Tag: Oklahoma City Thunder

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Kevin Love names best crossovers: Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook


Who has the best crossover in the NBA?

Kevin Love was asked that as part of the American Express Home Court Advantage videos the NBA has done and he came up with a pretty good list:

“Kyrie (Irving) is right there. So shifty and can do so many things with the ball. Derrick Rose, his change of speed and change of direction is unlike any other. Russell Westbrook is right up there because he’s so powerful. You know, those guys are amongst the elite when it comes to handling the ball.”

We all should have seen Kyrie Irving (Love’s current point guard) and Russell Westbrook (Love’s good friend and college teammate) coming, he leans on those guys a lot whenever he talks point guards. Even if Westbrook isn’t exactly known for his crossover. Rose (who shares an agent with Love) is certainly a good call if he returns to vintage form next season (we’ve seen that only in stretches since his return from injury, but hopefully next season those stretches are much longer).

Personally, I’m not sure how you leave Jamal Crawford and Stephen Curry off this list, unless you’re just naming people with ties to you. But the fact is the NBA is loaded with ball handlers who have killer crossovers and Love’s list is respectable if not perfect.

Hat tip Eye on Basketball.

Report: Nike will not match $200 million offer, James Harden to sign with Adidas

James Harden

This was the only hint you needed: James Harden was playing in the Drew League playoffs last weekend in Los Angeles and his girlfriend (apparently) Khloe Kardashian showed up to watch him ball — fully decked out in Adidas gear.

Harden had gotten a reported 13-year, $200 million offer from Adidas to become the face of that brand and, after much deliberation, Nike has decided not to match it. TMZ was first with this story.

Our Nike sources tell us the company has decided it won’t try to top the $200 million deal Adidas offered Harden last week. As we’ve reported … Nike had concerns about sinking that much dough into just ONE player, when it has several other superstars to sign.

Harden has yet to officially accept Adidas’ 13-year deal, but the writing is on the wall … or on Khloe’s back. She was sporting Adidas gear at his Drew League game this weekend.

Nike still has LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, plus a number of stars under the Air Jordan brand — Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook, to name a few.

But they had missed out on Stephen Curry (he signed with Under Armour) and there was reported concern the company didn’t want to lose another big name and would match. Turns out, they are not that worried.

Harden becomes the biggest star in the Adidas NBA universe, replacing Derrick Rose (his struggles to stay on the court hurt sales). Adidas can’t get his signature shoe to market fast enough. They also have John Wall, Damian Lillard and others under contract. However, Harden’s teammate in Houston Dwight Howard is rumored to be leaving the brand soon

The question is will the Harden signing move the needle on shoe sales? Nike has incredible customer loyalty and a product people love and trust, which is why they still have 90 percent of the basketball shoe market. It’s not just the Jordan name.

But Adidas needs some star power to start chipping away at Nike’s dominance (especially after Nike outbid them for the NBA apparel contract), and Harden with his beard is a good start.

Report: Carmelo Anthony to participate in Team USA practices

US forward Carmelo Anthony is pictured d

On the heels of news that Kevin Durant will participate in this week’s practices with Team USA comes another encouraging piece of news about one of the biggest stars in basketball. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Carmelo Anthony, who has been out since the All-Star break after undergoing knee surgery, will also practice in addition to attending the meeting in Las Vegas.

Whether or not Anthony plays for Team USA in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, this is a good sign. Given how much time he missed last year, it would have made sense for Anthony to remain cautious with his Team USA participation, even if these practices aren’t exactly intensive. As with Durant, the fact that he’s practicing bodes well for his health come training camp.

Report: Joel Embiid scheduled to undergo foot surgery “in the near future”

Joel Embiid

All we know about Joel Embiid is that he’s not going to play for the Sixers this season. Beyond that, details of when he’s going to undergo surgery on his right foot and what his rehab timeline will be like are fuzzy at best. But the surgery is going to happen soon, according to a new report from John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com, who also says that Embiid has reached out to Kevin Durant for advice on dealing with the foot surgery:

Joel Embiid has not yet undergone a second surgery on his right foot, sources close to the situation told CSNPhilly.com, however, that procedure is still scheduled to take place and Embiid is still expected to miss the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The source said Embiid also reached out to Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. The Thunder star underwent a bone graft on his right foot in late March. That surgery was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, home to one of at least 12 doctors the Sixers and Embiid have so far consulted about Embiid’s hyper-complicated situation.

When asked whether the surgery would occur in the next week to two weeks, once source would only say that it would happen “in the near future.” When asked whether Embiid was having second thoughts about the procedure, a second source said, no, he is not second-guessing it. A Sixers spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

This whole situation is just a bummer for the Sixers, and especially for Embiid. The former No. 3 overall pick didn’t play in his rookie season, and now he’s going to have to miss another full year with another surgery on the same foot.

Kevin Durant to practice with Team USA in Las Vegas

US forward Kevin Durant celebrates after
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Some encouraging news on the Kevin Durant health front: he won’t be playing in the exhibition game, but his representatives tell USA Today‘s Sam Amick that the 2014 league MVP is going to participate in practice with Team USA this week in Las Vegas.

According to his agent, Rich Kleiman of Roc Nation Sports, and his manager, Charlie Bell, the Oklahoma City Thunder star who played just 27 games last season because of a fracture in his right foot plans to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday with Team USA at minicamp in Las Vegas. Durant will not, however, take part in the showcase game on Thursday at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo has said that players who want to be considered for the Olympic team next summer need to at least come to the minicamp, even if they only show up for the meeting. That’s all LeBron James is doing. Durant played in just 27 games last season after undergoing foot surgery, so it would have made sense for him to take a similar approach, especially with his free agency looming in a year. Durant feeling healthy enough to at least go through practice with Team USA is definitely a good sign for the Thunder this season.