Daily Thunder Rumblings – 11 Oct 2017


Chris Mannix (The Vertical) on what pushes Paul George: “You need special talent to build championship teams,” George said. “It’s no secret. You feel more comfortable out there when you have guys who can play at the same level, who can play at a high level, play with high energy as well. I’m not going to be perfect every night. But to have a guy that can play at that same level that I can some nights, that I can benefit from, is a luxury. Look at Russ — the guy averaged a triple-double and had a hard time getting [in] the playoffs. It’s just hard to do in this day and age. That was one of the hardest things for me in Indy. I wanted to be there, I wanted to stay there so much. It just didn’t seem like we were going to get to that level, of having high-level talent to win a championship.”

Nick DePaula (ESPN) says Jordan is looking to discontinue Melo’s shoe line: “Jordan Brand is halting the Melo shoe series after 13 models, according to industry sources, making last season’s Melo M13 sneaker the final model of the line. Though he has continued wearing the M13 during Thunder preseason games, it’s expected that Anthony will wear a combination of shoes from the brand this upcoming year, such as the Air Jordan XXXII, custom editions of retro models, and possibly even a remixed version of his very first signature model.”

Carmelo Anthony, on the other hand, says otherwise: “On one hand, Anthony and Westbrook being on the same team could do wonders for Jordan Brand, as the two are arguably the biggest non-Michael Jordan athletes representing the company. On the other, it will be strange to see Anthony in something other than his “own” shoe. The ESPN report doubles down on that by noting that only MJ, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Allen Iverson have produced more signature editions than Anthony has during his time with Jordan Brand.”

Danny Chau (The Ringer) on appreciating Russell Westbrook: “If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, what is writing about Russell Westbrook like? It’s not a celebration or excoriation of form; it’s something more fundamental. It’s staring up to the sky at the onset of a storm and processing your own visceral reaction to the strobing flashes of lightning that illuminate the horizon. Did you gaze in awe, or did you worry about the calamity to follow? He is the lightning. What follows is the Thunder.”

According to the Golden State Warriors, Russell Westbrook is easy to defend.

Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver (Sports Illustrated) look at which Thunder star has the most pressure: “Here are the stakes. You think Oklahoma City is going to be better than I do and I think they are going to be more entertaining to watch than you do, if that makes sense. The reason why I am watching is the boom or bust potential. I’m there if it works and I’m there if it is a train wreck. The stakes are very high here. Paul George’s future is kind of hanging in the balance. Russell Westbrook’s reputation as a player is hanging in the balance, Carmelo Anthony’s is hanging in the balance and also I think an underrated storyline is Billy Donovan’s reputation as a coach is hanging in the balance. Because we had a pop shot from someone known as Kevin Durant—might of been him, his third alter-ego or his social media manager but it came out on his Twitter that he wasn’t feeling Billy Donovan as a coach. That did not get that much attention. That should have been more of the focus in the aftermath of that incident so I think there is some pressure on Billy Donovan too.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) with a recap from last night’s preseaason finale: “Before an 11-0 third quarter run, the Thunder’s offense had the advantage. Forty percent on 3-pointers, including two each from Russell Westbrook and Josh Huestis. Carmelo Anthony was skipping cross-court bounce passes to Alex Abrines on the break. It still could have been crisper. In the Thunder’s 96-86 win, OKC played some unorthodox lineups, out of necessity, continuity and for the sake of experiment. All worked.”

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