If the Sports Illustrated cover jinx is real, then give Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder credit. They knew Kevin Durant(notes) is too good to be taken down by ghosts and goblins, but if such superstition does have an impact (and that monster under your bed is really real), then you might as well toss a couple of ringers out there to take the heat.
Now, Durant deserves the cover. He's the league's brightest story right now, and you want to tell that story with his team's potential in mind. It's not unlike putting LeBron James(notes) on the cover to start 2006-07. Of course, that cover would have had to include Eric Snow(notes) and Larry Hughes(notes).
It's not as if Russell Westbrook(notes) isn't one of the league's best young point men, and James Harden(notes) might put Vinnie Johnson to shame one day. But look at Nenad. Even he's a bit bemused. And though Thabo is still one of my favorite players -- I love defense -- come on, Thabo Sefolosha?
(Hat tip to the, uh, NBA.)