Kevin Durant on announcing his deal on twitter: What did you expect?

19 Comments

durant.jpgIt wasn’t what Kevin Durant did this summer that was a surprise. Everybody knew Oklahoma City was going to offer him a max extension, and everybody knew he was going to sign it.

What made it news was how it was handled was such a contrast to the other big free agent moves this summer. Durant stayed with his team, didn’t make a spectacle of himself and announced the deal quietly on twitter. As much as anything is quiet on twitter. Bottom line — Durant was everything LeBron was not.

Durant himself hasn’t even spoken much about it publicly, but he put his thoughts up on his blog today about the process. It’s all very Durant.

First off, I’ve always said that Oklahoma City is a place I want to be and I couldn’t imagine not playing for the Thunder, especially with these great teammates and coaches and support staff. So when I got approached with a contract extension once negotiations could start, signing it wasn’t a very hard decision. It was really a no-brainer. If people were paying attention to what I’ve been saying for the last three years, then they’d know my heart has always been with the Thunder. This organization has been moving in the right direction since the day I got here.

Now as far as announcing my signing through Twitter…..c’mon, what else would you expect?!?! You all know how much I love Twitter and Facebook and social media in general. I’ve met so many fans through social media. That’s how a lot of us athletes connect with fans in this day and age. I love giving out free tickets or Nike gear and answering all your questions, even the crazy funny ones. So I didn’t think twice to announce my contract extension through Twitter. I wanted to make sure all my fans and supporters were the first to know, and most importantly to get the news straight from me!

Now, the friends and family and fans who know me weren’t surprised that it’s how I let everyone know. But some people keep asking why I didn’t announce it on national television or something like that. I really get a laugh out of that. I keep telling people how my situation was much different from all the other big names out there. First of all, I was just up for a contract extension. LeBron, Chris Bosh and D-Wade, those guys were unrestricted free agents, so there was more hype with their decision, more people who wanted to know what was gonna go down. That’s a big difference.

And as I told someone the other day, LeBron James is the biggest name in sports. Nothing he does is ever going to go quiet. You can’t blame him for what happened and how he made his decision. Again, my situation was totally different.

It was a very different situation. And they are very different people.

Sunday is 16th anniversary of greatest dunk ever: Vince Carter over Frederic Weis

Leave a comment

It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.

But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.

Best. Dunk. Ever.

By anyone.

Weis was never the same.

In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.

Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford suggests allowing teams to advance ball in final two minutes without timeout

Steve Clifford
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
Leave a comment

The final minutes of a close NBA game rank among the best moments in sports – which is pretty remarkable, considering frequent stoppages interrupt and impede enjoyment of the game.

Clutch play. Timeout. Clutch play. Timeout. Clutch play. Timeout.

Coaches should probably call fewer timeouts, because drawing up a play also allows the defense to set. But timeouts give the offense the option of advancing the inbound spot into the frontcourt, a key advantage. So, teams will keep calling timeouts.

Unless…

Steve Aschburner of NBA.com:

For Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, the ability in the final two minutes of a game to advance the ball without requiring a timeout to be called could speed up the action. That has been used on a trial basis in the D League and in Summer League, and several coaches felt it worked well.

“The game is at an all-time high in popularity, but a lot of people complain about the last two minutes,” Clifford said. “I think it would add a different dimension but it would also be a good thing in addressing our biggest issue.”

Not that the coaches would be willing to lose any of their timeouts, though. They just wouldn’t save them specifically for that purpose.

I’m here for that.

I’m unsurprised control-seeking coaches want to keep all their timeouts, and reducing those seems unlikely, anyway. The NBA pays its bills through commercial breaks.

Would moving those advertising opportunities earlier in the game pay off? Audiences are probably larger in crunch time, but an action-packed closing stretch could hook fans and grow overall audiences. It’s always a difficult decision to forgo maximizing immediate revenue in pursuit of more later.

But I’m fairly certain fans would appreciate the change, which is at least a starting point in considering it.

Kyrie Irving feels validated after hitting game-winning shot to bring title to Cleveland

2 Comments

Back in July during the pre-Olympics USA Camp in Las Vegas, I asked Kyrie Irving what had changed for him, what was different for him after winning an NBA title. His answer was about the doors it opened, the possibilities that suddenly felt available to him. A month after winning the title he still seemed a little overwhelmed by the experience, and he hadn’t fully processed it yet. Which is completely understandable.

Now, as training camp is set to open for the Cavaliers and their defense of that title, Irving clearly has gotten used to being a champion — and he feels validated. Look at what he told Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“Yes, my life’s changed drastically,” Irving told cleveland.com Saturday, during Irving’s friendship walk and basketball challenge downtown for Best Buddies, Ohio — an organization that gives social growth and employment opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“It’s kind of, you’re waiting for that validation from everyone, I guess, to be considered one of the top players in the league at the highest stage,” Irving said. “That kind of changed. I was just trying to earn everyone’s respect as much as I could.”

It’s amazing to think of the impact one shot — Irving’s three over Stephen Curry with 53 seconds left in Game 7 — can have. If he misses, there is less pressure on the Warriors to answer with a three, maybe they come down and get a bucket inside for two (one could argue they should have done that anyway rather than hunt for the three), from there maybe the Warriors win. If so, that could change everything from Kevin Durant‘s summer plans to what the Cavaliers’ roster looks like today — there’s a good chance Cleveland’s lineup would have changed if they lost to the Warriors two Finals in a row.

One shot can have that kind of impact on a player, too.

Kyrie Irving was one of the top five point guards in the NBA for a while, a score first guy but one who had some floor general in him and got some steals. A lot of time seemed to be spent focusing on his flaws defensively and passing. But with that shot, he feels validated. If he carries that confidence into next season, the Cavaliers just got better.

Check out top 50 plays from Kevin Garnett’s Hall of Fame career (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

First Kobe Bryant. Then Tim Duncan.

Now Kevin Garnett. The Hall of Fame class in five years is going to be stacked.

But before we move on from Garnett’s announcement this week that he is retiring after 21 years in the NBA, let’s look back at his greatest plays (compiled by the folks at NBA.com). Enjoy this for 11 minutes rather than watching your NFL fantasy team flounder. Again.