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Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder’s Paul George Says Russell Westbrook Making Free Agency Decision Easier

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It has long been assumed that one Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George hits free agency he is headed to Hollywood to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, the assumption may not be the “slam dunk” it once was as George seems to be leaning towards staying with the Thunder.

George credits teammate Russell Westbrook for making his decision easier.

“Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming even more easier to make… the character Russ [has],” George said, according to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “A stand-up guy, and he has his teammate’s back.

“It was awesome for a teammate to have your back and to stand up, and to be honest, he should be a starter. He’s been the MVP, been the best player at his position. He should’ve been a starter, but that’s another story” George said.

“But the fact Russ had my back, that’s my guy forever, and it’s more apparent what this decision needs to be made when it comes down to it.”

Westbrook is under contract with the Thunder through at least 2022 and the Thunder will have George’s Bird rights which gives them the ability to offer more years and more money than other interested teams.

With the budding chemistry of Westbrook and George, George may just remain in Oklahoma City for the long haul.

 

Chicago Bulls

Bulls’ Jim Boylen Liked Players Fighting for One Another During Melee

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Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen liked to see his players fighting for one another during Tuesday’s skirmish with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“That’s all we’ve been talking about is fighting for each other,” Boylen said, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “We talk about being a pack of wolves, man. I thought we had some of that. I liked the look in our guys’ eyes when that happened. It bonded them a little bit.”

The melee hit a fever pitch when Bulls center Robin Lopez got into a heated physical exchange with Thunder forward Jerami Grant, which bled into the stands.

Chicago lost the game in blowout fashion.

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Thunder Pick Up Billy Donovan’s Contract Option

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The Oklahoma City Thunder have decided to keep head coach Billy Donovan in the fold for the future, as they have decided to exercised the fifth-year option on his contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Donovan has been a success in Oklahoma City since joining the club in 2015, leading the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals during his first season at the helm.

Donovan inked a five-year contract for $30 million back in 2015.

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Thunder’s Paul George Asked Billy Donovan to Stop Running Plays for Him

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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George reportedly asked head coach Billy Donovan to stop running plays for him at one point last season.

George made the comments during an interview with ESPN’s Royce Young:

“I’ve always been a guy to just let the game come to me,” George said.

“Just play the game. If it’s a shot for me, if I can make a play, create for someone else, I’ll do that. A lot of times you run a play, everybody’s watching, everybody’s locked in, everybody’s pulling over and it just makes the game tougher for me

“I like it when I can kind of manipulate and be on attack mode where they don’t know what to do, as opposed to a play other teams [can] scout.”

Donovan added in:

“At times he’s like, ‘Stop—just let me get it,'” Donovan said. “I had to learn him. I can watch things on film and say, ‘Oh, that’s a good play and he made that shot, let’s run that,’ but there’s a lot more to it than that.”

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