Kevin Durant Says That He Could Retire At Age 35

ESPN – OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant, the back-to-back NBA Finals MVP, told ESPN on Friday that he could see himself walking away from the game at 35 years of age, five seasons from now.

“This game, your craft, you have to continue studying it,” said Durant. “No matter how much you enjoy it, nobody wants to be in school that long. I know I don’t. At some point, you have to be ready to graduate. Thirty-five, that’s just a number in my mind.”

Durant, who turns 30 in September, could ink a four-year deal in July.

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After the NBA Finals that ended in the blink of an eye, it’s time for the real drama to begin, the NBA Offseason. The main storyline will be The Summer Of LeBron, Part III, but a secondary story will be what happens with Kevin Durant. Durant is going to resign with the Warriors, but the drama lies within the size of the contract. How long will it be for and how much money will he command?

Durant has been following the LeBron model. Take shorter deals with early opt outs in order to capitalize on the salary cap increase and give the team more money to sign other players to compete for championships. Let’s be honest. Money is not the primary concern for Durant and LeBron right now. It’s championships. That being said, Durant is smart and knows when he can sign the super max for the most money. If Durant signs another two year deal with an opt after the first year, he would be eligible to sign a five-year, $219 million contract after the 2018-19 season, which would be the biggest deal ever if Kawhi doesn’t sign his super max with the Spurs.

If that scenario plays out, Klay and Draymond would be the odd men out. Steph just got paid. Durant is going to get paid either this year or next year. Klay’s pay day is after the 2018-2019 season and Draymond’s pay day is the year after that. All of these guys have hinted at wanting to keep the dynasty in tact for years to come, but that would involve taking discounted contracts. Are they willing to do that? The front office is already trying to get ahead of the issue by trying to extend the contracts of Klay and Draymond. Pay them now and it will save money in the long run. However, Klay and Draymond would be leaving potential max money on the table. Once again, are they willing to do that?

The Warriors dynasty should last at least one more year. After that, the real fun begins.

Recapping a Memorable Game 1 of the NBA Finals

LeBron James scored 51 points in a great NBA Finals game that required an extra five minutes to decide. However, the game will be remembered for several strange incidents. JR Smith thought his team was ahead and began to dribble out the clock in a tie game. Later, he lied and claimed to have known what the score was. Video captured him confessing that he believed Cleveland had been up. If Smith really did know they were tied, that play would be even dumber. I don’t know if Cleveland would have scored had this play been executed better, but the way it played out seemed to leave the Cavs deflated.

Tony Paige had predicted a Golden State sweep with LeBron winning MVP honors. I still do not think this is going to happen, but this game was crazy enough that I can’t completely trash this insane prediction right now. Somebody else told me he thought the series would go seven games. Conspiracy theory. League wants to make money. Being that Cleveland was totally screwed, I think we can safely put that theory to bed.

This rule of being able to review a charge in the last two minutes based on whether or not a player was in the restricted area is completely insane. I’m not even crazy about checking whether or not somebody managed to get outside of the restricted area. I don’t even like having that rule of a restricted area at all, but that’s another story. Using doubt about someone possibly being in that area as a trigger to check something unrelated makes zero sense. People who did not watch the game will probably have trouble following this. That’s how crazy and weird it was. More replay is not the answer. We need less. Kevin Durant knew of this rare rule, but I had never seen it used.

The Tuck Rule came to mind. Something obscure that caught people by surprise in a big moment. There were some controversial and unusual calls. Tristan Thompson had already been ejected, so they did not hit him with a technical. Take note. After being kicked out, you are allowed to throw the basketball off of someone’s face with no risk of penalty. Kevin Love came off the bench late in Thursday’s overtime loss. The 1997 Knicks were severely punished. Russell Westbrook did not get suspended for coming off the bench this year. You never know what ruling we will get from this league. I assume there will be more tweaks to replay in the offseason following this bizarre contest.

There has been a major problem since replay was expanded years ago. Fouls are not reviewable, but they can change who is awarded possession based on touching the ball last. If you grab the offensive player’s arm and he loses the ball off his fingers, a ruling can be overturned. The defensive player didn’t touch it last. However, since he pulled his opponent’s arm, it caused a turnover. No foul can be called. If we are going to review the block/charge, call obvious fouls on other plays. As people tweeted, reviewing a potential block or charge is like using replay for pass interference in football.

