Storyline: Durant-Westbrook Relationship

177 rumors in this storyline

Durant, a former MVP and two-time Finals MVP himself, was quick to choose the latter, who he won two NBA titles with in three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. “Steph Curry,” Durant replied to the question on ex-Thunder teammate Serge Ibaka’s cooking show Monday. “He can shoot better.” Curry is a 48% career shooter and 44% career three-point shooter while Westbrook is 43% from the field and a 31% from beyond the arc on his career.

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While Durant was always the best player on the Thunder during his tenure in OKC, Smith is reporting Westbrook had trouble following KD as the team’s leader for a couple of reasons. “Several people have come up to me. A couple of people who used to play in Oklahoma City. Several people that are incredibly familiar with the history of KD in Oklahoma City. They said when he was in Oklahoma City, he wasn’t viewed as the leader,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday. “They said it was hard for Russell Westbrook to follow him because KD, the man that you see right now, was a boy back then. And Russell Westbrook came in a man. “So to go to Russell Westbrook and to ask him to follow that guy, Russell Westbrook was a man lookin’ at you like you’re asking him to follow a boy. I’m quoting. I’m not tellin’ you who. But I’m quoting folks that said that and it was more than one person.”

Others have given Westbrook the blame for Durant bailing on being beloved Oklahoma City and heading for greener pastures with the Golden State Warriors, a team that is loose, shares the ball and has an elite coach. Durant is not intense like him, and others view him leaving as the belief that he couldn’t win a championship with Westbrook as his co-pilot. “It wasn’t as much to do with Russ as the media made it look like at all, I know that for a fact,” Morrow said. “He wanted to build on his legacy, he wanted to win. He felt like we tried, 10 years, it ain’t work… I could tell you that that’s how he was thinking about that.”

In an exclusive interview with 95.7, the Warriors star gave his insight on why he joined the Bay Area in free agency two years ago, and it seems that he was throwing shade at Russell Westbrook and the rest of his former OKC teammates. “You can’t learn about life if you’re the only player on the team… You’re the only player on the team and nobody is just as good as you, nobody has that experience or that thought process of how you’re thinking as a ball player.”

Chris Mannix: “The relationship between Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City was never really torched. Oklahoma City always said the right things about him, and they always did right by him publicly. And the relationship between Durant and Russell Westbrook, while not being great by any stretch, is probably as good as it’s been since he left Oklahoma City. So all those things are gonna factor in and make me think Oklahoma City will at least be on his list of possibilities [in free agency] next summer.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Kevin Durant and his mother, Wanda, believe the hype surrounding Durant and Russell Westbrook has gone too far. “It’s not about me and Russ,” the small forward told ESPN after the Golden State Warriors lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-91 on Wednesday. “It’s about the Thunder and the Warriors. Myself and Russ are competing out there. That’s part of the game. It’s basketball. It’s not about us. We’re just playing the game, and trash talking is part of it. That’s all it is.”

Westbrook led the Thunder with 34 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Durant finished with 21 points and five rebounds. First, Durant and Westbrook appeared to exchange some words during the second quarter of OKC and Golden State’s first meeting of this season. After Westbrook forced a turnover, he was shown on the broadcast saying something as Durant walked away and laughed. Per reporters at the game, the Thunder guard made KD laugh by shouting or shaking his head “No” at the crowd.

Late in the second quarter, Westbrook denied a post entry into Durant and the ball sailed out of bounds. Westbrook turned to the Warriors’ bench and yelled, “No!” Durant pointed at Westbrook while just smiling. Westbrook was then fouled on the other end by Draymond Green. Green didn’t like the call, and he began clapping in the vicinity of Westbrook, and the reigning MVP began clapping back at him. The two had a few words before Westbrook went to the foul line to take his shots.

