Brilliant Steven Adams deserves praise

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 05:00 16/05/2014
steven adams
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KIWI BATTLER: Steven Adams in action for the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Los Angeles Clippers.

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OPINION: Standing 2.13 metres tall it's pretty easy to be intimidated by Kiwi National Basketball Association (NBA) rookie Steven Adams.

It seems that includes several NBA veterans too.

Adams was expected to be a bit-past player for his Oklahoma Thunder side in his debut season, however he's showing he can mix it with the best.

He's featured in 81 of the Thunder's 82 regular season games, cracking the starting line-up 20 times and was an integral part of the team's NBA finals run against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Los Angeles Clippers face an altogether tougher challenge however, one Adams will no doubt be up for.

His defence in particular is outstanding, some of the blocks he's produced are nothing short of amazing and there's probably a few guys around the NBA wondering how to handle the Kiwi giant.

Trying to intimidate Adams physically, several players have resorted to elbows and shoulders, but that just hasn't worked, such is his cool head and maturity beyond his 20 years.

Adams also played in the All-Star Weekend's Rising Stars Challenge and it's only a matter of time before he makes the jump to the next level in that department.

He's a fan favourite in Oklahoma and they consider him to be worth every penny of his $2.6 million salary.

In just one season in the NBA he's achieved more than any Kiwi, including Sean Marks, ever has in the league.

Adams reckons he's keen to play for the Tall Blacks at the World Cup in Spain later this year and I'd love to see him let loose in a black singlet at that tournament.

Another thing I like about Rotorua-born Adams is that he's stayed true to himself.

I imagine it would be pretty easy for a young man to get caught up in the hype and develop a cocky streak, but from what I've seen Adams has his feet firmly on the ground.

He's clearly proud of his New Zealand heritage and we all know how much Americans love a patriot.

After what's been an incredible start to his NBA career, you can pretty much bank on Adams doing what he does best for years to come at the top level of basketball.

Embarrassed Hurrell pretty foolish

A sex tape scandal involving Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell and Shortland Street actress Teuila Blakely is clearly embarrassing for all involved.

Why he'd put something like that online is anyone's guess.

It's obviously not a particularly smart move, especially for a guy who is pretty well known.

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Blakely has copped a fair amount of abuse via social media for her part in the tape, which is unfair but sadly not unexpected.

I think she's handled herself well given the situation, as has Hurrell, even though he's given an all to familiar, politically correct, not-written-by-him apology.

A $5000 fine imposed by the National Rugby League (NRL) on Hurrell and forcing him to attend a counselling session is his punishment, which is fair enough.

Suspending him would have been ridiculous.

After all it's a personal thing and while the club are embarrassed, it's hardly going to bring down the Warriors.

I thought NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyles comments were off the mark however.

Saying the incident will potentially stop mothers letting their children play the game is nonsense.

It'll be forgotten in a month or two, or at least until the next rugby league scandal comes along.

- The Timaru Herald

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