 10 months ago on The Eric Maynor situation(s)

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 @OBoymuzik Also, sadly, I can't imagine an NBA finals game being played at Golden State either.

1 year, 11 months ago on ‘Thunderstruck’ opens running at 17% on Rotten Tomatoes

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 @OBoymuzik So you're probably a big Boise State fan, no?

1 year, 11 months ago on ‘Thunderstruck’ opens running at 17% on Rotten Tomatoes

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It's Friday afternoon, so I'm going to note that the top 25 Uniform Rankings are in: http://espn.go.com/espn/playbook/story/_/id/8295892/uni-watch-power-rankings-rates-nfl-mlb-nba-nhl-uniforms-1-122

 

I just want to give a shout to the Warriors, who, IMO, have the best uniforms in all of basketball. (I agree that the Lakers and Celtics uniforms are classics. But it's because of those teams' long history of champions and success and not because of any inherent quality in their otherwise ugly uniforms.) Also, being ranked #20 in a an all-sport uniform contest is likely to be the high point of the GSW season.

1 year, 11 months ago on ‘Thunderstruck’ opens running at 17% on Rotten Tomatoes

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 @f5alcon I think this particular BR "writer" may be angry at a world that allowed him to be named "Argun Ulgen."

 

All of those proposed trades are stupid. In Simmons-speak, OKC would be trading a dollar bill for $0.50.

1 year, 11 months ago on Wednesday Bolts - 8.15.12

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 @Tricia_status  @OBoymuzik Unless Lance Armstrong plays for the Spanish basketball team, you've failed to properly pluralize. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 8.8.12

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 @tydude  @Tronchaser In Tronchaser's defense, Argentina is the most European country in SA and their style of basketball and soccer is often very "continental" (lots of histrionics and flopping).  Exception for Lionel Messi.  That guy kicks ass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0gS5CshUDE

1 year, 11 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 8.8.12

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 @Tronchaser Argentina is in Europe?

1 year, 11 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 8.8.12

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Does anybody have a link to Westbrook's dunk and stare down against Argentina?  (Stupid Olympic licensing Nazis.)

 

Also, it's not basketball related, but Lolo Jones is incredibly attractive.

1 year, 11 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 8.8.12

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 @Tricia_status The Bleacher Report is rife with that kind of tripe.  It seems to be populated by recent journalism majors trying their hand at talking-head style sports journalism.

1 year, 11 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 8.8.12

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 @Tronchaser Well put.  Also credit Kevin Love, whose instagram coverage has been amazing.  Too bad NBC has the coverage rights to the Olympics generally.

1 year, 11 months ago on Monday Bolts - 8.6.12

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As much as I dislike Duke and Coach K in the context of college basketball, he's a pretty square guy and I'm glad he's our coach.  (Calipari would have gone for 200 pts and somehow caused the U.S. program to be suspended in the wake of the Olympics.)

1 year, 11 months ago on Friday Bolts - 8.3.12

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I haven't seen the game yet, but why were we shooting so many threes in a blow out? 

1 year, 11 months ago on Team USA skunks Nigeria, 156-73

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Apologies if this Mannix piece was posted earlier: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/olympics/2012/writers/chris_mannix/07/29/olympics-thunder-trio/index.html?sct=nba_t11_a4

 

My favorite part:

 

"When the USA coaches convened in Las Vegas earlier this month, it was determined that the players who played in the Finals would be offered a few days off. James skipped a couple of scrimmages. Durant, Westbrook and Harden did not. Westbrook, McMillan said, "started pressing Jrue Holiday and John Wall like it was the Finals."

 

"Westbrook was the first one into practice, going 1,000 miles an hour," added USA assistant Mike D'Antoni. "Durant doesn't want to come out of any scrimmages, Harden was the same way. These are special kids. They embody what you want from guys on this team. They are always listening, always first to practice, always working hard."

