Everyone likes Kevin Durant.
Over at CBSSports Eye on Basketball, they put together a “likability index” — NBA players you just like the most based on game and personality — and Durant came out on top. He’s the league’s two-time scoring champ, led the USA to gold in the FIBA World Championships, has a pure game, is humble, is thoughtful, wears a backpack, not a guy who parties like Dennis Rodman, doesn’t have a lot of tattoos…
Um, about that last one.
Durant likes his ink, as the guys at The Basketball Jones pointed out, using a photo from Durant’s current trip to Asia. He just crams all those tattoos into the parts of his body covered by his jersey.
Why? Marketing. He knows he’s the clean-cut image guy, this way he looks like he doesn’t have tats while he plays. Okay, maybe that’s too cynical, maybe he likes just getting tattoos on his torso… no, I have a hard time thinking that’s the case. Whatever. It really doesn’t matter.
That a guy in the NBA has tattoos — a lot of them, even — is not a sign of some “thug” life. It’s generational, and while the 50-somethings in the luxury suites don’t get it, their favorite 20-something up-and-comers at their law offices have tats under their suits.
The world should be a meritocracy — you advance up the ladder based on what you do not how you look. An accounting firm should be that way. The NBA should be that way. Durant can flat out play, he’s young and already come up big on big stages. It really doesn’t matter if he has tattoos on his arms or not.
Just don’t think he is ink free.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.