- Notes from Thunder exit interviews (from Darnell Mayberry, newsok.com):
” Most of the eight players that followed Brooks…were surprisingly candid. There was some talk about how a few went off the reservation, either throwing teammates under the bus or speaking selfishly. But as I saw it, it was a sign of these guys simply being real and sharing their honest feelings as opposed to bland quotes and trite clichés. Showed maturity to me, that these guys are growing up and, one by one, understanding that to win it all they’d have to look themselves in the mirror.”
Read Mayberry’s notes here: http://newsok.com/closing-nuggets/article/4869897
- Thunder’s championship aspirations still intact despite latest painful lesson (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):
” Saturday night marked the end of the Western Conference finals and, within them, the end of the Oklahoma City Thunder. This was, without equivocation, a team capable of winning it all this season. That the Thunder ultimately didn’t do so was more a matter of probability than ability — a cold turn of the numbers for a contender that faced off against its third straight high-quality opponent.
To escape a Game 7 against Memphis, push past the L.A. Clippers and force overtime against San Antonio in the final game of their season wasn’t enough. Oklahoma City fell victim to the long odds that had already claimed 13 playoff teams and 14 others, if at even greater cost given the Thunder’s proximity to the title. With a few more breaks, OKC could very well have been the last team standing. Instead, a third straight playoff run for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (omitting 2013, in which Westbrook was sidelined by a meniscus tear) ended in a bittersweet push to the conference finals or beyond.”
- Redefining the ‘Way of Wade’ in 2014 (from Evans Clinchy, Hardwood Paroxysm):
” With all due respect to everyone else who will be taking basketball’s biggest stage in the coming two weeks, I think Dwyane Wade is the most compelling figure of the NBA Finals. To understand why, you have to hit the rewind button and think about the trajectory of the 2013-14 season.”
- Ewing’s calling is to coach, but Knicks have never asked (from Ken Berger, CBS Sports):
” Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing said he’d “love to go back to New York,” but has yet to hear from team president Phil Jackson about the franchise’s head coaching vacancy.
“My family’s still there I still have a home there,” Ewing said Saturday on CBS Sports Radio’s Eye On Basketball show. “I don’t know what is going to happen in terms of who they’re going to have to fill that void. But if I get a call, I’ll be ready.””
(Note: the story also focuses on the 1994 “forgotten finals” between the Knicks and Rockets).
- Year In Review: Patrick Beverley (from Jason Friedman, NBA.com/rockets):
“Reflecting upon Patrick Beverley’s past, present and future following the 2013-14 campaign”