“I play the same way every night if it’s against Kevin or if it’s against Detroit,” he said. “It don’t matter who it is. On the court I have no friends. The only friend I have is the basketball. That’s it. And obviously my teammates, but I go out to compete and to guard and play at a high level. I’ve been that way since day one and that’s what I do.” Durant enjoyed the chatter. “Man, it’s just ball,” Durant said. “He’s competitive, I’m competitive. We like to go at it, both of us, and that’s just a part of the game.”

Adam Kemp of the Oklahoman passed along comments George made during a television interview with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski about the apparent rift between two of the league’s top players. “Whatever went between him and Russ that’s their business,” he said. “It’s not my point to want to know or want to figure out what happened. It’s pointless. They are buddies, they are back good again. I’m here to build something different and something special.”

Speaking after Golden State’s Monday morning shootaround in OKC, Steve Kerr disputed the report. “I don’t agree,” Kerr said. “(Thunder GM) Sam Presti’s a friend of mine. I know (Thunder owner) Clay Bennett. It’s a class organization all the way, so I don’t really pay any attention to a story like that unless there’s an actual name name that’s put on it. I assume it’s just sources. Is it ‘sources’? I don’t know who that is. It’s nobody with the Warriors. We have great respect for them. Sam’s been a friend of mine forever. They’re first-class, so I don’t know where that comes from.”

But once again, even without being on the court this time, Durant is at the center of this swirling NBA drama. “This league is a very interesting place all the way through,” Steph Curry said. “Certain stories that don’t need to see the light of day, don’t need to have any life breathed into them somehow are the most popular. That’s kind of how it goes. To me, it’s kind of comical what can be put in the spotlight during an 82-game year…I actually look forward to waking up and seeing what ridiculousness is posted.”
3 years ago via ESPN

The pregame scene was just another in a weekend full of them showcasing the tension between Westbrook and Durant. At the Saturday “practice” — loose quotes at that — as the Western All-Stars were announced, they gathered at midcourt, each player running through the line dapping each other up. Durant was the second player out, behind Stephen Curry, and as Westbrook had his name called a few players after, Durant was sitting back on a table by himself as Westbrook ran out. The feeling in the practice locker room was described as “painfully quiet and uncomfortable.” In the subsequent mixed-zone media availability, Durant walked by Westbrook as the two appeared to strain so as not to make eye contact.
3 years ago via ESPN

It was jarring to watch Westbrook and Durant actively avoid each other, because it was a far cry from the way it used to be at All-Star Weekend. They’ve spent five together as teammates — both for the Western Conference and the Thunder — and while the weekend’s proceedings kept them separate for large amounts as they tended to sponsorship appearances and charity events, when they had the opportunity to, they were together. Durant and Westbrook made it a point to ride the same bus to every event they were both going to, always sitting next to each other. They would go out of the way to make sure they rode together to Sunday’s big game, with Durant driving 25 minutes in Toronto traffic to meet up with Westbrook at the Jordan Brand hotel last year. That happened in New York the year before, and in Houston in 2013 (Westbrook missed 2014 due to injury), they met in the middle.

Asked if he’ll use the opportunity to make amends with his ex-teammate, Durant said he doesn’t know. “It isn’t even something I’m thinking about, to be honest,” he said Friday on SportsCenter. “If it happens organically, it does, but I’m not planning to do anything. … If it happens, it does. If it doesn’t, it’s no big deal.” Instead, the former MVP’s priority is to enjoy the weekend’s festivities. “I’m going to handle All-Star weekend like I always do. Get in and get out. Do everything I’m supposed to do. Play the game and have some fun. I ain’t come here for it to be any drama or have a heart to heart with anybody,” he explained.

