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Loud Links: 12/08/2009

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Here's Tuesday's edition of Loud Links. Lots of recap articles, so I'll present really just the one. Same goes for more of that Durant/Oden debate, what with the injury and all. There's stuff on OKC's sales tax extension (you know, the one that paid for arena the Thunder play in) and talk about Clay looking at setting up some exhibition games.

Thunder 104, Warriors 88 | Thunder Rumblings |
If ever you get sick of hearing about the character of the Thunder, about how the players genuinely get along, or how they’re good for the community, Monday’s game served as a reminder of the shade of green that lies on the other side. Golden State, in 48 minutes, should have shown you all you needed to thank the basketball gods after every game for the type of players being gathered in Oklahoma City. The Thunder has a locker room filled with 20-somethings who understand the meaning of team. They play hard and they play for each other. They spend time off the court and they do their damndest to ensure everyone excels on it. Golden State is a franchise in turmoil.

Tim Donaghy, Greg Oden among hot topics in NBA - NBA -
They made a mistake, but not because of Oden's injury. It doesn't take an NBA scout's mind to realize that Oden, while a big and capable center with superior defensive instincts, does not have nearly the same upside as Durant, a potential All-Star this season and a sure-fire MVP candidate within a few years. Oden will be back, no doubt, and I believe he'll have a long and productive career. But he won't be as dominant as Durant, which is what the Blazers were hoping Oden would become when they selected No. 1.

James Harden knows how to draw the line |
Harden scored a career-high 26 points in the Thunder’s 104-88 win over Golden State Warriors on Monday night at the Ford Center. Half his points came at the line. Before last year’s NBA Draft, Harden was best known as a left-handed sharpshooter. What was rarely mentioned is he got to the line as frequently as any player in Arizona State history other than Ike Diogu.

The Associated Press: OKC voters to decide whether to extend sales tax | AP
Oklahoma City leaders pushed for the first MAPS plan in 1993 as the malaise from the early 1980s oil bust hung over the area. Approved by 53 percent of voters, it paid for the construction of a new arena in which the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder now plays, a baseball stadium and a canal that helped convert an aging warehouse district into an entertainment destination known as Bricktown.

Arkansas Exploring NBA Exhibition in Walton Arena | Arkansas Sports
Could Bud Walton Arena be used to host a future preseason NBA game? Apparently, it's being discussed. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long revealed that via Twitter on Monday night. He was in New York City and the idea was bandied about over dinner with Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett.