Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Durant’

A recent history of NBA players writing open letters

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. And that’s never more clearly felt than of late, as we are currently in the midst of a time of change in the NBA. Free agency has seen a bunch of NBA players change franchises and cities, and while at this point we’re used to seeing guys move cities at the drop of a hat, it’s still often difficult for a player to leave behind the fans and people who have helped them reach their current status. So how better to reach out directly and let people know exactly how you feel than via an open letter?

The open letter is not a new form — athletes on the move have done things such as taking out ads in newspapers to publish open letters for years. But the advent of the internet has allowed for new forms and forums.

Here are some of the letters we’ve seen over the last few weeks…

KEVIN DURANT
In a letter on The Players’ Tribune announcing his departure from Oklahoma City for Golden State, Durant said he will always miss the relationships he built in Oklahoma City…

I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging.

It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.

I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.

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Curry, Cavaliers top NBA merchandise list

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots against Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Seven of the 2016 NBA Finals on June 19, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERStephen Curry may have lost in the NBA Finals, but he remains on top in at least one metric for popularity: jersey sales.

In the newest rankings of most popular NBA jerseys, based on overall sales on NBAStore.com from April through June, Curry remains in the number one spot, where he’s been since the end of the 2014-15 season. Also in the top five are Cleveland’s LeBron James, recently retired Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson.

Meanwhile, when it comes to team sales, fans are clearly celebrating the recent title for the Cavaliers, as Cleveland is atop the most popular team merchandise list for the first time since January 2015. The Cavs are followed by the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Also worth noting, Andre Iguodala (No. 14) makes his debut on the jerseys list while teammate Draymond Green (No. 7) earns his highest ranking ever. Also, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (No. 11) and Portland’s Damian Lillard (No. 13) place for the first time since June 2015 and April 2015, respectively.

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
6. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
8. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
9. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
10. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
11. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
12. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
13. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
14. Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
15. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Miami Heat
8. Toronto Raptors
9. New York Knicks
10. Boston Celtics

USA Basketball unveils Men’s Olympic team

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The term “unveiled” is often employed to describe the introduction of something new, and at its definition, “unveiled” suggests literally taking the lid off of whatever it is that is being displayed. Yesterday in New York City, the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team was, quite literally, unveiled at a community center in Harlem. A group of kids were gathered for an announcement, when suddenly a door was raised, revealing all the members of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team…

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After the announcement, a few kids were asked for their reactions. Clearly, and understandably, they were still pretty fired up about it…

Thunder fans cheer team after Game 7 loss

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Oklahoma City Thunder pushed the defending champion Golden State Warriors to the limit in the Western Conference Finals, taking a 3-1 lead before ultimately losing the series in an epic Game 7 matchup. And when the Thunder returned to Oklahoma City a day later, thousands of fans showed up at the airport to cheer for the team and let them know that despite the loss, they appreciated the wonderful ride they’d been on this season…

A decade of the NBA on Twitter

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Today is Twitter’s tenth birthday, and over the last decade the social media platform has become an invaluable tool to use while following the NBA. Not only can fans and teams interact in real time, but NBA players and front office members have also taken to Twitter as a way to communicate with fans.

So, to celebrate Twitter’s tenth birthday, we got into the wayback machine and checked out some of our favorite NBA people’s first tweets…

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Nike unveils USA Basketball 2016 Olympic uniforms

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The 2016 Olympics in Rio are still a few months away, and while we don’t know exactly who will be on Team USA, we now know what Team USA will be in. Today in New York City, as part of their innovation summit, Nike introduced the uniforms for the men’s and women’s USA Basketball teams. Here are Kevin Durant and Elena Delle Donne modeling the new unis…

Kobe gives shoes to Tony Allen, calls him best defender he’s ever faced

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few months ago, Kobe Bryant named his top five opponents, a list that included Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Clyde Drexler.

But the best defender Kobe ever went up against? Apparently a different name is atop that list. After Kobe’s final game in Memphis last week, Kobe gave his shoes to Grizzlies forward Tony Allen, and he wrote a special message on the kicks: “The best defender I ever faced!”

Russell Westbrook does a terrible Kevin Durant impression

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Earlier today we checked in with Kevin Durant, who had the opportunity yesterday to photograph the Super Bowl. Today at Thunder practice, Durant was asked about the experience, and while he explained how much he enjoyed it, Russell Westbrook strolled up behind him and couldn’t resist the chance to mess with KD…

Kevin Durant photographs the Super Bowl

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Being a photographer during a sports event is way harder than it looks. I know, because I tried it a few years ago, and you can see the results of my effort by clicking here. My first attempt at photographing an NBA game was during a Blazers/Nets game. For Kevin Durant? His first attempt was during Super Bowl 50, last night in Santa Clara, California. That’s right, with the Thunder still in the Bay Area after facing the Warriors on Saturday night, KD got himself a media credential and sat on the field to shoot the big game for The Player’s Tribune. Nice work!

POSTERIZED POLL Week of Jan. 22

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Like we always do at this time, let’s take a look at the best instances of people getting #POSTERIZED over the last week and, at the bottom of the post, you can place your vote for a winner. And don’t forget, if you see someone get posterized, tweet it with the hashtag #POSTERIZED so we don’t miss it!

Let’s get right to it this week. Special shoutout to last week’s winner, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan!

OK, let’s get to the POSTERS…so many entrants this week, perhaps our strongest poll yet from top to bottom, including a special double dose of the great Boban Marjanovic(more…)