Kevin Durant picked Nets before he spoke with team, Sean Marks says

Kevin Durant picked Nets before he spoke with team, Sean Marks says

As the rest of the NBA world was on pins and needles on June 30 waiting for Kevin Durant to make his free agency decision, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters Tuesday that they were in the exact same boat.

Marks said he didn't know that KD was leaving the Warriors for Brooklyn until he announced it on Instagram at 6:02 p.m. ET that day.

Marks went on to say that he eventually met with Durant on Monday in Los Angeles.

This backs up what Chris Mannix reported in a feature for Sports Illustrated on Tuesday, where Marks expressed "shock" that Durant had indeed joined the Nets.

As Mannix writes:

On the afternoon of June 30, Marks and his staff gathered in the war room for the opening hours of free agency. Internally, there was confidence that the team was positioned to land two of the biggest names on the market: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. “Nervous anticipation,” says Marks. Just before 5 p.m. came the first reports: Both planned to sign with the Nets. It wasn’t until an Instagram post an hour later confirmed Durant’s intentions that Marks fully believed KD was coming. “That sent a shock wave through everyone,” Marks says.

While the fact that Marks knew nothing more than we did seems unlikely, it's certainly possible KD kept his cards close to the vest. Before his free agency process began, Durant said “he couldn’t be recruited,” so perhaps he felt he didn’t need to give the Nets a heads up.

[RELATED: Portis: Players knew KD and Kyrie would join Nets in February]

Then again, maybe he already subliminally told the Nets he would be choosing Brooklyn with his hat choice back in April.

(Probably not).

Regardless, Durant officially is in Brooklyn and he’ll don a new number. All of this is just semantics, really.

Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell signs with Dwyane Wade's shoe company

Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell signs with Dwyane Wade's shoe company

D'Angelo Russell no longer is a free agent when it comes to the shoe game. The Warriors guard officially will be the on-court face of Li-Ning's Way of Wade shoe brand. 

Future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade announced the news in a video through B/R Kicks on Thursday. 

Wade called the decision to sign Russell a "no-brainer."

"I am passing the torch, and I am welcoming D-Lo to the Way of Wade brand," Wade said. "I am excited to pass the torch to him, man." 

The former Heat star went on to congratulate Russell on Twitter. 

[RELATED: Bowman has been Warriors' bright spot, looks like a keeper]

While he currently is sidelined at least two weeks with a sprained right thumb, Russell has been enjoying a career-year in his first season as a Warrior. Through 10 games, the former No. 2 overall draft pick is averaging a career-high 24.3 points per game. 

Russell also is averaging 6.7 assists per game for the injury-ravaged Warriors while shooting a career-best 45.5 percent from the field. While Golden State is searching for wins, D-Lo certainly has done his part offensively.

NCAA to rule potential Warriors draft target James Wiseman eligible


NCAA to rule potential Warriors draft target James Wiseman eligible

The NCAA is stupid, but you already knew that.

After ruling Memphis center James Wiseman -- the presumptive No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft -- ineligible for the current collegiate season for accepting $11,500 in moving expenses, the governing body has reversed course ... sort of.

On Wednesday, the NCAA ruled Wiseman re-eligible before suspending him for 12 games, and mandated that he donate the same sum to a charity of his choice before being cleared to play.

This is where the NCAA's hypocrisy truly shines through. Wiseman was ruled ineligible for accepting money -- money he and his family didn't have -- to move to Memphis in high school, back when current Tigers coach Penny Hardaway coached Wiseman at East High School. Now, in order to get back on the court, the NCAA is making him dig up $11,500, even though the responsibilities and obligations required to fulfill his collegiate basketball scholarship make it all but impossible to hold down an additional job.

But we can't pay college athletes. No, that would be un-American.


[RELATED: Bowman has been Warriors' bright spot, looks like a keeper]

Hypocrisy aside, the NCAA coming to its senses is good news for Wiseman -- and for any team picking near the top of the upcoming draft.

That includes the Warriors, who have already scouted Wiseman up close and currently occupy the worst record in the NBA. Once he returns to action on Jan. 12, Wiseman will have an opportunity to play in as many as 16 games before any conference tournaments and March Madness. That should provide ample tape for NBA teams to evaluate someone who is widely regarded as the best big man available in the draft.