If you are a true Thunder fan on Twitter, than you know who Nanae Yamano is (by Kaz Nagatsuka of the Japan Times): “Sometimes nonverbal means of communication can connect you to the world. And social media makes it so much easier nowadays. Saitama Prefecture housewife and amateur artist Nanae Yamano has proven that with her cute drawings of NBA players.”
Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on how the Thunder have prepared for the cost to bring back Paul George: “In 2012, it traded James Harden rather than sign him, a move that’s been widely criticized in hindsight — and no doubt is one reason why skeptics wonder if the Thunder will pay the cost to remain competitive. But it was a younger franchise then, coming off its fourth season and third playoff appearance in OKC. It hadn’t built the equity it has now, and the financial future of the league looks different.”
Erik Horne (NewsOK) delves into Jerami Grant’s past on a high school team that featured four future NBA players: “Cook — then a junior, now a Golden State Warrior — ran up the floor to congratulate the kid he’d known since Mini-Mix basketball at the Kettering-Largo-Mitchellville Boys and Girls Club. Grant’s older brother, Jerian — then a senior, now a Chicago Bull — completed an intricate handshake with little bro. Another then-senior — now Indiana Pacer — Victor Oladipo pointed at a camera and flashed the smile Thunder fans briefly got to know over one season.”
C.W. Nevius (Press Democrat) says courtside hecklers are getting too close to the players: “So it is no surprise that there have been incidents. This year Russell Westbrook complained about vile racial slurs. And the Warriors’ Draymond Green agreed, saying fans feel empowered to yell vulgarities they would never say outside the arena. After a loss in Denver this year, Westbrook was confronted by a burly bro with a backwards ballcap who walked on the court and yelled in his face. Westbrook gave the guy a shove and security arrived, but the takeaway is clear — a drunken fan can take two steps and accost some of the most famous athletes in the world. Who’s to say some moron won’t throw a punch?
Zach Lowe (ESPN) says Russell Westbrook can no longer be OKC’s entire system anymore: “In November 2014, when both Westbrook and Kevin Durant were out with injuries, Scott Brooks implemented something of a motion offense. Nothing fancy: enter the ball to the elbow, cut and screen for each other, move it side-to-side. For those Thunder, it was revolutionary. Sitting in the Barclays Center after a shootaround, Andre Roberson talked with something approaching “wonder about getting to do things with the ball. It was fun! “Not just a little fun,” Roberson told me then. “Sharing the ball, playing for each other — I’m loving it.”
Russell Westbrook and Paul George had a great time this weekend. Hopefully this continues for years to come. Looks like all those hours of Call of Duty and Fortnite are starting to pay off.