Adams' Role in Oklahoma City
We really like to watch big Steven Adams playing in the NBA. He's seven foot tall (2.13m!), always plays well for his team, and best of all, he's from New Zealand! In fact his half sister is Valerie Adams, our shot put world champion. So every now and then we update everyone with how Stevie's playing for his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder (where his team-mates are Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook).
The big news coming out of OKC is that Kendrick Perkins will miss up to 6 weeks after getting injured against Miami. Perkins is the player who starts in Steven Adams' position of Centre, so this means Adams is probably going to be playing a whole lot more than usual. There are other players that his team can use at that position too, but Steven Adams will definitely be getting more chances to show what he can do for the next month and a half, that’s for sure.
So far this season, Adams has settled into a bench role (which is pretty impressive for just his first year out of the draft!). The amount of time that he plays each game depends on the team he’s playing, and what their strengths and weaknesses are, but his role on the court is usually the same. He plays hard, he hustles for rebounds (Adams always gives 100% effort), and when his team are in a good position, he’s dropping back and setting picks (which means he blocks off the other team's defenders to make it easier for his team-mate with the ball). This does not often give him the opportunity to score lots of points, but that's why he is such a team player. He always puts the result of the game and his team's chances above his own.
Rising Stars Challenge
It’s always nice for athletes to get rewards though, even if it is all about the team and winning. Adams is still a long way from being All Star, but he did get voted into the Rising Stars challenge! The Risings Stars game is played between rookies and second year players, so all the players were around the same age and level of experience as Steven Adams. Plus they are players that he will be playing against for many years to come. Being on the same court as guys like Andre Drummond (from the Detroit Pistons) and Anthony Davis (from the New Orleans Pelicans) will have been a great learning opportunity for Adams as a young centre. Hopefully we’ll be seeing all three of them at All Star Games in the future!
Kevin Durant on Steven Adams
(Speaking with Bill Simmons in his podcast ‘The BS Report’)
“First day of practice, somebody got frustrated and [Steven] said ‘Just hit me. If you wanna get your frustrations out just hit me. I like taking the physical beatings.’ And that’s what he does… he just runs down, settles in the paint, throws the elbows. He’s a kiwi.”
“He’s just trying to do whatever he can for the team to win it. I love a guy like that.”
A Call To Arms!
Which brings us to our last and most important topic. There is one thing that any great NBA player needs, and without it they won’t ever succeed. It is the first thing that people think of for any legendary player. Think Doctor J, or Air Jordan. It is a nickname, and Steven Adams needs one. It has to be catchy enough for people to like it, different enough for people to remember it and should reflect Adams' ability and personality. Here’s what we’re working with so far:
Lurch - He's the big guy from The Addams Family, an old TV show.
Mufasa - The Lion King. Come on, everyone's seen that movie!
The Thunder from Down Under - because he plays for the Thunder and is from Down Under.
The Chief - He's a leader, and he likes The Chiefs rugby team!
Do you have a good idea for a nickname for Steven Adams? Let us know!