1 year, 11 months ago on Team USA crushes Tunisia, and KD dances

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 @Koka_Da_Bauce Ummm, where exactly did I "take it"? I didn't even read about the shoe throwing incident.  My point was purely about Royce's link to the story about the first lady hugging the entire basketball team: It's relevant  because it was basketball related and, more importantly, most folks probably enjoyed seeing it. Maybe you could have too if you stopped looking for conspiracy theories on basketball websites. In sum, "Lighten up, Francis." 

1 year, 11 months ago on Monday Bolts - 7.30.12

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 @Koka_Da_Bauce The first lady hugging the entire men's hoops team with each player visibly lighting up and/or becoming slightly awkward as their turn came up? Regardless of your politics, you'd have to be a jerk not to enjoy that. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Monday Bolts - 7.30.12

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Horrible.  It's like an awful amalgamation of the wardrobe of (a) the colonel of some civil war-torn African Republic, (b) the pretentious attendee of a wine-and-cheese art show, and (c) a Cape Cod yacht club member.

1 year, 12 months ago on KD and his hat are ready for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies

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I have mixed emotions.  On one hand, I want the US to destroy Spain as an American fan. On the other hand, there are these two truths: (1) international team tournaments (like the World Cup, Euro Cup, and Olympics) are awesome and quite possibly the most entertaining form of sport; but (2) they are distinctly less awesome if one team (the USA) completely dominates.  

1 year, 12 months ago on USA vs. Spain: Open thread

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Best of luck, Royal.

2 years ago on 76ers to sign Royal Ivey

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 @HookemKD   RW's plenty likable outside of his transactions with the media.  In the commercials he's done and rare interview in which he actually answers questions with original answers, he's charming and charismatic. And, by all accounts, he's a great guy off the court. But, yeah, it's rare that he shows that side to reporters during the season, which is how most of us "know" him.

2 years ago on Tuesday Bolts - 7.17.12

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Really enjoyed that Simmons article.  It's good to see RW getting some recognition/vindication.  His game remains open to criticism.  But the arm-chair speculation about RW as a person (selfish, egotistical, etc.) needs to end.  Dude is all heart.

2 years, 1 month ago on Thursday Bolts – 6.21.12

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 @FF_pickups Let's agree to disagree on this one.

2 years, 1 month ago on Notes from shootaround: Did LeBron call Serge Ibaka ‘stupid’?

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 @FF_pickups Well, on the flip side, I don't blame LB for responding to stupid comment either.  And I don't really get what his income has to do with it.  If he made $50,000 a year, would that make Ibaka's comment less dumb or LB's reaction more justified?  Look, I really like the Thunder and Ibaka.  Still, dumb is dumb. Ibaka needs to take the lumps he's earned and move on.

2 years, 1 month ago on Notes from shootaround: Did LeBron call Serge Ibaka ‘stupid’?

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 @FF_pickups Regardless of where you draw the line, what Ibaka said was pretty stupid on a number of levels. He was emotional and doesn't usually say such things, so I'm willing to give him a pass.  But I can understand why LeBron is tired of dealing with such BS. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Notes from shootaround: Did LeBron call Serge Ibaka ‘stupid’?

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I like Ibaka, but I can't fault LeBron for his reaction. Ibaka put his foot in his mouth on this one. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Notes from shootaround: Did LeBron call Serge Ibaka ‘stupid’?

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Magic is probably the best PG ever to play the game.  But let's not forget he was a horrible, horrible coach and is pretty crappy analyst IMO in much the same way that MJ appears to be a horrible GM. In other words, just because he was a good point guard doesn't mean is opinion is valid.

 

What's Jalen Rose saying?  He's one of the few ESPN pundits that offers genuine insight these days.

2 years, 1 month ago on Russell Westbrook: Mindset

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 @Matt32 I agree with everything you and Royce have written.  Well done.

2 years, 1 month ago on Russell Westbrook: Mindset

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 @Thunderbuzzy Remember when he suddenly adopted the Spurs as "his team"?  Yeah.  Skip Bayless, everyone.

