We are in full NBA Preview mode over here at Ringer HQ, but we don’t want to lose sight of the other stories percolating in this embryonic NBA season. So for the sake of basketball and blogging, let’s do the news-and-notes thing, shall we?
Russell Westbrook Is Not Trying to Hear NATHAN About Kevin Durant for the Rest of the Year, Thank You
Since joining the Warriors, Kevin Durant has had nothing but good things to say about his new team, obviously. About the style of play. About the style of living. About the warm-and-fuzzy togetherness. About how selfless everyone is there. About how perfect the fit is. In a vacuum, these would be totally normal and uncontroversial things to say, but given how the summer unfolded, you could see how some people might take all this effusive praise as disrespect.
Durant’s comments were lobbed up to Russell Westbrook this week with the standard how does this make you feel tacked on. Westbrook’s response? “That’s cute, man. That’s cute.”
First, who is your favorite player and why is it Russell Westbrook?
Second, you could read Westbrook’s extremely scrutable annoyance as the kind you might feel after seeing your ex of seven years spam your Instagram feed with sepia-toned vacation photos of her and that dude she left you for kissing in exotic locales with dumb, wanderlust-y captions like “find your bliss” or whatever. But it could be the more general kind of annoyance you might feel when you’re altogether bored of being considered in the context of a relationship you’re not even in anymore, and would very much like to be Excluded From The Narrative.
Also, it could be — and I mean it is eminently possible, like, very, very likely — that Durant just really likes his new digs.
But honestly, who really cares? Certainly not those of us (me) who prefer the kind of animus that you can feel and hold in your hand. The Thunder and Warriors face off for the first time this season on November 3 and it cannot come soon enough.
Kristaps Porzingis Needs to Get His ‘2K’ Rating Up
The 7-foot-3 Knicks messiah enjoyed a whirlwind rookie season — leaning 3-point buzzer-beaters, putback dunks, atomizing Darren Rovell with a single jab step — but before his sophomore season, Porzingis told The Players’ Tribune that he feels he needs to step his game up.
But the motivating factor for this 2016–17 mission statement cannot possibly be the one you’re thinking of.
“I’m ready to show more in year two,” Porzingis said. “I am only 80 overall in NBA 2K, so I need to improve.”
For the record, I don’t think 80 overall is bad by any measure. I also don’t think I’ve ever been a bigger fan of Kristaps Porzingis than I am at this exact moment.
Kobe Roasted Luke Walton for Sweating Booze in Practice Once
I have previously said that my worst nightmare is “being handcuffed to a chair at a house party while my iPhone is hooked up to a surround sound system playing my entire music library on shuffle, just out of reach.”
I am now amending that to “trying to hold Kobe Bryant all by my lonesome whilst nursing a massive hangover.”
In an episode of Jesse Williams’s Open Run podcast, Luke Walton opened up about the worst practice of his life (via Silver Screen and Roll):
Milwaukee Is Actually Fangorn Forest
Average height of this lineup the Bucks put on the floor for their Wednesday night game against Indiana: 6-foot-10.
Dwyane Wade Offers a Fun Fact Chicago Fans Will Never Forget, No Matter How Hard They Try
You know, Chris Rock told a joke about this exact feeling once.