Serge Ibaka is making Al Horford money. He is making Joakim Noah money.
Ibaka’s new four year, $48 million contract puts him up there with those All-Stars, he is making basically what they are.
And Kevin Durant couldn’t be happier for him, he told the Oklahoman.
“I’m happy for him. He deserves every penny. He worked his way up. He was unknown coming into the league. A lot of people didn’t really know what he could do on the court. He showed everybody from Day One that he could play and I’m just excited he’s here in Oklahoma City for four more years.”
Or, you can read that as “I’m happy he’s covering my backside on defense for four more years.”
But Durant is right, Ibaka has worked hard to get to this spot, to get that contract. He has gone from obscurity to runner-up defensive player of the year status. He’s as good a shot blocker and rim protector as the game has. I don’t think he’s ready for DPOY the past couple years because his defense in space and on the pick-and-roll is not special (and it is for guys like Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler) but the way Ibaka improves he is going to get there. Fast.
And clearly the Thunder see him as part of their success, as part of their title chances. So GM Sam Presti signed him to a healthy contract. Which made Durant happy, too.
I’d say the obvious — it’s sickening to turn a murder of a mom of four, a genuine tragedy, into a political opportunity — but that has become the way of politics. What line of decorum?
None the less, it’s sickening. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted about the tragic death of Dwyane Wade‘s cousin Nykea Aldridge, who was pushing her stroller down a Chicago street this week when two men got into a gunfight (reportedly gang-related) and a bullet killed Aldridge.
Trump tweeted what you see below (actually, what is below is a tweet edited by his staff, the original one misspelled Wade’s first name, putting “Dwayne” instead):
Later, this Tweet came up, again from his staff.
(So you know, you can tell which tweets come from Trump and which from his aids based on the device used to post it.)
Trump’s Tweet is part of his recent apparent attempted outreach to minority voters, which is not about them and more about trying appease concerns of white, middle-class suburban voters (for example, outside Philadelphia, in a swing state). Polls show Trump struggling with those suburban voters, in part because they see him as bigoted.
As you might expect, Twitter unloaded on Trump for his tone deaf and incendiary Tweet. Not that he cares, people are talking about him and that seems his primary goal. Actor Don Cheadle was one of the most prominent.
It’s sad this has become a focus and not Nykea Aldridge — and what can be done to prevent the next Nykea Aldridge.
The relationship between Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler was the subject of much scrutiny last season in Chicago. Reports of tension between the two stars never fully went away, and they proved to be an awkward fit together on the court. But any hard feelings between the two of them appear to be in the past as Butler posted a photo on Instagram of the two former teammates (and Rose’s son, P.J.) hanging out together at a Dodgers game in Los Angeles, where they both work out in the summer.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
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.