Kevin Durant

A Storm is Brewing

la-sp-russell-westbrook-20151030

-Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Russell Westbrook put an end to the speculation surrounding where he will be once his current contract expires at the end of next season.

On Thursday, Westbrook inked a deal worth over $85 million to last for the next three seasons that will keep him in Oklahoma City. He will have the option to enter free agency after the 2017-18 season but for now, the Thunder have him locked in for at least the next two years.

The news came as a great sigh of relief for Oklahoma City and its fans, who have already experienced one thunderous blow of heartbreak when Kevin Durant left for Golden State this summer.

Not only did Westbrook’s new contract put an end to hypothetical scenarios of Westbrook playing in Los Angeles or for another team, it also has shown the growth of his persona. (more…)

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The End of an Era

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers

-Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

 

The NBA is going to look very different next season, as two of its superstars are retiring–Kobe Bryant and as of Monday, Tim Duncan.

Bryant and Duncan have been around for what feels like forever. Their playoff clashes on the court during the early to mid-2000s seemed just like yesterday. The comparisons between the two can easily fuel a ‘who-is-better?’ conversation for hours.

Out of the last 18 championships, they amount for 10 of them–five for Kobe and another five for Duncan.

San Antonio was fortunate to have Duncan for 19 seasons. Los Angeles was blessed to have 20 years of Bryant–the only player to have spent more seasons with one team than Duncan.

Next season will have a different feel to it, with the Lakers losing its iconic face of the franchise for two decades and the Spurs saying farewell to the one player that has been a part of all five of their NBA championship teams.

Not only will the league and its fans miss seeing the two long-time stars suit up for their respective teams, but they also represent the end of an era. (more…)

Et tu, Kevin? NBA Free Agency Has Become a Farce

-The Fumble

-The Fumble

Let’s talk about free agency, shall we?

After seeing the events since July 1st unfold in the NBA, one line comes to mind for me.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Good Fellas, you know what I’m talking about.

“F*** you, pay me.”

Ever since striking mega deals with television networks ESPN and TNT, the NBA has a new revenue stream that is not just from putting butts in seats or from selling short sleeved jerseys.

No, it is a river of cash flowing with greater force than the Mississippi and brings richness to anyone who inhabits it like the Nile.

As a result, the NBA salary cap–the one device implemented in this league that tries to keep parity afloat–has grown at such an astounding rate.

The inflated cap has caused a series events that has taken the life out of the NBA. It has made bench players multi-millionaires and has allowed for the formation of a super teams that have come to dominate the league year in and year out. It has taken away parity of the game, mainly because the superstars of the league have control of every little nuance of the NBA on and off the court. (more…)

This is Not a Dream

Dream-vs-ReDream

-ballislife.com

USA Basketball unveiled its 12-man roster for the upcoming Olympic games at Rio next month, and quite frankly, this lineup is looking inferior in comparison to some of the past Olympic teams in recent history.

Yes, this year’s squad certainly has some top-tier superstar talent in Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, but it’s missing some other big names–LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, just to name a few.

Granted, some players like John Wall, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin withdrew their names from consideration to recover from injuries or surgeries, but their presence will be missed. (more…)