Hello, Friday. Thank you for getting here. On to the weekend. Here are the Rumblings…
Fred Katz looks at if Russell Westbrook can take a step back next season: “Russell Westbrook made sure last season went his way. He may not have that control this year. Westbrook and four-time All-Star Paul George, whom the Oklahoma City Thunder traded for earlier in the month, will have to learn to coexist. And the two may have only one year to do it. Both are looking at the possibility of becoming free agents in 2018. It’s possible no one else understands Westbrook, the player, better than longtime Thunder veteran Nick Collison, who has been his teammate all 10 years of the reigning MVP’s career. And with Westbrook coming off a season during which he governed a team’s offense as much as any individual ever, Collison is confident his point guard can scale back the workload with a different roster around him.”
An interesting theory as to why Russell Westbrook is working out with LeBron James in Las Vegas: “Of course, Westbrook and James could just be working out together to make each other better. There could be nothing to it. But LeBron always makes decisions while considering all the outcomes. He’s playing chess, not checkers. There always seems to be a motive for everything he does.”
Raymond Felton’s nephew will be part of the Tar Heel’s upcoming freshman class: “That, of course, is 4-star newcomer Jalek Felton. Felton’s name rings familiar even for Tar Heel fans who don’t follow recruiting. His uncle, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Raymond Felton, helped lead North Carolina to a national championship in 2005. In some ways, that provided coach Roy Williams an advantage in recruiting Jalek, who — while garnering early attention from major programs — committed to North Carolina during his sophomore year of high school.”
How Sam Presti’s handling of the media may be affecting his ability to improve the Thunder: “Although both teams have been exceedingly active this off season in adding new talent and shipping off previous players from their rosters, the common tongue spoken throughout the league is that Houston is still the superior team, and maybe if things turn right for the Thunder they could get as high as the fourth seed. Downplaying Oklahoma City is an aspect of the Thunder franchise that I believe most fans have grown accustom too, but I’m not sure if anyone has ever detailed why Houston and Daryl Morey, a franchise that hasn’t accomplished as much as the Thunder, is getting the benefit of the doubt over Sam Presti and the Thunder. I have a few theories as to why this belief is so prevalent amongst media members and fans.”
Not necessarily Thunder-related, but a helluva read on Lamar Odom by Lamar Odom. You should never judge a person by their transgressions. You never know what pain they are going through or what storms they have faced.