One last thing about their relationship, him and Russ. You told Adrian Wojnarowski that it’s sad for you to see that, you hate that it’s come to that. What do you think it’s gonna take for those guys to get back to what they had? Kendrick Perkins: I don’t think it’s a real beef there. I think it’s just more so maybe feathers being ruffled, just feelings being hurt. I don’t think either one of them got hard feelings. I done been around them for going on four, five years – numerous group messages to dinners to card games to whatever – and I know both of them really care about each other. And I think more so it’s the outside world that kind of blow it up and keep adding fuel to the fire. If you look back on it, either one of them never commented and said nothing negative about either one of them. I think in due time, they’ll mend. I was just talking to Russ, and Russ don’t have any hard feelings toward KD, and KD feel the same way. So I think in due time, they’ll get back on point where they’re talking again and get that relationship back.
3 years ago via ESPN

Stephen Curry: “I feel like we’ll be mature enough to just enjoy being All-Stars and being in that locker room and what wearing the West All-Star jersey means and celebrating everybody’s accomplishments. Obviously there’s competition and there’s history and whatever you want to call it. But at the end of the day we’re all trying to push our games to the next level and continue to just raise the interest [in] the NBA as a whole and do special things. And I think we all fit into that category. [I] can’t speak for KD or Russ or whatever, but being at All-Star is a special thing and you want to respect that.”
3 years ago via ESPN

3 years ago via ESPN

With Kevin Durant set to return to Oklahoma City for the first time since joining the Golden State Warriors, Russell Westbrook talked as extensively as he has in months about his severed relationship with his former teammate. “Obviously, us playing here, we grew up here together,” Westbrook said before Saturday night’s game. “Since then, his decision has been made about what’s best for him and his future and I made the decision that was best for mine, and that’s just how it’s been.”
3 years ago via ESPN

3 years ago via ESPN

In a SportsCenter sit-down with ESPN’s Marc Stein, Durant also insisted that ?he is prepared for whatever reaction greets him at Chesapeake Energy Arena, saying: “I know what’s important [to Thunder fans] and their team is way more important than just one player. … I’m not going in there acting like I’m going to be praised, I know how it’s going to be.” “I know they’re going to be rowdy in there, man,” Durant told Stein. “I’ve been a part of some of the loudest nights in that arena. So I know it’s not going to be the friendliest welcome, but, like I said, I can’t wait to see the people that I really built relationships with over my time there and, you know, I’m sure fans that I got to know throughout my time playing there, even though they might not cheer for me out loud, I’ll give ’em a wink and they know what we had deep down inside.”
3 years ago via ESPN

“I was doing an interview with someone and I used the word ‘unselfish’ to describe my teammates here [with] the Warriors and someone asked Russell the question, asked if he heard what I said about being unselfish and he phrased the question as if I was saying that the Thunder and the organization and the team was selfish. And once I heard that, I was like, ‘They are trying to get in between this thing and make it bigger than what it is.’ “Obviously Russell wasn’t going to hear that [full] interview I had about me just talking about my teammates I have now and someone in Oklahoma City phrased it to him as if I was calling them selfish. It’s that easy. It’s that easy for the media to twist something up and for the media, you know, [to] make a feud between us.”

Never mind that Westbrook would later make it clear that the two are still not on speaking terms, or that this was just the second time Durant had seen his old team since his surprising exit from Oklahoma City last July. This, Durant explained after his 40-point, 12-rebound, four-assist, three-block performance in the Warriors’ 121-100 win at Oracle Arena, was nothing more than your typical playground scene. “That’s all it was,” Durant told USA TODAY Sports. “You talk a little trash. (There’s) no tension. Nothing went on out there. Both teams played hard. He did what he’s supposed to do. I went out there and did what I was supposed to do. It’s nothing serious, man, nothing that we’re going to take off the court, you know what I’m saying? It ain’t gonna seep into the real world. It’s just basketball talk.”

“It’s nothing. There is nothing. Nothing to even to write about,” Durant said. “He’s on his team. I’m on my team. It is not a soap opera. It’s not VH1. It’s basketball. He’s doing his thing. I’m doing my thing. Ain’t nothing to it. We will [talk] when we will [talk]. There are plenty of times when I go months without talking to my friends. I’m out here grinding, doing my thing. He’s doing his. So, ain’t no hard feelings on my side. I don’t even think about it.”