Finally, we had bad beats. The first half under became a loser when Steph Curry drained one from 30 or so feet away as the second quarter expired. Cleveland in the second half getting 9 or 9.5 lost when they fell by ten in overtime after being tied at halftime. We almost had the ultimate bad beat on straight bets getting 12.5 when Steph’s shot was blocked as Golden State’s lead nearly stretched to 124-111.

Don’t forget game totals. If you went under 217.5 or anything in that neighborhood, overtime wasn’t your friend. I would like to say the series is just getting started. The truth is it appears Cleveland’s loss has all but ended it.

Klay Thompson Gives Awkward Interview While Walking Around NYC

A frightening sight struck NYC commuters Sunday, when a scaffolding collapsed injuring four people. It’s heartwarming to see pedestrians come to the rescue of those stuck underneath the rubble. Even though New Yorker’s are some of the most pretentious looking people walking the earth, they still are willing to lend a hand when people need it the most.

On Monday, FOX5 went around the city interviewing pedestrians about their thoughts on the incident and how cognizant they are of scaffoldings when walking underneath them on a daily basis when commuting around Manhattan. Somehow, they ended up bumping into and conducting an awkward interview with NBA baller, Klay Thompson.

The Golden State shooting guard fits in with the average bundled up New Yorker, besides the fact that he’s 6’7″. Klay said when it comes to walking under scaffoldings he, “observes if the piping is new and if something looks like it’s been there awhile, I try to avoid that.”

You may be wondering what the heck is Thompson doing wandering around the city on a random Monday night during the NBA season. The Warriors actually played the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday and don’t have another game until tomorrow in Oklahoma City. So it does make some sense to let the guys have some fun in NYC on an off day instead of traveling all the way home to just come back east again.

Steph Curry took advantage of the NYC spotlight as well, making an appearance on The Tonight Show as a special guest, where he read parts of his heartfelt letter to Veterans penned over on  The Players’ Tribune for Veteran’s Day last weekend. Hopefully Klay is considering making Manhattan his new home when he is a free agent come summer 2019, that is if the Knicks actually have cap room by then.

NBA Finals Recap + Where Do The Cavaliers Go From Here?

After coming in second his entire life, Kevin Durant finally added that illustrious NBA championship to his decorated hall-of-fame resume, accomplishing the only acceptable result for this super-team since joining the 73-win Warriors last July. KD was unstoppable this series, posting averages of 35 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in each of the five games it took to dispose of Cleveland. Seriously, KD could go down as a potential top 10 or 20 player of all-time and the third best small forward ever. Congrats to the Warriors on their second title in three years, as they stare down a dynasty.

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Durant made things look easy on the court, taking advantage of a great supporting cast giving him room to cook weaker defenders one on one. Kevin, I will give you this, you joined a great team but turned it into YOUR team, I think something needs to be said for that.

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Whenever the Cavaliers threw a counter punch or went on a run, KD was the one with the ball in his hands to diffuse Cleveland’s momentum with back-breaking three pointers and thunderous leak out dunks, which made him the Finals MVP after a 16-1 post-season run. Game five shifted when KD should’ve been tagged with his third foul after hitting LeBron’s head on a dunk attempt, which he made early in the 2nd quarter. Instead the Warriors went on one of their classic avalanche runs to open up their lead to 17.

LeBron James averaged a triple-double in the NBA Finals, becoming the FIRST person to do so in the history of the sport. Let that sink in, if anything this series helped LeBron’s legacy averaging 34, 12 and 10 while shooting 56% from the field is just god-like. Apex LeBron is something special and people should just shut up and appreciate it. The man left it all on the floor doing everything he could in over 41 minutes a game, and even had to guard KD a lot at the other end. No rest for the weary. LeBron and Kyrie (who played his ass of as well) were noticeably spent at the end of games, as they expanded a lot of energy to create offense. Shout out to J.R. Spliff for validating his contract with that game five performance including 7 threes for 25 points on the road.

