Nike today unveiled the latest signature shoe for Kevin Durant: the KD VI. Marking a return to Durant’s favored low-top cut after the mid-cut KD V, the Thunder star’s latest signature draws inspiration from both his hometown and the precision of fine watches.
The watch inspiration is most obvious in the unique multi-layered outsole which calls to mind the skeletonized dials of some of the most complicated watches in the world. Other fine-tuned details include a thin two layer upper with Flywire inserts for dynamic support where it’s needed most, a Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot and Max Air unit in the heel, and a new tongue construction for improved fit. The teal and yellow colorway was directly inspired by Seat Pleasant Activity Center’s doormat, which designer Leo Chang spotted while visiting Durant’s hometown. Alongside the shoe release is a humorous video starring Durant, “Summer is Serious,” which does well to inspire all to hit the courts this summer. Look for the KD VI in stores around the Washington D.C area beginning June 29, while other select retailers worldwide will have access on July 3.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is the first NBA All-Star to defect to rapper and mogul Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Roc Nation is a newly formed agency that has been aggressively pursuing star players in the NFL, MLB and now the NBA.
“KD doesn’t want a traditional NBA agent anymore,” a league source with knowledge of his thinking told Yahoo! Sports on Friday night. “He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. …He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.”
League executives and agents wonder whether the move to Jay-Z and Roc Nation could eventually lead to the agency pushing for Durant to depart small-market Oklahoma City for the opportunities of New York or Los Angeles.
Durant is signed with the Thunder through the 2015-16 season.
The Thunder have reached an agreement with Serge Ibaka on a four-year contract extension worth $48 million, according to league sources. Ibaka could have become a restricted free agent after the 12-13 season.
Oklahoma City now has three of their young core players signed up over the long-term as Ibaka joins Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
James Harden is also eligible to sign an extension this offseason.
There are seven NBA teams that have never had a luxury tax payment since it came into existence with the 1999 collective bargaining agreement.
James Harden, Serge Ibaka
The Bulls, Warriors, Clippers, Wizards, Bobcats, Hornets and Sonics/Thunder have always been on the receiving end of tax distributions.
While the Clippers, Wizards and Hornets have taken on salary during the 2012 offseason and the Thunder face tax issues if James Harden and Serge Ibaka are signed to new deals, the Bulls and Warriors continue to be tax conscious in their decision-making.
Golden State has just one playoff appearance over that stretch.
The Thunder have improved their contract offer to Scott Brooks, including a fourth year to the extension on the table. But sources say the two sides remain apart significantly on salary.
Brooks’ contract will expire on Saturday if he does not sign an extension. Sources say Brooks would immediately become a candidate for the Portland Trail Blazers if a deal is not reached.
Brooks had been offered a three-year extension worth around $11 million. Brooks made $2.1 million in the final year of his deal this season.
Oklahoma City’s James Harden is the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year after leading all bench players in scoring this season.
Harden averaged 16.8 points on career-best 49 percent shooting this season, and he recorded his first career 40-point game last month in a win at Phoenix.
The bearded combo guard also became known in the final week of the regular season when he sustained a concussion while taking an elbow from the Los Angeles Lakers’ Metta World Peace.
He recovered in time to return for the playoffs and was the star of the Thunder’s fourth-quarter comeback to beat Dallas in the clinching Game 4 of their opening round sweep.
The Thunder, Bulls and Heat are three teams that could end up signing Derek Fisher once he clears waivers.
Oklahoma City are looking to add point guard depth behind Russell Westbrook due to the season-ending injury to Eric Maynor. Fisher has interest in joining Chicago or Heat where he would be able to compete for a title.
The Clippers, according to sources, are not likely to pursue Fisher.
The Thunder have until January 25th to sign Russell Westbrook to an extension and sources say that “both sides are dug in right now.”
Oklahoma City is hoping to preserve cap space to also re-sign James Harden and Serge Ibaka next year, but Westbrook could be eligible for 30 percent of the team’s cap next season.
If Westbrook is selected to another All-NBA team, he could get a five-year, $94 million extension. The Thunder hope to sign him to the smaller five-year, $80 million extension.
Several sources close to the talks believe the sides will find a deal somewhere between the two numbers.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti began preliminary discussions with Russell Westbrook’s agents on a contact extension.
Westbrook is now eligible to receive an extension to his rookie scale contract after playing three seasons. A potential deal cannot be signed until December 9, when the free-agent signing period officially begins
“We made calls to all kinds of (representatives of) free agents, as well as our own players to touch base and talk about whatever issues we need to cover with each player respectively,” Presti said.
“Everybody knows how we feel about Russell Westbrook as a person and as a player, and we’re looking forward to having those conversations at the appropriate time.”
Authorities have charged Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kendrick Perkins with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and public intoxication after an altercation early Saturday morning in South Texas.
A statement from police in Beaumont, Texas, said officers saw a large crowd outside The Ticket night club just after 2 a.m., and received complaints of fights and pepper spray inside.
An officer saw about 50 people inside around Perkins, who police said was attempting to fight the club’s manager. The statement said the crowd pushed Perkins out the back door of the club, where he continued to yell obscenities and start other fights.