Again, for the most part the NBA is a star/agent driven league. Stars and their agents drive this league. Sure, there’s Pop, there’s Steve Kerr, and there’s Brad Stevens. But for the most part, the other coaches in this league don’t drive the bus.
I started with this paragraph only because it’s the only reason I wouldn’t fire Billy Donovan on the flight home from Orlando to Oklahoma City.
You could fire Billy Donovan right now. You could do it, but it wouldn’t make any difference regardless of what you think of Billy Donovan as an NBA coach.
The three guys who should be driving this team…aren’t. Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony must have thought this was going to be a cakewalk of a season. They must have thought they could just flip a switch and become a Super Team whenever they felt the need. There have been several flashes of genius, but for the most part it’s been twenty games of heartless, walking through the motions basketball.
For the first time in the Thunder Era in Oklahoma City, I wanted to boo the Thunder. This team was boo-able in Orlando on Wednesday night. I came within an inch of booing them, but then thought to myself it’s not worth it—they apparently don’t care. The diva lab Pauli, with her head on my thigh, looked deeply into my eyes as if saying, “Don’t do it, Mike. They’re not coachable. Don’t let them drag you down like this. Don’t let them define you.”
This wasn’t the second night of a road back to back. This Thunder team hadn’t played a game since their equally embarrassing performance in Dallas on Saturday night.
Orlando entered this game on a nine game losing streak and arguably as bad of an NBA team as the Dallas Mavericks. But none of that mattered as the Thunder stunk it up in every way imaginable in losing 121-108.
Aaron Gordon had 40 points and 15 rebounds. You would have thought he was Karl Malone playing against this feeble excuse of a Thunder basketball team.
I’m not letting Russell Westbrook off the hook for those last six minutes of the fourth period when he scored 20 of his 37 points on the night.
This is Russell Westbrook’s team. This is his deal. But if he doesn’t play hard for 48 minutes then why should anyone else.
After the game, Westbrook slumped in a chair and appeared to be near tears. Distraught with the turn of events. Then my eyes followed Paul George where he was laughing with and hugging DJ Augustin. Billy Donovan in his post presser said he found it unfortunate his team didn’t share the same vision of the team as he did.
Are you fucking kidding me?
There is no leadership on this basketball team at the present. Not from the reigning MVP. Not from the coach. Not from the big free agent pick up this past summer.
And when you don’t have ‘real’ leadership… you have the ugly piece of junk which we’re currently witnessing in Oklahoma City.
Minnesota Timberwolves in Oklahoma City on Friday night.