2 years, 1 month ago on Thursday Bolts – 6.14.12

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 @aise0603 Seemed about right.  Hansborough could have justifiably been suspended, but his seemed like the least egregious foul. With the exception of a couple pretty plays by LeBron each game, that is a hard series to watch.  SA/OKC, I think/hope, will be the opposite.

2 years, 1 month ago on Durant and Westbrook named to All-NBA teams

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I think quick point guards like TP and RW are to a large extent unguardable. These guys could easily hang 40 on each other night after night. What's more important is the interior defense--e.g., what Duncan and Ibaka do when RW and TP take it to the hoop.

2 years, 1 month ago on Spurs' Parker gives Russell Westbrook some lockerroom material | May

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 @Marty_McFly321 Meh.  Best record, 18 straight wins, previous championships.  I can't blame anyone for picking the Spurs.  I still think that OKC can and hopefully will win.

2 years, 2 months ago on Thunder Player Power Rankings: Second Round Edition

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 @tydude Really impressed with the blue and white t-shirt scheme that was almost universally followed by the crowd.  Also impressed with the crowd noise, which seemed almost European soccer-esque, albeit less melodious. Even on TV, it is more exciting to watch with a good crowd.

2 years, 2 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 5.17.12

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Just to be clear, I'm not saying that the media shouldn't be uncritical or that RW is perfect. All players have flaws in their games and have bad games. That's a given. But the media doesn't seem to go out of its way to note such flaws or bad games as much with most other players. They don't seem to cover RW like they do other players. If Harden has a good game, he's celebrated with what seems like nothing but love. If Durant has a good game, it confirms that he's a super-duper star. Whereas, if RW has a good or even great game, it's like the media needs to qualify any praise by suggesting that the game could have been an aberration. Some folks like Royce and Zach Lowe have noted this to some extent, but even they seem to be defending RW as much as praising him.

2 years, 2 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 5.15.12

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Is it just me, or does it seems impossible for any member of the media to celebrate Westbrook without some major caveat or qualification. Just once, I'd like to see Westbrook get the *unqualified* praise/adoration that Durant and Harden (and many other stars) do. He's a top-15 player.  It seems perfectly acceptable to write an article that doesn't note in passing that he is a "streaky shooter", "mercurial," or refer to his perceived shortcomings last postseason. 

2 years, 2 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 5.15.12

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 @Jax Raging Bile Duct Berri didn't seem to understand his own premise, if there was one, and his basketball analysis was simplistic.

2 years, 2 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 5.10.12

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That Berri article is inane.  

2 years, 2 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 5.10.12

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 @ElMexiThunder So, in the Deadspin video excerpt, the graphic below seems to say: "Skip: I believe Westbrook is the MVP." Was this a sarcastic graphic or am I missing something here?

2 years, 3 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 4.10.12

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I like Fish, but it his handling of the Union this summer didn't exactly impress me.  I guess coaching requires a different set of skills, but I sometimes think that people give him more credit than he deserves.  He looks and sounds like a leader, but that doesn't mean he's a good one.  (Political analogy: Rick Perry looks and sounds like a political leader, but that doesn't mean he's a good one.)

2 years, 3 months ago on Friday Bolts - 4.6.12

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Also, that was a great game last night.  It was the best game of the season in terms of urgency, star power, and implication.  I really hope to see these two teams in the Finals.  

2 years, 3 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 4.5.12

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Not that it matters at all, but I counted at least three clean assists from RW in the second half.  Home court stat keeping?

2 years, 3 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 4.5.12

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 @ThunderChick2010 Thanks!  That sounds about what like I'd expect.  

2 years, 3 months ago on Wednesday Bolts - 4.4.12

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"He Who Must Not Be Named talks about KD calling him out."

 

Can some intrepid soul summarize what was said so the rest of us don't actually have to actually listen to this?

2 years, 3 months ago on Wednesday Bolts - 4.4.12

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 @FREE_COLE I'm more worried about the Heat getting Steve Nash next year.  That would suck.

