View Full Version : Russell Westbrook's Perfect Journey



bucktalk
05-08-2017, 07:00 PM
https://youtu.be/o9sCcXgqqRg

_Kyle
05-09-2017, 01:18 AM
https://youtu.be/o9sCcXgqqRg
I was about to post about this. I thought that was a great commercial besides OKC looking rundown in some of those shots.

OKCisOK4me
05-09-2017, 03:27 AM
KD did a commercial about OKC once. I wouldn't put any stock in this commercial.

Urbanized
05-09-2017, 07:09 AM
KD did a commercial about OKC once. I wouldn't put any stock in this commercial.
KD did more than a few commercials with OKC as a backdrop, but he didn't do one with themes like "OKC is home," and loyalty in the summer before he was up for a contract extension. The timing for this commercial would be especially poor and set him up for a huge PR disaster if he didn't plan to re-sign. Not saying it's impossible that he'd move on, but Russell is typically smarter and more measured than to do something this ill-advised.

Not to mention, KD proved if nothing else to be relatively insincere, a bit weak-minded and too easily influenced by people around him who had their own agendas. I said this long before he left but nobody would listen. Russell, OTOH, has a small circle of influencers, tunes out noise around him, tends to be contrarian, and has rarely made pronouncements along the lines of KD's "I hope I retire here" B.S.. Russell has been much more careful in making pronouncements, so I doubt this is accidental, ESPECIALLY thanks to the timing. Bodes well for OKC.

Urbanized
05-09-2017, 07:15 AM
By the way, the one thing that irritates me in that spot is the guy saying Russell cares more about OKC than he does money. It's irrelevant, and belies the fundamental misunderstanding most casual fans have regarding NBA contracts, small markets, etc.. Literally no team in the league can pay Russell as much as OKC can - in the short term and the long term too - thanks to league rules and the CBA.

And when KD left for GSW he actually took a pay CUT to make the move. Not that it mattered, because Nike pays KD more than the Thunder did, or GSW does. And honestly I'm pretty convinced for a number of reasons that primarily Nike was behind the move. I won't bore with the pretty convincing reasons I believe that, but suffice to say it was a perfect storm.

Anonymous.
05-09-2017, 07:27 AM
I'm with you, the clip of the guy saying the part about money is dumb. You can tell whoever scripted the commercial has no idea about the actual potential contract situation to re-sign at "home".

sooner88
05-09-2017, 07:34 AM
I'm with you, the clip of the guy saying the part about money is dumb. You can tell whoever scripted the commercial has no idea about the actual potential contract situation to re-sign at "home".

Right, and I think that comment was more directed at KD and the guy assuming that he left to go to GSW for the money which, as mentioned above, was not the case. Still thought the commercial was great and a good sign for things to come this summer.

Urbanized
05-09-2017, 07:50 AM
Right, and I think that comment was more directed at KD and the guy assuming that he left to go to GSW for the money which, as mentioned above, was not the case...

Agreed. It was directed at KD. And I still get mad when I hear someone saying KD left over money. Fundamentally untrue.

To clarify on my Nike comments, even THAT was not an exposure or big market/small market thing. Nike was staring down multiple seasons where the presumptive champion (GSW) was led by a guy wearing Under Armour shoes and the number 2 guy (Klay) was wearing a Chinese shoe called ANTA. The face of Nike in that team before KD got there was Draymond. Nike had to fix that, and the best way to guarantee rings was to make GSW even better with a premier Nike face, and destabilize the top Western Conference challenger (OKC) in the bargain. Game, set, match to Nike.

At this point Nike is going to be totally fine with Russ in OKC because - as we saw this year - he can still get plenty of pub for himself and Jordan Brand. They'll sit out of Russ' contract decision, not that he is as easily influenced as KD was, anyway.

BTW, there are TONS of online articles from legitimate sources from the days surrounding KD's jump and even the months and years leading up to it that support my Nike "conspiracy theory." It's pretty obvious and even mind blowing when you read them in aggregate, but it has never been completely pieced together and reported by a single media outlet. I honestly think the whole thing is book-worthy, or at least 30 for 30 worthy.

dankrutka
05-09-2017, 10:57 AM
KD did more than a few commercials with OKC as a backdrop, but he didn't do one with themes like "OKC is home," and loyalty in the summer before he was up for a contract extension. The timing for this commercial would be especially poor and set him up for a huge PR disaster if he didn't plan to re-sign. Not saying it's impossible that he'd move on, but Russell is typically smarter and more measured than to do something this ill-advised.

KD did a huge feature from Lee Jenkins about how much he loved OKC just a little over month before leaving: https://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/24/kevin-durant-oklahoma-city-thunder-warriors-nba-playoffs

I'd say that article is every bit as much of a commitment to OKC as Russ' commercial.

Almost everyone felt very confident in KD returning until about the last week (or last few days if I remember right). I'm not saying you didn't, but where did you bring up these concerns before then? :) I agree that it was a perfect storm for KD to leave. If one of 10 things happened differently I think he's still in OKC.

