Good morning. Let’s basketball.
UH ... : Kevin Durant waxes on why he’s glad the Warriors choked up a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, and how he gave himself permission to choose them because they didn’t get the job done. This whole thing is really weird. If you’re going to choose a team where a) you really fit and b) they didn’t get the job done, and you’re Kevin Durant, 29 teams that don’t win the title are in play! (And arguably, no one fits the model better than Oklahoma City.) I felt a lot better about KD’s decision in July than I do now based on his increasingly odd explanations. I almost wish he’d said "I need solid public transit and access to In-N-Out Burgers." I’d understand that much better.
THEN AGAIN: Here’s Russell Westbrook getting rejected by the rim. Ah well.
SPLIT: Maya Moore led the Lynx to a Game 2 win over the Sparks in the WNBA Finals on Tuesday. Yo, don’t mess with Maya Moore.
PREVIEW PARTY: Professor Flannery and I discuss whether this is all a part of Pat Riley’s master plan for the Heat or if he’s flying wild. Then we bemoan the lack of top-level talent around Dirk Nowitzki while acknowledging the Mavericks are still pretty solid. We also have a Heat preview from Hot Hot Hoops and a Dallas preview from Mavs Moneyball. Also, Limited Upside visits with the dean of team bloggers — Jeff Clarks from CelticsBlog — in talking Boston.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Ricky O’Donnell reports from USA Basketball’s junior minicamp in Colorado Springs, where 54 of the top prep players spent the weekend competing for attention and spots on competitive Team USA rosters. The biggest takeaway: Michael Porter, who committed to Washington and is a top-2 recruit in the 2018 draft class, was the best player there.
GO-BAN MARJA-NO-VIC: Gregg Popovich told Boban Marjanovic he had to take Detroit’s much more lucrative free agent offer because of math.
ONE LAYER OF CONTINUITY: Nice piece on longtime Pacers assistant Dan Burke, who’s stayed in Indiana through a bunch of different head coaches.
BACK TO LINSANITY: Nice Mike Mazzeo piece on Jeremy Lin’s return to basketball prominence over the past year after a disastrous run with the Rockets and Lakers.
SPEAKING OF BROOKLYN ... This Scott Cacciola story on the Nets actually living in Brooklyn this year because of the team’s new practice facility there is great. Chris McCullough trawling StreetEasy after practice, Luis Scola camped out waiting for street parking for his minivan, Trevor Booker complaining about the costliness ... it’s all just right.
SPEAKING OF BROOKLYN II ... Anthony Bennett gets a little too real about the Nets’ watchability.
CONNECT: Jay Kang on athlete protests’ influence on and amplification of street protests.
COLLEGE PREVIEW: Syracuse won’t be surprising anyone this year.
NICE: Kevin McHale will be doing games for TNT this season. He’s great on TV!
NOT JUST THE NBA: The D-League has had a dearth of head coaches of color in recent years.
AND FINALLY: NBA logos go Halloween.
Happy Wednesday. See you next time.