Good morning. Let’s basketball.
STOP THE WARRIORS: Howard Beck put together a massive project trying to track how teams plan to stop the Warriors, and whether anyone has any confidence whether they can stop the Warriors. The absolute best part is Chris Paul’s reaction at Beck’s questions about how he reacted to Kevin Durant’s free agency decision: "As you can see, I’m not sitting here, like, fazed."
GOOD MORNING IT’S DURANT: Some clues about how Durant’ll be used in Golden State emerge. Plus, Limited Upside hits its Thunder preview.
OH BOY: The annual GM survey is out. Few shockers this year, but GMs do think LeBron is the MVP favorite and only two of 30 GMs picked a non-Golden State team as the most exciting to watch this year.
SPECIAL: Meet Wendell Carter Jr., the five-star recruit pitting Duke against Harvard in a recruiting war.
OH LOOK: Jeremy Lin stars in a Comedy Central sketch about a fake viral marketing firm. Linsanity II is going to produce so much content, y’all.
UH OH: Patrick Beverley might need knee surgery. Houston’s entire defensive hope rides on Beverley being a backcourt stopper and the forwards and centers feeding off that.
LIKE, WELL, COMETS ACROSS THE SKY: The Houston Comets won the WNBA’s first four championships and no longer exist. What happened?
IN CASE YOU WEREN’T READY FOR THE NBA SEASON TO START ... LeBron got a chase-down block for you.
NEW SHAQ AND KOBE: Kevin Ding compares the Cavs’ dynamic duo to that old Laker partnership.
WHOSE TEAM IS IT? Jason Concepcion determines who runs the 30 NBA teams, really.
JAPES WITH RJEFF AND CHANNING FRYE: Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye went to eat at a bar and decided to loop "The Thong Song" 12 times on the jukebox. These dudes know how to have fun/make people mad.
BOOGIE DOWN: Jonathan Tjarks says we haven’t yet seen the best of DeMarcus Cousins.
GRAVITAS: Why Mike Brown commands respect in the Warriors’ locker room.
SURPRISE! That Anthony Davis Craiglist ad thing appears to be tied to an ad campaign. Via the great Dan Devine.
SWIFT IN SANTA CRUZ: A nice look at Robert Swift’s comeback try in the D-League.
THE FIRST LADY: Good profile of Violet Palmer as she transitions from the court to the league office.
‘THIS IS THE NEW '60S RIGHT HERE’: Howard Bryant talks to Carmelo Anthony for an ESPN The Magazine cover story on athlete activism. Speaking of Melo, he’s out here advocating for a stronger D-League, because he’s a hero.
AND FINALLY: Sheed on Flint, mincing no words. Bless him for beating this drum. You can donate to the Flint Water Fund, which delivers filters and bottled water to those who need it. You can also write your Congressfolk and Senators if you’re as mad as Sheed about what’s happening in Flint.
Be excellent to each other.