The trio combined to score 71 points in a Game 1 win over LeBron James’ Heat. They were three wins from an NBA title. Harden was 22, Durant and Westbrook were 23. The chatter was building: Would this brand new franchise, plopped in middle America, rule the NBA for the next decade? “No. We never looked at it that way, like we could be best of all-time,” Durant said. “It was really AAU basketball, man. We were just having fun. We weren’t listening to anyone on the outside, media, none of that. It was just pure fun. When we did hear something about the group, it was like, what is this? That was so foreign to us because we never paid attention to it.”

“What? F— do I look like, man? Why would I ever say that?” Westbrook said in pregame interviews, apparently unaware of the video until he was asked about it. “I would never say no other man’s name like that, for one. ‘Thank you Kyrie.’ What do I look like? I was talking to my trainer’s daughter. His daughter’s name is Jayme. ‘Thank you Jayme.’ I’m tired of – I ain’t about to keep going on that. I’m gonna keep my spirit up. I’m not about to even involve myself in no dumb stuff like that. Next question, man.” As he waited for another question, Westbrook muttered, “Dumb a– s—.”

Durant has been politically correct when answering questions about Westbrook, the Thunder and Oklahoma City since arriving at the Warriors. But he revealed that his kindness hasn’t been rewarded. “One thing I was doing too much of was I was trying to be delicate with everyone’s feelings, especially the fan base in OKC, and my former teammates,” Durant told The Undefeated. “I had to realize that they don’t care. They’re going to dissect what they’re going to dissect. I was trying to be really considerate of their feelings and everything.”