2 years, 3 months ago on Friday Bolts – 3.30.12

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 @sammasaaron I agree with that.  There's still a lot of luck involved--e.g., injuries to stars (losing both Roy and Oden couldn't have been easy to PDX), ping pong ball slots, available talent in a draft, etc.  But Presti and co. have done a incredible job.  That said, I'm not sure if Barrett's comments were necessarily directed at the Thunder's front office as opposed to its fan base. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 3.29.12

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 @JimboSlice Warriors games, even with the W's suck, which is always, are still some of the most entertaining games to attend in the NBA.  That said, there's a reason why I spend as much time here as on Golden State of Mind.

2 years, 3 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 3.29.12

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 @ThunderChick2010 Not really.  Y'all have had it really, really good.  That's no knock.  But why take it for granted?

2 years, 3 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 3.29.12

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 @Jooseppi I didn't think the Westbrook article was particularly negative.  I thought it was odd and assumed that they were short on actual news and used it as makeweight.

2 years, 3 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 3.29.12

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I think Barrett was simply saying that the Thunder have had it amazingly good in their brief existence as a franchise, which I think is pretty much a fact.  But the whole comparing the miseries of franchises is kind of lame.  As a warrior fan, I look at Portland with great envy.  They've had several good teams and star players over the past decade.  They just blew up a team that probably was headed to the playoffs because they want to be a championship team and not just a playoff team.  Anyhow, excessive whining about one's franchise's woes puts one dangerously close to Cubs and pre-2005 Sox fandom, which isn't acceptable. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Thursday Bolts – 3.29.12

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 @ILikePancakes Skip Bayless's head just exploded.

2 years, 3 months ago on Clutch squared: Westbrook and Durant are figuring it out

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 @kdub Afflalo went into the draft the year before Russ, so there was no overlap between Love and Afflalo.  Damn, I loved those Bruin teams.  So many good players (talent and character).  <<Considers UCLA's current program and shakes head>>

2 years, 4 months ago on Survive and advance: OKC outlasts the Wolves 149-140 in 2OT

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Poor Russ.  His career high and numerous clutch shots are pretty much relegated to after thoughts.  Still, great game overall.  I can't believe UCLA didn't win it all with Russ, Love, Collison, and Mbah-a-Moute.

2 years, 4 months ago on Survive and advance: OKC outlasts the Wolves 149-140 in 2OT

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 @courtsense Uncalled for or not, it was a still a great body check.  (More often than not, NBA fouls are hard to recognize and seem "light" to the causal observer, even if they aren't.  There was no mistaking the foul-y nature or force of that one though.  I'm glad Griffin wasn't hurt, but it was fun to watch. Also, I like Griffin.  So there's no schadenfreude from my end.)

2 years, 4 months ago on Friday Bolts - 3.23.12

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 @C_Dub That was a sweet-ass body check.  I'm surprised that it doesn't happen more often.  Players in that position have 3 choices: (a) legitimate defense with a 95% chance of posterization; (b) running out of frame to avoid posterization (the most popular and ignoble option); or (c) a hard foul.  If you're not Ibaka or some other similar kind of freakish defender, option (c) seems the most attractive.

2 years, 4 months ago on Friday Bolts - 3.23.12

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 @ILikePancakes I'm not condoning the booing, but you have to understand Warriors fans have been given nothing but turd sandwiches for the last two decades.  We've gotten one franchise player (Webber) who split after a short time.  We've made it to a single playoff series.  We've very consistently seen our favorite players traded away, lost to free agency, or walking away.  We don't often complain about it like the fans of other franchises, but it's been truly crap for a fan base that knows its basketball and is very passionate about the game.  I think this came to a boiling point last night.

 

Again, I don't condone it, but I understand where it is coming from. Also, the fans will shower Lacob with love if he's able to turn the franchise around.

 

Finally, the decision to have Lacob make a public appearance a few days after Monta (the face of the franchise for the past few years) was traded away and after a couple really bad losses was indescribably poor.

