It’s been an odd development in a team generally seen as having exemplary team chemistry — Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka have had some words with each other. Yelling words.
It’s usually over defensive rotations that were missed, but it seemed a little intense.
Kevin Durant played it down talking to the Oklahoman.
“We’re just trying to help each other out. At the end of the day, that’s all we’re trying to do,” Durant said. “It’s times when I mess up and he tells me. It’s times when he messes up and I tell him. We both got to do a better job of responding to each other and just helping each other out….
“I think it goes back to us wanting to be so perfect,” Durant said. “Sometimes we both got to just calm down and play the game.”
I don’t think this is a big off-the-court issue. The Thunder have what seems to me to be as cohesive a locker room as there is in the league.
Competitive people have disagreements during games. It happens. Better to iron it out in January than have it exposed in April.
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.
ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin explains why he believes the Sacramento Kings have enough pieces to potentially make a run at the final playoff spot in the West.