Good morning. Let's basketball.
ARE YOU KDING ME?: Kevin Durant went bonkers again on Monday, dropping 41 points and a
stunning totally expected game-winner to lead the Thunder over the Hawks. Durant has always been difficult to slow. But at this point, right now, he is totally unguardable. In January, he is averaging 37-6-6 with a True Shooting of .676. That's not even a set of comprehensible basketball numbers.
Durant has led the Thunder atop the Official SBNation.com NBA Power Rankings in Russell Westbrook's absence.
MEANWHILE, LEBRON: Shane Battier's annual karaoke fundraiser was last night. Via Hot Hot Hoops (who will no doubt have more today), LeBron, D. Wade and Udonis Haslem belted out "Blurred Lines." Wearing Heatles t-shirts. With LeBron doing the falsetto parts. A YouTube search also reveals LeBron and Michael Beasley doing "Back That Azz Up" and, uh, ahem, Battier, Ken Jeong and Greg Oden doing a Backstreet Boys song. (Again, check Hot Hot Hoops a bit later later for a full Battioke wind-up.)
SUNNY OUTLOOK: Woj explains how big an asset Emeka Okafor's insurance-covered contract will be for Phoenix. From this point forward, insurance will cover 80 percent of his salary for this season. Line up, broke owners. (Where are the Maloofs when you need them?)
THE MOTHER OF ALL ORAL HISTORIES: The incredible David Aldridge goes ridiculously deep on David Stern with the folks who know David Stern's career best. So good.
KOBE BRYANT, MERYL STREEP AND 50 CENT WALK INTO AN INSTAGRAM FEED: No, really.
DRAFT CHAT: Is Michigan's Nik Stauskas a better two-guard prospect than Michigan State's Gary Harris?
TRIANGLE WITHOUT LOVE: Harvey Araton on the odd triangle of Mike D'Antoni, Kobe and Carmelo Anthony is well worth your time.
JOKES AHEAD: David Stern will be doing the Top 10 for David Letterman on Wednesday. Oh boy.
NO. 1 REASON: Pat Riley says Stern is "the No. 1 reason why this league is where it is today." If you see Michael Jordan side-eyeing Riley at All-Star, this is why.
SPEAKING OF STERN ...: Jimmy Jackson revealed last week that in 1992 he sued the NBA over alleged collusion against rookies by Stern and owners. Three years later, the rookie scale was put into place. Isn't that just institutionalized collusion?
INJURY PARTY: Nikola Pekovic will see a doc about his injured Achilles; no timeline on a return yet.
PRESENTING ...: The best hair in college basketball.
PRETTY PICTURES: The Kings released the first official renderings for the proposed new arena in downtown Sacramento. It appears that you'll be able to watch the Jumbotron from the outdoor public plaza, which is pretty awesome.
TONIGHT!: Spurs at Rockets is the Fan Night special, but Grizzlies at Blazers is the one that will live in your heart.
Happy Tuesday. See you next time.