2 years, 4 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 3.20.12

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 @f5alcon That is exactly who I had in mind, although I think Russ is a genuinely nice guy off the court, which probably can't be said for either Kobe or Jordan.  Also, it's not like other championship PGs are always the best of teammates.  Consider Rondo (I don't know what goes on behind the scenes but he's strangely both a team pariah and a team leader at the same time) or Parker (who allegedly slept with a teammate's wife).

2 years, 4 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 3.20.12

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"He is hot headed, lets referees bad calls bother him, complains to the refs when he misses shots that aren’t fouls, yells at his teammates, takes some of the worst shots at the worst times, and competes on the verge of being out of control at all times. Does this sound like the kind of guy you’d want to spend a couple of hours with talking about your problems?"

 

I think others have addressed "Coach Nick's" (which is not all a pretentious sobriquet to give oneself) other flaws in logic, but I think his biggest gaff is his criticism of Westbrook's attitude.  What he references above are the occasional negative effects of Westbrook's extreme competitiveness.  What he fails to mention are the positive effects, which IMO outweigh the bad--e.g., amazing work ethic, unwillingness to settle for complacency, and ability to energize the Thunder during inevitable lulls. I'll take (a) competitive spirit over (b) being nice and polite as qualities in an NBA player any day.  And I don't know where to begin with his grossly overextended analogy that Westbrook is supposed to a sympathetic ear to his teammates like a bartender would with bar patrons. As Norm MacDonald would say during his short-lived sports show: Wait, what?  

2 years, 4 months ago on Tuesday Bolts - 3.20.12

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 @f5alcon Of all the basketball team blogs, the Denver Stiffs sure seems like the hatin'est group of fans.  And it's not just Westbrook (whom they loathe).  They seem to have extreme animosity toward a great variety players and teams.  I have no explanation for this apparent phenomenon. 

2 years, 4 months ago on Friday Bolts - 3.16.12

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 @ATH I'll just note the difference between perception and reality when the same crunch time analysis is applied to DRose (.333 eFG%) and Kobe (.289 eFG%).  Granted, Rose's is a lot better during the last two minutes (.529), although still not as good as Russ (.587). 

2 years, 4 months ago on Monday Bolts - 3.12.12

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 @shiki Agreed about Love/Howard.  But MVP voters love team improvement, which is why Rose was such a popular MVP last year and why CP3 is getting so much love this year.  That way, the voters can point to the MVP as the cause of the team's improvement.  Whereas, players who simply playing amazing basketball and keeping your team competitive year in and year out get less recognition. But it wouldn't surprise me if DH gets his MVP when he eventually goes to another team, whose record will probably improve by 10 wins, while Orlando quickly becomes a bottom feeder. 

 

(One more point about DH's MVP's campaign: The fact that he's vacillated so much as to what he wants to do while his looming free agency has been a distraction to his team doesn't seem very MVP-like.  Not saying that that's necessarily a valid consideration, but it is what it is.)

2 years, 4 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 3.8.12

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The Powell article left a lot to be desired and mainly seemed to lean on tired narratives.  Is it really difficult to play along side Westbrook?  Also, doesn't the fact that LeBron chose to play with Wade (and to a lesser extent, Bosh) make him similar to Durant (who apparently is amazing for his ability to simply co-exist with Westbrook--i.e., his ability to not be Kobe Bryant). 

2 years, 4 months ago on Wednesday Bolts - 3.7.12

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I like how everyone is watching except the Cee Lo Green impersonator in the front row of the first photo and the middle-aged usher in the second.

2 years, 4 months ago on Russell Westbrook is spring-loaded

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 @ThunderChick2010 5 years ago, SAS was simply intolerable.  His shtick was more based on the volume of his voice than actual analysis.  But, to his credit, he's gotten a little better. Still, how people can watch SAS and Bayless yell at each other for any duration is beyond me.

 

I actually kind of like Jalen Rose, who seems to offer sincere opinions and avoids taking rhetorical positions for their own sake.  (See Bayless, Skip.)  At least, from what I've seen so far.

