OKC Loud Links: Pressure Points Building?

We gained a few pieces of information over the weekend, including final audited numbers that calculate BRI and renewed calls for de-certification. Are we nearing a tipping point? We'll try to give as much coverage and analysis of these changes as they develop.

NBA Agents Want Union to Decertify | Yahoo Sports

It looks like there is growing discontent with the players agents in how NBPA union head Billy Hunter is conducting the negotiations. It seems to me like the players have finally got the league wobbling a bit with regards to their reported numbers conflicting with their narrative, and agents want the players to go full force now rather than wait until the money starts to run out.

NBA BRI Rises | ESPN

A small report on Friday confirms what we expected - NBA revenues were up to record levels this past year, and the players' salaries reflected it by growing by the same proportional amount.

Sonic Memories | Hardwood Paroxysm

Here is another nostalgic look back to when the Thunder were called the Sonics and played in Seattle.

The Comparison Rings True | Daily Thunder

Have you noticed that James Harden has been featured in a number of off-season events this summer? It makes me think that one of the great evaluations of a player is not how we see them, but how their peers see them. The players know who can play and who cannot, and who they would want to play with, given the chance. Apparently, a lot of guys want to play hoops with Harden. I think that says something significant.

Durant and His Tats | NewsOK

Mayberry tackles the kind of controversy that only impacts players like Kevin Durant - the nature and volume of his recently publicized ink. Of course, you WTLC readers know we dealt with this subject a long time ago.

Alex Owumi: Caught in Libyan Civil War | Hoopshype

Alex Owumi, an Alcorn State product who has traveled the world looking for opportunities to play professionally, found himself caught up in the middle of the Libyan Civil War earlier this year. His account is harrowing and reminds us of the security we enjoy in the U.S. when it comes to political stability. 

More links after the jump.

What's Eating Russell Westbrook? Nothing, Apparently | Hardwood Paroxysm

Here is a look back at the criticism that Russell Westbrook had to endure at the end of the playoffs. It is kind of amusing in a way when people kept saying, "You have to play smarter," or something to that effect. It is silly, really, because it is like telling a sprinter, "You have to run faster." There is no point in the statement. What I think Westbrook does nee to learn however is the balance between risk and reward.

One Agent Helped His Player Plan Ahead | Ball Don't Lie

NBA agent Raymond Brothers, who has among his clientele Zach Randolph, Ben Gordon, Caron Butler, and Al-Farouq Aminu, has wisely constructed their salary contracts to be spread out over 18-24 months to cover any lost time due to an extended lockout. 

NBA Lockout and Inception of Conventional Wisdom | Wages of Wins

Here is a great look at some of the often held conventions surrounding the nature of the league, as well as a deconstruction to test the validity of each.

D-I's Top 100 Players: 1-10 | Basketball Prospectus

Pelton finally reaches the end of this massive ranking, and #1 should surprise nobody. 

Lessons From Baron | Hardwood Paroxysm

Here is the tale of one person's encounter with Baron Davis, a guy who we sometimes make fun of but in reality is a man willing to strive to be complete in his life.

Does Your Team Make You Happy Or Sad? | SB Nation

Ziller digs deep to find out which teams sustain prolonged success, and what that means for their fan bases' collective psyche. 

Rob Mahoney: Sticking Up for Westbrook | ESPN

Here is a quick 5 on 5, talking about the nature of the best point guards in the league.

Stan Van Gundy Offers Rare Insight to Magic, Coaching | Orlando Sentinel 

Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy sometimes comes across as defeatist, but more often than not he is extremely honest about his coaching acumen and the way the league works. In this article, you can see that he has a highly developed basketball mind, and it underscores how much a mind like that does and does not matter.

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