Oklahoma City’s Nick Collison is blogging for GQ and decided to take on your questions via twitter and answer them online.
He gets the questions you’d expect — what’s the best part of being in the NBA (camaraderie in the locker room) and the worst (being away from family)? How do you deal with the down time waiting for games (lots of television series streaming)?
But the best part of taking twitter questions — whether mine for PBT Extra or these — are the questions out of left field. Like this one:
Which Thunder players could survive a zombie apocalypse?
I think most of us would. We are used to running and pushing through fatigue. We are used to being in stressful situations together, and we have each others’ backs. Sadly, however, I think we would lose a couple guys. Take, for instance, Reggie Jackson, our rookie, who cannot seem to stay awake for any extended period of time and passes out on all flights within five minutes… I fear Reggie would doze off somewhere and the zombies would get to him. I think Kendrick Perkins would be OK at first, but eventually he would look at a zombie and not like the way the zombie was looking at him. If you know Perk the way I know Perk, you know he wouldn’t be able to resist getting face to face with the zombie and letting him know he doesn’t play. He could fight off a few of the zombies, but eventually there would be too many, and I’m worried he wouldn’t make it. Meanwhile, James Harden would definitely survive, because a zombie is not going to want to get any of that beard in his throat while trying to eat his brain.
Would the zombies even want to eat Kevin Durant? There’s no meat on those bones.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.
Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was widely panned – including by me – for trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Oladipo and Sabonis are killing it while George has underwhelmed.
Upon George’s return to Indiana, Pritchard took the opportunity to gloat. The Pacers general manager recently liked these tweets (hat tip: Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation):
This is petty – and I love it. Pritchard earned the victory lap.
Paul George has been pretty open about his plans.
He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.
Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.
So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency
Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.
There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.
Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.