What Had Happened Was: 8/4/16
Oh, you don’t know? We got you.
Fell asleep early Wednesday night? You might have missed some pretty seismic basketball news: Russell Westbrook is signing a new three-year, $85.7 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. So many folks just assumed that with Kevin Durant gone, Westbrook would bolt from town the moment this season expired so he could play for a contender (preferably one on the coast with a beach, right, Russ?) … we were wrong. Turns out Westbrook is very much looking forward to shooting the ball 30 times a night and fighting for a No. 6 seed.
This new contract is also important for another reason: It’s a really great deal for Westbrook. The man was set to be a free agent following this upcoming season, but it’s also a crazy loaded class of players available — Stephen Curry, Durant, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin. Now, though? Westbrook will make the max this year and next (he was only set to make $17.8 million this year before the new deal) before becoming a free agent in 2018. And, well, that means a whole lot of dough.
Russell Westbrook would be in position to cash in with a massive contract in July of 2018…
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 4, 2016
Either way, the new deal is set to crush many teams’ hopes. Miami Heat team president Pat Riley was surely planning to get in a room with Westbrook and dump his championship rings on the table next summer. The Los Angeles Lakers? You bet they were counting on wooing Westbrook.
Lakers fans hearing the news about Russell Westbrook's contract extension. pic.twitter.com/7btbPm3rdY
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 4, 2016
There’s also this — uh, well, with the San Antonio Spurs reloading into another era and the Los Angeles Clippers one year from potentially losing Paul and Griffin, could the Thunder threaten the Warriors in the Western Conference over the next few years?
"Look to my coming, first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East." pic.twitter.com/649FYyNouv
— 🚁Sky Wob🚁 (@World_Wide_Wob) August 4, 2016
The Thunder stay lit fam.https://t.co/9wZDEdjBv4
— 𝕂𝕠𝕗𝕚𝕖 (@KofieYeboah) April 19, 2016
— Josh Eberley 🇨🇦 (@JoshEberley) August 4, 2016
— bree 🐝🐝🐝 (@breeashhh) August 4, 2016
Thunder fans upon hearing of Westbrook's extension: https://t.co/N2GZeAcVTd
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 4, 2016
Lastly, there’s also the timing of the deal. Yes, the timing can be viewed many ways.
Westbrook signing tomorrow, a month to the day Kevin Durant announced he was joining the Warriors.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) August 4, 2016
This video is self-explanatory: This Alpha Phi Alpha brother took his Delta Sigma Theta girlfriend out for a lavish “photo shoot” on top of a building, with a helicopter, 360-degree video cameras and the works.
He gets her to believe she’s going to do this awesome live shot, and when she turns around after tossing rose pedals in the air, she sees him down on one knee, proposing to her.
This two-minute video is definitely worth time simply based off the creative elements involved.
This brother proposed to his Delta girlfriend by tricking her into thinking they were doing a photoshoot. 😢 pic.twitter.com/FAMW8ett9m
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 3, 2016
The farewell tour for Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz continues!
— Mariners (@Mariners) August 4, 2016
Shades of Flava Flav. pic.twitter.com/H5oO1xusAw
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 4, 2016
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 4, 2016
FOR THE CULTURE
On Wednesday, Negro Leagues legend and Hall of Famer Satchel Paige made his first Major League Baseball pitching start in 1948. The Cleveland Indians would take the victory that day.
Natchez, Mississippi, celebrated its 300th anniversary Wednesday, so a member of the Twitter community pointed out that prior to the Civil War, the city had the highest millionaires per capita in the nation. Innocent, right? Of course not, as Curtis Harris pointed out 71.1 percent of the population in the county was enslaved.
Also, Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions released on Wednesday in 1973, and won a Grammy for album of the year.
The 2016 Summer Olympics will have the most LGBT athletes to ever participate.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard was Capt. Humayun Khan’s commanding officer and wrote a heartfelt piece about how the Khan family is the military’s family and vice versa.
TOP THREE TWEETS
Every morning we’ll hit you here with the best of what we saw on social media the previous night. Why? Why not?
1. WE SQUARIN’ UP, OFF BUCKS
Deermarcus Cousins pic.twitter.com/jyNAlE5t4P
— yes (@iAmTerrace) August 3, 2016
2. OH, IT’S ON AND POPPIN’
Derek Fisher is "expressing interest in playing again."
Matt Barnes: pic.twitter.com/LhIDjxfpnT
— Aaron Dodson (@aardodson) August 3, 2016
3. THAT’S NOT HOW … YOU GOT IT, ANNIE
I worked out today. I should be skinny by 10am tomorrow.
— Annie Apple (@SurvivinAmerica) August 4, 2016
Our brother Michael A. Fletcher reflected on President Barack Obama’s love of sports and how the man has shifted from playing basketball to golf over the years:
At one point, the president even considered making a guest appearance on a team led by former Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the Goodman Summer League, a vaunted D.C. Pro-Am where the celebrities who drop in to play are usually from the NBA. “We couldn’t quite pull it off,” said Duncan, a former Harvard star who played professionally in Australia. “It would have been amazing.” The fact that the first black president not only loved but seriously played a sport so closely identified with African-Americans provided an instant racial connection. “So many black men ask me about the president’s game,” said Duncan, who started playing pickup ball with Obama in Chicago in the 1990s. “I get that question less frequently from white folks. Particularly among black men, there is real interest. The cultural tie there is real.” But as his second term winds down, the president has retreated from the physical intensity of basketball to the relative serenity of golf. He played basketball outside the White House or Camp David in Maryland about once a month — 49 times — during his first five years in office, according to White House pool reports compiled by Mark Knoller, a CBS radio correspondent. But there is no record of the president playing since Nov. 30, 2013 (although he has been occasionally spotted shooting around at events such as the annual White House Easter Egg Roll). Meanwhile, the press corps has documented Obama playing a lot more golf, from about twice a month during his first five years in office to more than four times a month since then.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 3, 2016