Thunder Lightning Round
By Randy Renner
Several things to jump into so I figured it was time again for another edition of the Thunder Lightning Round.
Harden Best In The World??
We all know former Thunder sixth man James Harden has a really big beard but turns out his ego is even bigger.
Harden did some interviews this week at the NBA 2K event showcasing the debut of the latest version of the popular basketball video game NBA 2K15 which features Kevin Durant on the box cover.
In an interview with ESPN's Scoop Jackson, Harden didn't hold back when asked who he thought was the best basketball player alive.
"Myself," Harden told Jackson.
Jackson then elaborated, asking Harden whether that was an easy question for him to answer.
"It is," Harden said. "Myself."
Harden may be the only person on the planet who has that opinion. Most experts would say LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world followed closely by our own Kevin Durant. KD's teammate Russell Westbrook is high on that list too, in fact more and more folks are placing Westbrook at #3 on that list.
Harden wouldn't make most folks Top Five.
Despite The Beard's optimism, the Rocket man has yet to win an MVP award or a scoring title and hasn't reached the second round of the playoffs since departing Oklahoma City.
KD Talks Team USA
Durant was at that same NBA 2K event this week and he sat down with a group of reporters to talk about his withdrawal from Team USA basketball and some other things too.
Durant again said he pulled out of his commitment to Team USA to be able to get some quality rest leading up to this coming NBA season.
“It was definitely tough,” Durant told the group. “I’ve (played) before and being with Steph (Curry), 2010, was one of the best experiences of my life. Being with James (Harden), (Anthony Davis) in 2012 was great as well. So it was tough. But I think for myself I just needed to take a step back and get ready for next season and rest up. Played a long, long 82-game season this past year. So I wanted to be smart with myself and realize that of course I love to play the game, I love USA Basketball, I love these guys, but I think it was best for me to take a step back, rest and get ready for the next season.”
Durant was also asked about basketball's best player, he didn't nominate Harden and wouldn't say he was either.
“I think I’m best at scoring. I feel like I’m an all-around player. I may not be the best rebounder or passer or defensive player, but I feel like I’m the best scorer.”
No argument here, KD has won the NBA scoring title four of the last five seasons afterall.
Durant also said when it comes to the video game he was in New York to promote, he's pretty good at that too, "For the summer, I’m about 100-4. That’s my record this summer. I feel real confident about my game. But the guy that would give me the most trouble would probably have to be James (Harden). James or Russell (Westbrook). Those are the only two guys I’ve played against who can play pretty well. But like I said, I’m very confident in my game right now.”
Under Armour Offer Now Official
It's been rumored and talked about for a few weeks but now that huge endorsement deal offer from Under Armour is officially on the table for Durant.
His management team at Roc Nation notified Nike that UA is offering KD a 10 year deal worth from $265 to $285 million. Nike will be given an opportunity to match the offer. Either way Durant will be making more cash per year off this one endorsement deal than he will through his basketball current contract with the Thunder (or his future contract with OKC or any other team).
Tickets On Sale September 30th
The Thunder's preseason and regular season schedule is out now and tickets for all the Thunder home games will go on sale on September 30th. There will be two preaseason games at The Peake and then 41 regular season games there.
The Thunder will have two other "home" games away from The Peake in the preseason, one in Wichita and one in Tulsa. Tickets for those games are on sale now through Wichita's INTRUST Bank Arena and Tulsa's BOK Center.