• Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant on his place in the league (via Michael Lee of The Washington Post):
“I’ve heard a few times, in three or four years, this league is going to be yours. . . . I don’t like that. Because I think I’m established now. My time is now,” Durant said. “I feel as though I’ve proved myself these last five years that I can be one of the top players in the league. I’ve got a long way to go to being the ultimate best, but I think my time is now. And I’m starting to enter my prime.”
Durant wins the scoring title every season, and his team gave itself a near 50-50 chance to take a 2-0 lead in the Finals. Who are these people telling Durant he has two wait three or four years for anything in the NBA, and what have they been watching?
• A brief Q-and-A with Meyers Leonard in which the Portland rookie center reveals the first big purchase he made after signing his contract.
• Blake Griffin is happy with the Clippers and the condition of his knee, and he has a nomination for the team’s open GM slot.
• If Jacque Vaughn brings some of the Spurs’ offensive philosophy with him to Orlando, what would that offense look like?
• Tom Ziller of SB Nation on why ousted Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, alleged killer of point guards, might have meshed well with Damian Lillard.
• The rookie transition program, put together by the league and the players’ union, is a multiday seminar in which league insiders teach rookies about money, women, life and all the things that could get them in trouble now that they are millionaires. Kendall Marshall, the Suns’ rookie point guard, learned this (via Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic):
“The female species are a lot smarter than us so we have to realize maybe it’s not always that we’re the best-looking guy they’ve ever seen,” Marshall said. “Maybe there is some incentive behind it. At the same time, there are great cases where guys have happy marriages. They’ve shown us both cases. We just have to be smart (and realize) that people don’t always have our best interests in mind.”
• Vince Ellis, writing at the Detroit Free Press, profiles George David, the Pistons’ assistant GM. Lots of fun stuff here on all the hard work and other variables that led to David’s rise to the position — from student management at Indiana University, to video coordinator, to No. 2 personnel man.
• Kirk Goldsberry charts every shot attempt from every NBA game last season to find the league’s collective hot and cold spots. Among the findings in this visually pleasing presentation: The league as a whole shoots better from the right side of the floor. Great stuff.
• Anthony Macri, writing at HOOPSWORLD, imagines some of the specific actions we’ll see from new-look offenses with the Lakers and Sixers.
• Sebastian Pruiti, writing at Grantland, on how Eddie Jordan’s Princeton offense might look in Los Angeles.
• Steve von Horn of BrewHoop divides the Eastern Conference into tiers — sure playoff teams, bubble teams and lottery teams. Is he right?
• The five biggest storylines for the Jazz this season. I can’t wait to see how No. 2 plays out.
• Jason Terry on possibly getting his jersey retired in Dallas someday.
• A realistic assessment of where the Blazers stand.