Warriors

The true and enduring response to why Durant left Oklahoma City

durant-russ.jpg
AP

The true and enduring response to why Durant left Oklahoma City

So Kevin Durant apparently got his Twitter feeds crossed (and what the hell is he doing with multiple feeds anyway?) and said some mean things about the Oklahoma City Thunder to the world.

Swell. Now what else have you got?

Durant has been feeling his intercommunicative oats all summer, getting his own back after being cuffed around by the Keyboard Irregulars for leaving his old team for fame, fortune, and then more fame and fortune.

[RELATED: Durant deletes tweets critical of Thunder, OKC players, Billy Donovan]

But now it’s gone on awhile, and he picks up trolls and responds back at a serious rate, giving off a vibe that he is General Ulysses Grant trying to re-litigate the Civil War after he already won it and is standing on Robert E. Lee's head.

That’s the thing here. He’s won it, all of it. He has a ring he would not otherwise have. He has regular VIP access to the largest economic engine on the planet. He lives in a place where a thunderstorm is big news rather a sign that it’s 4:30 in the afternoon. What is left for him to fight about?

The answer used to be to silence critics who could not see 2 + 2 without wanting it to be 7. Now, though, it seems to be to demonstrate that his skin is probably thinner than it needs to be.

Maybe this is just him muscle-flexing after years of being quiet. Maybe this is him falling in love with the sight, sound and feel of his own thoughts. Maybe he has a lot more resentment about the hysterical reaction to this move thing than he ever let on.

But we’ve well and truly reached the “okay, okay, we get it” stage. The true and enduring response to why he left Oklahoma City is “Because he is a knowledgeable man.” If he didn’t like Russell Westbrook, fine. If he liked Russell Westbrook but didn’t like head coach Billy Donovan, fine again. If he liked both of them but didn’t like the rest of the roster, fine one more time. If he liked it all but was charmed by Joe Lacob and Bob Myers in a way that Clay Bennett and Sam Presti could not, fine squared.

No matter what the reason or reasons, the point has been made. Championship, awards, acclaim, jewelry, parade, business opportunities – he’s run the table, especially if you want to get pointlessly granular and say he has the better shoe company.

But the idea that you must repave the same road every chance you get doesn’t change the fact that the road is being traveled too much. Kevin Durant is the winner, so engaging the stubborn and dim to prove it seems, well, like there’s a shark on the horizon and he’s giving some thought to jumping it.

Bulls forward Bobby Portis suspended multiple games for punching teammate

portis-us.jpg
USATSI

Bulls forward Bobby Portis suspended multiple games for punching teammate

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for the first eight games for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice.

Mirotic suffered multiple broken bones in his face as well as a concussion on Tuesday. He will likely need surgery and is out indefinitely.

The team announced the suspension on Wednesday. Chicago opens the season at Toronto on Thursday.

A 2015 first-round pick, Portis has averaged 6.9 points and 5 rebounds. He will be allowed to practice with the team while he is suspended.

Mirotic averaged 10.8 points over his first three seasons with Chicago. A restricted free agent, he signed a two-year contract that could pay as much as $27 million in September. The club holds an option on the second season.

In Warriors' season-opening loss, Young brings swag while burying 3-pointers

swag-us.jpg
USATSI

In Warriors' season-opening loss, Young brings swag while burying 3-pointers

OAKLAND -- The Warriors hired Nick Young to bounce off the bench and enter games firing 3-pointers, with the belief that plenty will go through the hoop.

Young in his Warriors debut Tuesday night granted his new team’s best wish.

“Nick was great,” coach Steve Kerr said after a 122-121 loss to the Rockets at Oracle Arena. “I was thrilled with his play. That’s what we brought him here for. Great shooter and he gave us great minutes tonight.”

Young led the Warriors in scoring, pouring 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench. The veteran guard shot 8-of-9 from the floor and, moreover, was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. The six triples are a record for a Warriors player making his debut.

“It’s a great thing when you’ve got teammates telling you to shoot the ball and having that much confidence in you,” Young said.

The USC product is on his fifth NBA team and hoping for a season of revival, to change the narrative without totally sacrificing his “Swagy P” persona.

Young is 32 years old, in his 10th year and only once since his rookie season in Washington (2007-08) was he on a playoff team. That was in 2011-12 with the Clippers, where he was a late-season acquisition.

His career, up to this point, has been defined mostly by goofy moments on the court and his former relationship with the Australian rap artist Iggy Azalea, the two maintaining a high-profile courtship during most of Young’s four years with the Lakers.

The idea is to change that, to make Young better known for being a key component of a winning team. He’s off to a good start, even if the Warriors failed to gain the win.