Thunder fan hits a half court shot to win $20,000. And he’ll use the money to help pay for his wife’s medical bills — she was recently diagnosed with cancer. Wow.
Random question, yes. But here’s the explanation: GQ’s NBA guest blogger for the season, power forward Nick Collison, just did a playoff mailbag, soliciting questions from his Twitter followers, and this question was far and away the best. Because Nick is a good and honest fellow, he tackled the question head on. Here’s his answer below. Click here for the rest of his mailbag.
@IamAinsleyHayes Which teammates would survive a zombie apocalypse, and which ones wouldn’t?
I think most of us would. We are used to running and pushing through fatigue. We are used to being in stressful situations together, and we have each others’ backs. Sadly, however, I think we would lose a couple guys. Take, for instance, Reggie Jackson, our rookie, who cannot seem to stay awake for any extended period of time and passes out on all flights within five minutes, as he did here with Serge Ibaka and Cole Aldrich.
I fear Reggie would doze off somewhere and the zombies would get to him. I think Kendrick Perkins would be OK at first, but eventually he would look at a zombie and not like the way the zombie was looking at him. If you know Perk the way I know Perk, you know he wouldn’t be able to resist getting face to face with the zombie and letting him know he doesn’t play. He could fight off a few of the zombies, but eventually there would be too many, and I’m worried he wouldn’t make it. Meanwhile, James Harden would definitely survive, because a zombie is not going to want to get any of that beard in his throat while trying to eat his brain.
Kevin Durant’s Summer “Vacation”
From China to the Philippines, Rucker to D.C., Kevin Durant spent his long Summer stepping into the firmament of NBA superstars. Arguably the league’s best scorer at the ripe old age of 22, the extra reps weren’t as important to Durant’s rising celebrity. It was the barnstorming.
Of course, Durant couldn’t be the NBA’s future poster boy without the skills, but he seems to be taking care of that quite nicely, I might say. It was hitting the streets, visiting the playgrounds, and playing in the small gyms that have taken the Oklahoma City forward from NBA All-Star to the People’s Champ.
Every single person lucky enough to see the long frame of Kevin Durant stride onto their home court, strapped with uniform of backpack and headphones, is now invested in his future. Fact is, I care about Durant more after watching him battle a heckler at the NIKE Pro-City game I attended. That was the point of his global basketball tour (which isn’t even over yet).
Now, Kevin’s approachable. Relatable. He’s not just the guy on television. You’ve seen him in your hometown. You’ve watched him play for nothing. You see his passion.
Make no mistake about it: whenever the NBA comes back, you’re going to tune in to see Kevin Durant, you’re going to check the Thunder’s record, and you’re going to hope to see his truly unique game in person.
If you were lucky enough to catch him this past Summer, you may well end up telling your children you saw one of the greatest to ever lace them up, play the game he loves, not in some gigantic arena with tens of thousands, but up close and personal.
That’s what happens when you’re The People’s Champ.
JAMES HARDEN TAKES THE FIRST FLIGHT OUT OF MANILA
If the NBA ever comes back, watch out for James Harden. He’s ready to blow.
Although it triggered the predictable firestorm, Westbrook deserved to be benched. He was having a bad night and his substitute, Eric Maynor, was giving Brooks quality minutes. TV cameras caught Westbrook yelling at Brooks when he was yanked from the game, offering incontrovertible proof that he didn’t like his coach’s decision. What undoubtedly fueled Westbrook’s fiery response is a sense of entitlement. As one Thunder veteran said, privately, “He thinks he’s better than Kevin Durant.”
Not only that, but Westbrook has the backing of Thunder GM Sam Presti, who made a name for himself with his drafting of Westbrook with the fourth pick in 2008. Presti’s micromanagement behind the scenes has caused some friction between the head of the front office and his coaches, but Brooks didn’t pay any attention to that when he saw that Maynor was his best option to even the series.
This begs the question:
Does this adversely affect the Thunder, or is it a healthy confidence on Westbrook’s part?
I think Westbrook’s position on the floor plays a large role in my answer. The point guard is a facilitator first. Even Derrick Rose looks to get his teammates involved, and when they’re struggling he’ll go for his own. Sometimes his shot is just falling and so he never looks to pass, but he’s capable and tries more often than not to be a creator of shots.
Westbrook is drifting, ever so slightly, into Stephon Marbury territory. I remember watching an early regular season game when Marbury was on Minnesota—at the time Kevin Garnett was so skinny you thought he was a new spokesmen for Broken Promises—and Garnett hit a big shot in overtime. After the shot when down, Marbury sort of wandered back to the bench without congratulating him.
I haven’t seen that with Westbrook so much, but I’ll be looking for it now.
Plus, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant…that has no relevance, but it’s an interesting coincidence.
Kevin Durant dunks on Brendan Haywood: The Poster.
A step-by-step run through of the violence.
(Image via @NBA_Photos)
Wednesday’s dunk of the night: Russell Westbrook’s breakaway tomahawk slam in Oklahomas City’s 99-72 rout at home over the Grizzlies.
Nobody minds when Westbrook takes shots like that. In fact, he attempted only 10 field goals in the victory, 23 fewer than in the triple OT win on Monday night.
Memphis leads the series, 3-2, which continues Friday night in Memphis.
You know how your computer friend gets frustrated when you can’t convert a .doc to a .pdf? And remember how all you wanted to do was go out and have a good time, but your smart friend was staying in to study? Well, they’re all jerks. They’re nerds. Losers.
Now, they’re probably not exactly all of those things. We just feel that way because they have talents you and I don’t, skills they’ve worked hard on, and we’re jealous.
Well, Kevin Durant’s a jerk. He’s a nerd. A loser.
Look at some of his tweets:
@KDthunderup: Had a good meal after that crucial workout with Corey brewer and JG…bouta jump in the hot tub
@KDthunderup: Meal, workout, chill, #yahearmay? It’s just that simple
@KDthunderup: To be honest I appreciate Kenny smith comments but I’m not on dwade melo dirk Paul p level, I ain’t done nothing yet…but stay tuned! (Kenny Smith called him the
@KDthunderup: Just got a great workout in with my brother @jeff_green22 and my boy Corey brewer
@KDthunderup: Jus got done a mean workout with @kd_trainer35….lots of shots wit a lil bit of conditioning…bouta go eat now
@KDthunderup: Up bouta get a workout in…I’ll holla
@KDthunderup: Earth worm Gym…Euro basketball, hella shots and hella ballhandling drills…I’ll holla at yall
@KDthunderup: Prolly the only time I ever been late to a workout…damn I hate that…
@BarbarianCello: why u cry wen Lakers beat u guys? // @KDthunderup lol I was mad, how u kno I was crying
@KDthunderup: I’m watching the History channel in the club and I’m wondering how do these people kno what’s goin on on the sun..ain’t nobody ever been
Well, the last one has nothing to do with basketball, but it certainly proves he’s got some nerdy tendencies.
The point is, this man has no life. All he does is workout, play basketball, and talk about those two things. And that’s exactly the kind of player I’d want on my team.
I think Kevin Durant spent his first 3 seasons playing hard and believing he could be great. Now I think he knows, and all he has to do is play harder, so he could be one of the greatest ever.