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What Had Happened Was: 8/5/16

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Russell Westbrook held a news conference Thursday announcing his new contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder (which could be worth up to $85.7 million over three years) and, well, some interesting things were said. Let us count them …

  • Westbrook said he talked to Kevin Durant early in his free agent process, then got a text from Durant once he’d decided to join the Golden State Warriors. They haven’t spoken since. “We’d been together eight years,” Westbrook said. “You don’t throw that away. Obviously he’s now with a new team. But we definitely will talk eventually. But obviously now we haven’t.” Durant also said he was going to wait. “Nah, that’s a touchy deal,” Durant said. “At some point, we’ll sit down and talk. But I don’t know when.”
  • Then came what some folks will call Kevin Durant Shade: “There’s nowhere else I would rather be than Oklahoma City,” Westbrook said. “You guys have basically raised me. I’ve been here since I was 18, 19 years old. You guys did nothing but great things for me. Through the good and the bad, you guys supported me through it all, and I appreciate it. Definitely when I had the opportunity to be able to be loyal to you guys, that’s the No. 1 option. Loyalty is something that I stand by.”
  • Westbrook was asked why he agreed to the extension now rather than waiting until next season: “There’s no need to wait if you know where you want to be.”
  • Lastly, Westbrook was asked if he was surprised by the way Durant handled his free agency. “Some people handle things differently than others and that’s the way he wanted to handle it, which is fine.”

Welp, next season is going to be fun. When’s that first Thunder-Warriors game?



It turns out the best part of “Russell Westbrook Day” in Oklahoma City wasn’t even all that shade Westbrook dumped onto Durant. It was actually Thunder big man Enes Kanter acting as a really, really great hype man the moment he found out his boy was staying in town:



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Our friend Brin-Jonathan Butler recounted the inspiring journey of boxer Andre Ward with the biggest bout of his career looming:

In boxing’s family of messy, dark characters, Ward is a virtual unknown, despite his success. While others sought the limelight, he resisted it, closely guarding his privacy and a family story that could rival any of his predecessors for pathos. On Aug. 6, Ward will face Colombian Alexander Brand at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California. (The arena’s star attraction, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, is a friend and occasionally accompanies him to the ring carrying his championship belts.) If he wins as expected, Ward is slated to fight Russian light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas on Nov. 19, in what many believe could be professional boxing’s best fight in well over a decade. No fighter today more skillfully solves boxing’s best crosswords in blood than Ward, who is 29-0 as a professional with 15 knockouts. He was the longtime world champion as a super middleweight, one of the most dangerous divisions in the sport. But he moved up to light heavyweight last year so he could face Kovalev, a fearsome puncher, who is 30-0-1 with 26 knockouts and in 2011 beat an opponent so badly that he died shortly after the bout.”



This is too much:

Ryan Cortes is a staff writer for The Undefeated. Lemon pepper his wings.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.