The scoring and shooting exuded in this series shows where the NBA is going and that is exciting. This was the highest scoring Finals ever, breaking scoring records across the board while giving fans a look at what an All-Star game would feel like if the players actually tried. The 2017 Finals was one of the most watched ever and I think this trilogy has been positive overall for the NBA. Think about it, would you be as locked in to see San Antonio-Washington Finals games with scores of 90-86? Every fan has now picked a side in the Cavs-Warriors rivalry and it will have a place in history. I’m sure there will be a 30 for 30 on it in the future (Lakers-Celtics Rivalry in the 80’s 30 for 30 premieres tonight).

Let’s give props to Warrior management for great drafting and cap structure, they have set the standard for the league to match going forward. This isn’t the last of the legendary match up, just another chapter. Cavaliers-Warriors III was fun, but Cleveland has some work to do in order to compete with that kind of firepower. Will the Cavs roster look different when they meet for the fourth edition next June? I’m glad you asked.

Cleveland Cavaliers 2017 Off-Season:

Okay David Griffin (Cavs GM), you have LeBron at 32-years-old, a coach who fails to make necessary adjustments (Lue and Kerr both made questionable decisions IMO), and a team in salary cap hell thanks to the contracts you’ve given out the last couple off-seasons. How are you going to match that juggernaut of a team in Golden State who whooped you by an average of 13 points in 5 Finals games?

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Luckily for David, I got you bro! If I was appointed Cavalier GM this summer here are the moves I am looking at to keep LeBron happy in Cleveland. Our main issue is that we cannot play our best five guys at crunch time against the small-ball Warriors because Tristan Thompson and K-Love cannot play together, as they get exposed in pick and roll and isolation when switched onto guys like Curry, with spacing on offense as an additional problem. That’s a huge issue and why I think you need to do everything you can to pull off a Love for Paul George deal with Indiana. Pacers management knows their star is going to leave via free agency if they do not deal him by next season’s trade deadline. If they want to remain relevant, Love is their best option, as they will have control of a potential All-Star and a major piece of their future for the next three seasons. PG would be a perfect fit with his two-way ability and versatility on the defensive end in a Warrior/Cavs series and gives Cleveland a legitimate Durant defender, instead of ploying guys like Shump and J.R. to spare LeBron some rest on the defensive end.

If that doesn’t work out I shift my sights to two of LeBron’s good friends, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. That’s right, the banana boat crew is here. I’m getting on the phone with the incompetent Phil Jackson who would probably beg me to take Melo, who would undoubtedly waive his no-trade clause for his best shot at a ring outside of Golden State. There were rumbles at the deadline that a potential Love for Anthony swap was on the table and I expect those rumors to heat up beginning next week at the NBA draft and continue into July. Come on Phil! K-Love is a great fit in the triangle with Zinger, think Kurt Rambis on steroids (kidding).

Okay but seriously hear me out, Carmelo Anthony fits that Warrior-Cavalier series. I know he just turned 33 and hasn’t committed on the defensive end throughout his career (not that Love is a good defender) but playing with the best player in the world could heal that ailment. Melo would be a great fit with LeBron and give them a solid scorer and sniper from deep who thrives in crunch time and will show up on the road. I don’t want to make it look like I hate Kevin Love, but he just doesn’t fit and is the Cavs best trade piece. I would love to see Melo play in some big-time Finals games with a ring on the line.

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On to D-Wade. I’m telling LeBron to get on the phone with his buddy and tell him his services are needed and he owes you after what you did for him in Miami, leading him to his second and third rings respectively. Obviously Wade isn’t going to stay in the hell-hole that is Chicago and will be opting out of his deal. I don’t know how much money the Cavs will be able to offer above the minimum, but after making over 20 million this past season I’m hoping the friendship push will carry him all the way to The Land.

You tell me which lineup looks better?

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or

Kyrie-Wade-LeBron-Melo/PG13-Thompson (J.R. 6th Man like the good old days)

I’ve got two final points before I drop the mic. Deron Williams, take your ass to a retirement home. You are a bum and tried to ruin the finals by touching the ball. You somehow made Cleveland fans miss the legendary Delly.

Lastly, please do not buy into the hype of KD vs LeBron as the best player in the league. The King still sits comfortably in his throne. See everyone next week at the NBA Draft!