So why haven’t Durant and Westbrook resolved their divorce? “It’s because of the outsiders,” Thabeet said. “Mostly, it’s the outsiders. It’s almost like everything Russell does is a shot at Kevin. It’s not even like that. Those guys actually have their lives. I talk to Russell. Russell’s my guy. He’s married. He’s happy. He’s living his life. “At the end of the day, these outsiders will fade. Somebody is going to win this year, and they are going to forget about this moment. It’s part of sports, I guess.”
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March 29, 2020 | 1:42 pm EDT Update
We talked about how much the game has changed, but are there any active players who sort of remind you of yourself? Theo Ratliff: Yeah, I think the guy we, the Hawks, just acquired: Clint Capela. He definitely mirrors my mentality and approach to the game. He’s not a guy who really worries about being a major part of the offense, but he’s always looking to help his teammates by blocking shots and rebounding the ball.
In today’s NBA, big men are being forced to evolve and the Houston Rockets are even going away from centers entirely. What are your thoughts on how the NBA is changing? Theo Ratliff: I think the game has definitely changed. Back in my day, everything was kind of based on the big man being dominant in the post. With the evolution of analytics and their calculations that have people shooting more three-pointers and more layups and not really focusing on their mid-range game or post-ups, it has really changed the game. Plus, you have so much more open space now and you can’t armbar guys, you can’t check guys who are coming down the middle and different things of that nature. It opens up the lanes so much because they’re taking so much away as far as what the defense can do.
You have the 22nd-most blocks in NBA history. You need to have great timing and instincts to be an elite shot-blocker. Can you teach those things or is it one of those things where you either have it or you don’t? Theo Ratliff: Oh, you can definitely develop it. It’s all about muscle memory and timing and visualization. I was just talking to a guy today about how to master whatever it is that you do and it’s all about visualization – seeing things before they happen. Also, doing a lot of studying of other players and their tendencies, where the ball will be in certain offenses, who likes to drive versus who likes to post and different things in the game that help you visualize how you’re going to play against that specific opponent and where you need to be to help.
Theo Ratliff: You’re talking about a tremendous competitor. To this day, I still don’t know how he did the things that he did and how he was able to push through certain injuries. When he sprained his ankle, it looked like he broke his ankle, but then he’d be right back out here. His will and determination and pain tolerance was right up there with Kobe. He was just able to will himself to do certain things. When we were down, we knew where to go. We’d find him, he’d find the ball, and he would just take over games. Just from his leadership on the floor, that helped us be at our best. We had a lot of guys who were just kind of journeyman guys who hadn’t really stepped out and came into their own when we came over to the Sixers to play alongside him – guys like Aaron McKie, Eric Snow, George Lynch. He helped push us and elevated our game and our status as NBA players. He’s a tremendous guy, a tremendous person as well. Very giving, very family-oriented. He takes his time, even to this day, to speak to your kids and give his story and talk about what he did and the ups and downs of his life. He’s just a tremendous individual.
But on March 14, a Saturday, there would be a party, in anticipation of Cain’s birthday three days later. Mom’s Cigar & Lounge Warehouse has a private room that can accommodate 70 people, and at that point there were no restrictions in New York on gatherings of that size. Mitul Shah, one of the owners, said that he had discussed canceling the party with Cain, and that they had decided to take extra precautions. There would be plenty of cleaning and sanitary wipes, employees would wear gloves, and nobody showing symptoms of a cold or flu would be admitted.
Storyline: Coronavirus
As he waited several days for the results, Cain learned that another person at the party had tested positive. When he got his own results back, on March 22, he spread the news again: Quarantine yourself and get tested. He did not know that, by then, Green was in the final throes of the virus. He had felt sick all week, mostly with a cough. When his fever spiked on March 20, he went to the hospital. He was tested for coronavirus, his family said, and was told the results would take some time. He went home. He lived alone. “I’m not going to lie,” he texted to his daughter, Bria Natalie Green, 26, one of his four grown children. “I was scared to death.”
Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal skipped too many board meetings at Papa John’s International Inc. in his first term as a director and shouldn’t be re-elected, a major investor advisory firm said. O’Neal, the four-time National Basketball Association champion, attended less than 75% of the pizza company’s board and committee meetings over the last year, investment adviser Institutional Shareholder Services said in a Thursday report. Because of that record, ISS is asking investors vote against his re-election at the scheduled April 23 annual meeting — the only such recommendation among members of that board.
March 29, 2020 | 11:21 am EDT Update