And I agree that the thing that is more likely to keep Russ in OKC is more money, which was not really available to KD. The difference in salary was negligeble for KD, but is significant for Russ due to changes in the CBA.

Good to have you back on the board, Urbanized.

Urbanized
05-09-2017, 07:33 PM
..Almost everyone felt very confident in KD returning until about the last week (or last few days if I remember right). I'm not saying you didn't, but where did you bring up these concerns before then? :) I agree that it was a perfect storm for KD to leave. If one of 10 things happened differently I think he's still in OKC...
Well, nowhere have I ever claimed that I saw KD's move coming. It went against conventional wisdom and the spirit of competitiveness. It was pretty unprecedented. That said I had a number of interactions with opposing team fans online leading up to the decision, disputing their notions that it was a "done deal" that he was headed to their team (Boston, specifically). I said at the time that the only possible reason he could leave was for a guaranteed easier path to a ring, and the only team that offered that was GSW. You can check my Twitter history on that.

I will also say that I very consistently said for years here and elsewhere that I believed KD lacked competitive fire and leadership ability, and that if I were a GM building a team around someone and had to choose between KD and Russ, I'd take Russ. You and I in fact have had many spirited discussions on that topic. Even today, GSW is not built around KD, and it fits him better to have little pressure to be THE guy. He's delicate, psychologically.

Regarding my theories on collusion between Nike/Roc Nation/GSW/Mandalay to influence KD, of COURSE that is hindsight. Many of the articles that helped me put this postmortem together either came out in the aftermath, or I'd overlooked prior, or didn't necessarily pertain to the KD deal until viewed in aggregate. I researched this topic pretty thoroughly in the days after he bolted, trying to figure out exactly what happened, and I'm pretty certain about it now. Not that most people will listen, because it doesn't revolve around motivations that most people consider. I'd post more but don't want to pollute this thread. I'm happy to share the links with you elsewhere.


And I agree that the thing that is more likely to keep Russ in OKC is more money, which was not really available to KD. The difference in salary was negligeble for KD, but is significant for Russ due to changes in the CBA.

My point in mentioning money is that I have heard many, many fans suggest KD left for more money, which is patently untrue. No team - including GSW - could offer KD more than OKC could. He left 100% for non-salary reasons.


Good to have you back on the board, Urbanized.

Thanks for the kind words. Happy to be posting again.

dankrutka
05-09-2017, 08:11 PM
I was just curious of your thinking before KDs decision, but I'm certainly not questioning it. Until the very end, I felt confident KD was returning and it's easy to look at KD totally differently now. I find it interesting to think about the arguments people made before the decision because it changed how we understood KD (whether accurate or not).

The same thing happens with teaching history. We have trouble separating ourselves from what did happen to gain an understanding of how historical events unfolded before people knew the outcome...

Perception is a funny thing because it's a moving target.

Urbanized
05-09-2017, 09:09 PM
My thinking before his decision was that the only place that makes sense for him to be was OKC... ...UNLESS he only wanted to ride coat tails to an easy championship, thanks to a team who had just denied him a chance at one that he had earned on his own. Since that seemed like an unfathomably weak move, I felt pretty confident.

But for a very, VERY long time I had believed him to lack competitive fire and leadership ability. I felt like he was soft and moody - or better yet pouty - he didn't move well without the ball, expected things just to come to him, and WAY too often let Russell twist in the wind. I felt Russell was far more team oriented than he was given credit for being, and that much of the criticism that came Russell's way was actually due to KD's passivity and poutiness, which left Russ few options other than to try to do things by himself when KD was ineffective. Turns out I had a pretty excellent read on ALL of that. Got in many arguments on the topic with people who could not believe I felt that way.

The only thing I underestimated was KD's tendency to be too easily influenced by external factors, his hangers-on, his Machiavellian agency, his sponsors, media, etc.. In the days after the jump, sports writers for the first time ever talked about how easy he was to influence. Turns out the dude is, again, a bit weak-minded. But things like this weren't really reported while he was here, of course, being heretical and all.

skwillz
05-09-2017, 09:13 PM
Very humbling commercial and captures what we are really about. Go Thunder! :D

traxx
05-10-2017, 09:36 AM
I thought that was a great commercial besides OKC looking rundown in some of those shots.

I think that has more to do with a style choice. It's black and white, which is a style choice. Shot on wintry, overcast days. I think they were trying to go for a gritty feel. A building like the Devon tower is not going to take center stage if you're making those style choices.

shadfar
05-10-2017, 12:32 PM
I think that has more to do with a style choice. It's black and white, which is a style choice. Shot on wintry, overcast days. I think they were trying to go for a gritty feel. A building like the Devon tower is not going to take center stage if you're making those style choices. Exactly. i don't like the creative direction they went, but all in all i like the message.