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Official NBA Finals Preview: The Trilogy

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After an underwhelming NBA Playoffs, the NBA Finals are upon us as the Warriors and Cavs cruised to the championship with one loss between the two (fewest ever for a Finals matchup) like most thought they would when the regular season tipped off back in October. It all gets going Thursday night on ABC at 9 P.M. EST as the Dubs look to avenge last year’s nightmare when they blew a 3-1 lead and everybody has made sure to not let them forget about it.

All the pressure in the world will be on Kevin Durant, as he looks to capture his first NBA title and validate making his way to the Bay. KD has averaged a cool 26 points 8 rebounds and 4 assists the last two series, powering the dubs to an undefeated sprint through the West.

Last year’s Finals gave us a signature game 7 with moments that may never be replicated again going forward. Between Kyrie’s shot or LeBron’s chase down block, which I watch weekly trying to dissect how he pulled it off or just ending a 52-year city-wide championship drought.

Think about it, this go-around of the trilogy features SEVEN ALL-STARS, with some of the biggest names in the game at the apex of their careers. Steph vs Kyrie, LeBron vs KD, Draymond vs K-Love. Could it really get much better than that? Both of these teams are so special I can confidently say they’d wipe the floor with 80% of the champions in the last 40 years. This rivalry features two of the best offenses the association’s playoffs has ever seen. Great spacing, imploring small-ball while hitting threes at a historic clip, but still upholding explosive efficiency ratings.

I want to use this platform to pour one out for David Blatt who got a raw deal in Cleveland. Even Mike Brown somehow gets a crack at the franchise who fired him on two separate occasions with only one losing season at the helm. Storylines on storylines here people.

It’s a shame on the eve of one of the best sporting events in America someone would vandalize LeBron James’ Los Angeles home using racial slurs. King James is a great role model and doesn’t have a bad bone in his body and people still feel the need to commit crimes like this. It puts into perspective how far we still have to go as a society, check out James answer above.

LTS:

Cavaliers-Warriors, both these teams know each other so well I’m just hoping for a close clean series, no injuries, no suspensions, just good basketball. X-factors: The Thompson Brothers: Klay has struggled for most of this post-season and if Cleveland wants to have a shot they need to limit Klay’s three-ball for J.R. Smith/Kyle Korver to have a chance at winning the match up. Klay will be crucial, as I expect the Cavs to live with Iggy and Draymond shooting threes and we’ve seen the damage he can do in a quarter of a big game, just ask KD.

Tristan Thompson has been a beast so far this post-season, holding down the paint with near double-double averages. If he can wreak havoc, huge advantage for Cleveland as the Warriors won’t be using a center down the stretch with a lineup of Steph-Klay-Iggy-KD-Dray. I’m very interested to see if Ty Lue uses Tristan or K-Love late in games because I don’t think there’s room for both unless one can get away with guarding Iggy/Durant.

If I’m the Cavs, my late game lineup is Kyrie-JR-Korver-LeBron-Tristan. Keep in mind Richard Jefferson finished game 7 for the Cavs last season, wild. This is the most star-studded Final I’ve ever seen and the crazy thing is, this could go on for another 4 or 5 years worth of classics. We’ll be in Fast and Furious franchise territory.

Does LeBron vault his name into the G.O.A.T. conversation with Jordan, or does Durant begin to decorate his potential top 20 resume? I’ll be pulling for Cleveland, but I think the Warriors offensive firepower will prove to be too much. The Cavs just won’t be able to get enough stops down the stretch to keep up. Logic says Warriors, but sometimes with all-time greats like LeBron, plain logic just doesn’t work.

Warriors in 6

DG: Clap it up to Sap, everyone. He did a really good job analyzing it all so I’ll keep my short and sweet aka There’s not too much for me to think about. One team has 4 all-stars. The other has Lebron James. I hate using the “But Lebron James is the best player on the planet” argument but he is. Lebron is the best and will need to be Superman this series, but more importantly, needs his cast to help him out. It’s kind’ve like he switched roles with the Mavs from a few years back. He’s Dirk now.

That being said, my logic comes down to this. When it’s the Warriors best day vs. the Cavs best day, who wins?

Warriors win in my mind every single time.

Warriors in 6

Check out our NBA Finals segment from the podcast last night with special guest, Jared Gos.