TAG: Sam Presti

NBA / Aug 15, 2012 / 11:00 am

The Lakers May Face A Luxury Tax Payment Of $115 Million In 2014-2015

Kobe Bryant

This according to ESPN’s Henry Abbott and luxury tax guru Larry Coon. The latest collective bargaining agreement was designed to keep teams under the salary cap – while going over is permitted under the “soft” cap rules, mostly to re-sign superstars and keep teams together for years, ultimately any team with the money can go well overboard. And that’s what the Lakers have done this season. Read More »

Latest News, NBA / Aug 7, 2012 / 12:00 pm

James Harden: “I’m Pretty Sure That I’m Going To Be In Oklahoma City”

James Harden

James Harden (photo. Nicky Woo)

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka have grown up together on OKC, forming a young, athletic and cohesive core capable of winning multiple championships down the road. Except, this isn’t baseball, and that pesky old salary cap could put a dent in their championship plans. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are both locked up long term, and James Harden and Serge Ibaka are up next in the 2013 offseason when both players will become restricted free agents. Read More »

Smack / Jun 25, 2012 / 12:14 am

Scott Brooks Would Be Succeeded By Whom? And What Would You Trademark Linsanity For?

Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson

Talk about an awkward triangle. Rumors have it that Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are next in line for the Oklahoma City Thunder job if Scott Brooks doesn’t get the new contract he wants. Brooks’ deal runs out at the end of the month, and some think he could parlay an NBA Finals coaching job into a fat new deal no matter where. Some even might think that group includes coaches looking for new jobs, but here’s what’s wrong: This whole rumor rests on the assumption Brooks would bolt for more money anywhere. Read More »

NBA / Jun 15, 2012 / 11:30 am

Sonic Gloom: A Seattleite’s Spin On The OKC Thunder

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Rob Hammer)

“I’m peaking … It’s my time now. It’s our time. … We’re coming out! Guns blazing!” – Al Pacino, Devil’s Advocate

Lucifer’s soliloquy doubles as the mantra for the avid sports hater during championship competition.

Anybody with an acquired distaste for a particular athlete, team, coach, owner, media member, fan base, school or city – even an entire sport itself – should be hitting their peak form when a title is on the line and the rest of the world is watching.

You want to deliver boxing’s eulogy? You don’t do it during ESPN2′s “Friday Night Fights.” You save it for a Mayweather or Pacquiao pay-per-view. You want to shred to pieces the idea that Eli is better than Peyton? Do it during Super Bowl Week, not preseason or the Pro Bowl. Read More »

Smack / Jun 7, 2012 / 12:50 am

Kevin Durant & OKC Start A New Era, Stamp Their Ticket To The NBA Finals

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Rob Hammer)

Back in ’91, there was a young, athletic team that had some unquestioned individual talent, but just couldn’t overcome their faults. The Bad Boy Pistons had beat them up and scalped them for three straight years, and everyone outside of Chicago was saying you couldn’t win with a selfish player and you couldn’t win when your center had less athletic ability than half the league’s referees, and your point guard looked like the old guy with the knee brace who dominates the local YMCA pickup. But then something just clicked, the pieces came together, and Detroit took a seat on the tidal wave. Last night, the same thing happened in OKC as the Thunder completed their improbable comeback with a 107-99 Game 6 win to send themselves to the NBA Finals. Read More »

NBA / Dec 2, 2011 / 10:00 am

Thunder Hustling to Lock Down Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook (photo. Jeff Forney)

As the basketball world has been wrapped up in Rajon Rondo trade rumors and Chris Paul trade demands (or non-demands), two pieces of the “Big Four” of the NBA’s best point guards have remained outside of the fray. Along with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook‘s name hasn’t been been mentioned in any real credible rumors, despite some of the drama that went down at the end of last season in OKC.

The Thunder want to do their best to make sure Westbrook’s name stays of the rumor mill and make sure he knows he’s loved in OKC. Read More »

NBA / Mar 1, 2011 / 12:00 pm

The Thunder Now Seriously Look To Contend With The Lakers

Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins

Last week, people couldn’t seem to understand why the Celtics would trade Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder for Jeff Green. While the running joke around the League was that Boston will now go down in history as still never losing a playoff series when their starting five of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Perkins has been intact, Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti took that statement to heart. Realizing that a trip to the NBA Finals most likely goes through Los Angeles or San Antonio, today they ensured that they’ll have as good a shot as any. Read More »

D-League, NBA / Dec 2, 2010 / 1:00 pm

Cole World: Rookie Hazing & Life In The NBA D-League

Cole Aldrich

After an outstanding three-year career at Kansas, which included a 2008 NCAA Championship and three Big 12 titles during his tenure, Cole Aldrich was a Lottery pick this June. First selected by the Hornets before being trading to the Thunder on Draft Night, the Bloomington, Minn. native gladly returned to the Midwest. So with everyone’s expectations for the Thunder going through the roof this season, we decided there was no one better to turn to for the inside scoop on life in OKC. In his third entry, Cole talks about rookie hazing and life in the NBA D-League. Read More »

NBA / Sep 29, 2010 / 2:30 pm

Ex-Arizona Star Fights His Way To The NBA

Mustafa Shakur

Mustafa Shakur (photo. NBA Development League)

Quick, name the top point guards in the high school class of 2003 playing in the NBA right now. There is Chris Paul, who has solidified himself as one the top guards in the world. You have the reigning Most Improved Player in Aaron Brooks. There’s Shannon Brown, who has two rings with the Lakers. And now you may have to add Mustafa Shakur to this list after singing with the New Orleans Hornets this summer. Read More »

NBA / Jul 7, 2010 / 11:45 am

Kevin Durant Signs 5-Year, $85 Million Extension

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Jared McMillen)

Continuing in an odd line of humility and sharp thinking amidst the rubble of free agency, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant have agreed on a five-year extension. Unlike the stars of the 2003 Draft class (outside of Carmelo Anthony), Durant is taking on the maximum number of years, with no opt-out. He will be in the Midwest for a long time. Read More »