A May 5, 1999 file photo of the path of destruction taken by tornadoes that hit the Oklahoma City area May 2, 1999 can be seen from the air over Moore

Durant donates $1 million to Oklahoma City tornado disaster relief efforts


We don’t need more people like Kevin Durant in basketball, we need more people like Kevin Durant on the planet.

Kevin Durant has donated $1 million to Red Cross disaster relief efforts in the wake of a devastating tornado that ripped through the suburbs of Oklahoma City, leaving 24 dead and devastating the community.

The Thunder organization has matched that $1 million gift. In addition, the NBA itself has teamed with the players union to donate another million.

“The Red Cross relies on its donors to perform its mission in relieving human suffering following disasters,” Janienne Bella, CEO of the local Red Cross region said in a statement. “Mr. Durant’s gift and support to Oklahoma comes at a time of great need and we’re forever thankful for his generosity.”

Durant did this immediately, and he did without even announcing it on twitter (the Red Cross and Thunder made it public). Durant had tweeted out a call for support before.

There are a lot of professional athletes who have charitable organizations in their name just for the tax write-offs. A lot of guys go see children in the hospital or do other works because it is contractually required.

And some guys just care about people. Kevin Durant cares. At age 24 his is mature, with a good perspective on the game and on life. He gets it.

This is really caring about the community you play in looks like.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
Leave a comment

DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.