It is far, far too early to have a serious MVP discussion in the NBA.
But if you were, Russell Westbrook would be the favorite. Other guys would and should get mentions — James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, et al. — but Westbrook is averaging 30.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 11.3 assists per game, with a dozen triple-doubles and leading the Thunder to a 14-9 record.
Westbrook, you excited to be the early leader in this race?
That is exactly what you would expect Westbrook to say.
Of course, he’s only got a shot at one of those two things this year, and a ring isn’t one of them. No matter how well he plays.
Late in the first quarter Sunday night, Oklahoma City’s Victor Oladipo closed out hard on Boston’s Jonas Jerebko — Oladipo leaped to block the shot, Jerebko put the ball on the floor to drive baseline, Oladipo got his legs taken out and then had a nasty fall.
Oladipo left the game and will not return, officially because of a wrist sprain (although my guess is there may be more things hurting than just his wrist).
Something to watch over the next few days, to see if Oladipo will miss more time. The Thunder are 10.4 points per 100 possessions better this season when Oladipo is on the court this season.
Snapchat Spectacles are…. something. They are glasses with a camera in them that pairs with your phone, and you can upload the videos to Snapchat.
For example, if you’re an NBA veteran getting up some shots from the corner, or throwing down a dunk, you can wear the Spectacles and post the video… ala Richard Jefferson, who did just that.
It’s always about the money.
This time it’s not how to split up “basketball related revenue” — what caused the last lockout and forced the season to start late — rather, it is licensing and player likeness revenue that has proved a last-minute stumbling block on the way a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the NBA. Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted this:
In the NBA, control over licensing and player likenesses belongs to the league offices, which pays a fee for those rights to the union/players in the millions. With the growth of video games and other use of player likenesses, the union would like some control — and a larger slice of the pie — from that revenue.
Recently, the NFL players union got that and have a marketing arm handling things like player likenesses. The NBA union likely wants at least some steps down that road.
Both sides can (and at least one likely will) opt out of the current CBA on Thursday, but it will remain in place until July 1. Still, a new deal is expected long before we get to the lockout stages. The biggest issue — revenue splits — and other contentious issues have been handled. This is a relatively small issue that can get handled. USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt makes another wise point about the final parts of a CBA negotiations.
Fortunately, the entire thing turned out to be a false alarm.
However, the Boston Celtics’ plane was the target of a bomb threat as the team headed to Oklahoma City so the Celtics could face the Thunder Sunday night. Here are the details, via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
There was a bomb threat to the Boston Celtics’ team plane to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured.
The incident will be investigated by NBA security which will work in conjunction with the FBI on this matter which was one of several hoaxes called into airports across the country on Saturday.
When the Celtics’ plane landed the players were instructed to leave their personal belongings on the plane, and they were taken to the team hotel, where they had to wait for their bags to arrive while the plane was checked out by police.
Fortunately, this turned out to be nothing. Jae Crowder summed it up well.