2 years, 4 months ago on Friday Bolts - 3.2.12

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What's the word on Westbrook's ankle?  (I totally get the wisdom in sitting a game or two if needed, but I also kind of like the fact that he's got one of the longest active games-played streaks despite his fearless game.)

2 years, 4 months ago on Friday Bolts - 3.2.12

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My favorite play was the Nash-Westbrook connection basket, which featured Nash's supreme passing and Westbrook's supreme athleticism.  I don't know that any other two players in the NBA could have pulled that off.  (Okay, maybe Rubio and Rose but still . . . .)

2 years, 4 months ago on Monday Bolts - 2.27.12

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@ThunderRegulator Here's what goes through my head every time Bayless discusses the Thunder (or pretty much anything else):

"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

2 years, 5 months ago on Thunder Player Power Rankings: Batman and Batman

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I wouldn't be surprised to learn that ESPN has a correspondent up LeBron's ass so that they can report his every fart. It's getting that ridiculous, and, mind you, this is after the ESPN-produced "Decision."

2 years, 5 months ago on Perk called out LeBron; so what?

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Man, the Warriors broadcasting crew loves the Thunder, like take-it-behind-the-middle-school-and-get-it-pregnant love.

Also, Ellis really does deserve a spot on the All-Star team, even if nobody is talking about him.

2 years, 5 months ago on The Thunder survive a wild one against the Warriors, 119-116

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I don't see the need for overreaction to KD's underreaction to Griffin's dunk. It seems fairly obvious that he's simply trying to be a good teammate by not celebrating what seems like an embarrassing moment for Perk. End of story.

And I agree with Brooks about Perk's willingness to challenge such dunks. I hate it when NBA players opt to simply move out of the way and gratuitously give up a dunk rather than challenge it and risk getting posterized.

2 years, 5 months ago on Friday Bolts - 2.3.12

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"But it would have been even better had the Thunder finished it out with sharp offensive half court execution, the kind of plays that win games late in the postseason, instead of relying on more shot-making on that end to go with defensive willpower."

This. It was a nice win, but I don't understand why the Thunder don't/can't run half court set plays during critical possessions. I hate when RW just burns down the clock and everyone else stands flat-footed only to lead to a hurried isolation play by himself or Durant. It seemed to work out last night due to a few clutch shots, but I don't think it's something the Thunder can rely on for consistent results. Indeed, it seemed to be their Achilles heel during the playoffs last year. I don't understand why Brooks seemingly hasn't done anything to fix it.

2 years, 5 months ago on Thunder survives cold-shooting Mavericks 95-86 in Dallas

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@SammyThunderer Not to mention that this approach has thus far led the Thunder to the best record in the league. Given that their record is better thus far this year (when they/RW aren't sharing as much) than it was last year, one could even argue that "less sharing = more wins." Of course, this is unconvincing logic. But it's no worse than citing that the lack of sharing in a single game as the cause of that loss. Not to go all conspiracy theorist, but there are definitely times when the media really does seem to go out of their way to scapegoat RW.

2 years, 5 months ago on Wednesday Bolts - 2.1.12

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I love the first comment on the YouTube video: "Ibaka > Kia Optima"

2 years, 5 months ago on Thunder at Clippers: Pregame Primer

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He's young and excited, so I can't judge him too harshly, but I doubt Blake is going to win teammate-of-the-year anytime soon. "Hey, who'd we give up?" Blake, jumping up and down: "We don't caaarrre!"

2 years, 7 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 12.15.11

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". . . even if there’s mounting evidence that Westbrook has real bitterness about becoming the public fall guy during last spring’s loss to Dallas."

I like Simmons, but his relentless effort to fit this square peg into the round hole of his Stringer-v.-Avon mythology is getting tiresome. What evidence? I follow Westbrook-related news fairly closely and haven't seen any evidence of discontent, much less "mounting" evidence. Am I missing something?

2 years, 7 months ago on Thursday Bolts - 12.8.11

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