Former Knicks star Stephon Marbury wants to deliver the Big Apple something it needs even more than an NBA title — 10 million N95 masks for hospital workers and other first responders handling the coronavirus pandemic. Marbury, who played in the NBA 14 years before moving overseas to become a legend in the Chinese Basketball Association, told The Post he’s made arrangements with a mask supplier in China willing to sell New York 10 million masks “at cost” for $2.75 each – well below the roughly $7.50 price tag N95s normally run the state.
Storyline: Coronavirus
“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury said during a call from his Beijing home. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.” “I have family there in Coney Island, a lot of family … who are affected by this, so I know how important it is for people to have masks during this time.” With China now beginning to recover from the pandemic, Marbury’s mask contact has more N95s than that country currently needs, according to Brooklyn Borough Hall. The gear would be delivered 2 million at a time over five weeks.
Fernandez’s parents live with his grandmother in a 1,000-square-foot apartment in his native Badalona, in the far northeast corner of the country. Independent and healthy, his grandmother lived by herself until she was 88 years old. “You spend a lot of time outside all year ‘round, and right now that’s no longer allowed,” Fernandez said of Spain’s government-mandated shutdown. “They’re that part of the population that’s, they have a lot of risk because they’re older than 60, and my grandma is almost 90, and they all have had some sort of heart condition. Minor, but they’ve had it, so that’s one of the reasons that it’s scary.”
“I think you’re seeing all the police officers go into hospitals, using their sirens to say thank you to them, and a lot of people clapping at a certain time of the day just to support all those nurses and doctors,” Fernandez said. “That brings a country together. “When I see it from here, it’s tough because you’re so far away, and at the same time it’s concerning because we don’t know how it’s going to hit us here,” he said. “We would be fooling ourselves if we think that everything will be fine in two weeks.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
March 29, 2020 | 7:02 am EDT Update
New Knicks president Leon Rose wanted to examine the 26-year-old closely across the last 16 games as he enters free agency. That audition likely will get cut short with the season’s indefinite suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It was a chance for him to showcase to the Knicks and to see if he wanted to be here,’’ one NBA source told The Post. “He always wanted to be a Knick.’’
Storyline: Moe Harkless Free Agency
“That’s why we were so mystified when it leaked out,” Casey said of a report in The Athletic. “Christian was upset his name got out there. He didn’t release it. And the worst part was it got out before Christian even had a chance to tell his mom. “I was very unhappy about that. I told our staff, ‘This is unprofessional. This can’t happen again.’ It was so unfair to our player.”
The French Basketball Federation announced that all the competitions for 2019-2020 that are held by the organization are canceled amid the coronavirus crisis. The only exception is the Women’s Basketball League for which a final decision will be taken on April 10. The French Federation organizes all basketball competitions in France except the French Jeel Elite League (the First Division championship), Pro B (the professional Second Division) and the Leaders Cup. This means that there won’t be a French Cup this season.
Storyline: Coronavirus
March 29, 2020 | 4:09 am EDT Update
For one, there’s a chance that with a reduced salary cap next season, players like Harrell and Morris might come at a cheaper price this offseason. The market was already bleak, and now it’s even bleaker. Meanwhile, the downside is the Clippers have no idea how their free agents fit into a championship picture. Each player has questions that make their future roles with the team murky.
Storyline: Marcus Morris Free Agency
Mitchell joined a live stream of Hart’s podcast on YouTube on Saturday, March 28. The Utah Department of Health cleared Mitchell of isolation on March 27, more than two weeks after he tested positive for the virus. “When I found out in the morning, that’s when it really hit me. Like ok, this is real and it mainly hit cause I didn’t know what it was. I was healthy,” said Mitchell. “I’m like, am I going to get symptoms? That was the scariest part. I can say that was the craziest thing in my life.
In text messages to several NBA players who were granted anonymity to speak freely, most told The Athletic they would either be eager to return to the court as soon as Silver summoned them, regardless of the virus, or at least when it was deemed safe for them to return. “I just don’t want to be a part of the spreading,” one NBA vet said. “The actual Corona doesn’t bother me. I’ve had the flu many times. But I want to do my part as a good citizen. As soon as that evolves from staying home to playing again, I’m in.”
Storyline: Season Suspension
Various ideas have been floated by players and executives. One is to consider using a sprawling casino property in Las Vegas, where everything could be held under one roof. Others have suggested playing in the Bahamas, where a ballroom could be converted into a playing court specifically for broadcast. There has even been talk of taking over a college campus in the Midwest, where reported cases of COVID-19 are lower for the moment.
