Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson became the latest coach on the Thunder's NBA tour to be asked about how the addition of Kendrick Perkins has impacted the roster.
After a generic response about Perkins to start, Jackson suddenly shifted his focus to a different Thunder player.
“He sets big picks, and he's a big body,” Jackson said “But the real effect of that trade is it's freed (Serge) Ibaka to be a starter. Now that Green's gone, they have Ibaka as a starter, and that gives him the freedom as a starter to play a little bit more and he's developing as a player.
“He's a terrific player, potentially. He's not yet, but he's got great potential to be a player, and they probably made the move because they saw it would be the right thing to do in that regard.”
THUNDER SAYING SAYONARA TO SACRAMENTO?
It's possible that the Thunder could be the second-to-last team to ever play at Sacramento when the two teams meet tonight. The Kings are facing a potential relocation to Anaheim next season. Sacramento will host the Lakers in its season finale Wednesday before waiting to see what the future holds.
“It's going to be tough on a lot of people,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who served as an assistant on the Kings staff before joining the Thunder franchise. “It's going to be tough for selfish reasons because I had a chance to see my mom and family twice a year when we played Sacramento. But it's part of the business. We've been through it. Players, coaches, staff, it's out of our control. The NBA has been an incredible league, and there's nothing we can do about it. Sacramento was great. But we don't know what's going to happen.”
DURANT WEARS FAN-DESIGNED SHOES
Kevin Durant recently partnered with Nike ID on a contest for fans to design a version of Durant's signature shoe, the KD III, by going to NikeID.com. Durant selected his favorite version from a group of finalists to wear during a home game and a road game.
During Sunday's game, Durant wore one specially designed, orange, black and blue pair that a 12-year-old created. Durant is expected to wear a second pair at an upcoming home game.
“I just wanted to try something new,” said Durant, who had the designer's name written as “L. Vega” in orange on the inside of the right shoe. “I wanted to ID some shoes of my own and make some cool ones. But kids got style now, especially the young kids. They probably got more style than me.”
HIGH PRAISE FOR FISH
When speaking about veteran teams, Brooks singled out the starting point guard just down the hall in the Lakers' locker room.
“Derek Fisher is as good of a veteran as you will ever find in this league's history,” Brooks said. “What he brings in toughness (and) maturity, I admire that guy. He doesn't get enough credit. He probably won't be considered Hall of Fame material. But that guy is right there with the best ever at that position and what his role entails.”