Bryant Barr, Curry’s friend and former Davidson teammate who is also president of SC30, Inc., Curry’s company, saw Fauci doing an interview and a corresponding Twitter comment suggesting that Fauci should do one with a celebrity to engage a younger audience. LeBron James and Taylor Swift were among those recommended. But Barr knew the perfect guy. He convinced Curry to do it and coordinated with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Long considered the con to drafting either of his sons, Ball addressed the idea that he is considered baggage for LaMelo. In an appearance on Pardon My Take, Ball offered one of a few brief moments of seriousness in a largely light-hearted, satirical interview. “No. I couldn’t be baggage. But here’s the thing. If you don’t take my son (based) on how you feel about me, he ain’t supposed to be there anyway. I’m not on the court. People like to make the narrative “Oh he put pressure on them.’ No, no, no. My sons wouldn’t be where they’re at without me.”
LJ Figueroa, the Red Storm’s leading scorer, announced his intentions on Saturday to enter the NBA draft while keeping his options open of returning to school for his senior year. In a press release, St. John’s said the 6-foot-6 wing isn’t going to hire an agent and sources close to Figueroa, who turned 22 on Saturday, told The Post he is making this decision to get evaluated by NBA executives and scouts.
There is a hope that the ultra-talented, often-injured Isaac will someday blossom into one of the greatest Magic players of all time, but he has already become one of the organization’s most benevolent. Just this week, Isaac teamed with his local church, J.U.M.P. Ministries, to partner with (ProjectLifeNow.org) to provide hot breakfasts and lunches five days a week for school-aged children in the Orlando. Many of these kids from disadvantaged backgrounds rely on free-or-reduced lunches to actually stay nourished during the week and Project Life plans to feed them throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Wade continued that thought and then offered his analysis of Curry. “He is the nicest person in the world,” Wade said. “But one of Steph’s greatest strengths that a lot of people … some people, but a lot of people don’t because they talk about all the threes and ball-handling is Steph never stops moving off the ball. You guys see when Steph gives the ball up, that’s when he’s his most dangerous. And that’s crazy to think, right? Because when he has the ball, he’s unguardable. “But when he does not have the ball, forget about it. He’s like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen, those guys when it comes to conditioning and shape that he’s in and the way he’s able to run. That’s when he gets scary, when he gives the ball up.”
While the NBA is on hiatus, former Thunder star Russell Westbrook found time to wrap up some business back in Oklahoma. His single-story home, which he bought shortly after joining the team in 2008, just sold for $426,900. The nine-time All-Star, who now plays for the Houston Rockets, has purchased plenty of real estate since then. In 2015, he bought a Beverly Crest abode from Scott Disick for $4.65 million and upgraded again three years later, nabbing a Brentwood mansion near LeBron James for $19.75 million. This one’s a bit more modest at just over 3,000 square feet. It sits on a landscaped lot in Edmond, a suburban city a few miles north of the Thunder stadium.
Storyline: Real Estate
On the latest episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the Hall-of-Famer clarified his relationship with Joe Exotic, who is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire, eight violations of the Lacey Act (which prohibits the trade of wildlife, fish and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold) and nine violations of the Endangered Species Act. According to O’Neal, he visited the zoo for the first time while traveling to a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks. “So we go in there, and it’s a beautiful place, and the character that was there was Exotic Joe. We’re there and I dropped some donations for the tigers’ foods and all that. We take pictures with [the] tigers. We went back a couple times. “Then we go back another time and we found out that he’s involved with all the stuff, and then, actually, I stopped going.”
“I don’t harm tigers. I love tigers. I love white tigers. Do I put donations to these zoos to help these tigers out? I do it all the time. Do I own tigers personally at my house? No. But I love tigers. Listen, people are going to make their own opinions, but, again, I was just a visitor. I met this guy — not my friend. Don’t know him. Never had any business dealings with him, and I had no idea any of that stuff was going on.”
March 28, 2020 | 9:30 pm EDT Update
There may not be opportunities for individual workouts with teams ahead of the draft. The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a haven for middling prospects, has been canceled; the combine, where many of the top players are evaluated, remains in limbo. Teams will have to find different ways to do pre-draft assessments. “The whole league is watching video,” Pistons senior adviser Ed Stefanski told The Detroit News. “We’ve seen some (of the top prospects). Everyone has a bank of information on players, so we’re all in the same boat.”
March 28, 2020 | 7:34 pm EDT Update
Ballmer also talked about some of the efforts the Clippers have made to help out arena employees that have been impacted by the stoppage of play. “We’re being diligent about continuing to pay our employees,” he said. “We’re trying to take care of our smaller vendors. We had a t-shirt vendor we had $100,000 committed to for playoff t-shirts. I think it’s important that we pay that money, put it down now, and see what can happen over time since we are in a better position.”
The Atlanta Hawks through the Hawks Foundation and State Farm are providing support and resources to deliver meals for the frontline workers treating COVID-19 patients at Emory Healthcare through an innovative multi-week meal program that will bolster the Atlanta restaurant community, allowing local well-known restaurants to re-employ workers who were recently laid off or furloughed due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 situation.