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OKC Loud Links: Hope on the Horizon?

As we posted late last night, the NBA and NBPA have agreed to meet with a mediator next week in order to try to bridge the gap. Hopefully this is a sign that each side realizes that any lockout that destroys a quarter of the season creates irreversible loss. It also may be one of the few times in my life where I ever think, "Thank goodness, the federal government is on its way to help."

Can a Federal Mediator Help? | Ball Don't Lie

While I question the logic that this is an interstate commerce issue, I think the potential economic impact is severe enough that federal government assistance is not out of line. However, it is important to note that it is not that the government swooped in and said, "I'm taking over." Rather, each side consented to the mediation. 

Owners Aren't Wanted Here | Hardwood Paroxysm

This is a pretty fascinating piece that examines the viability of professional NBA teams that are owned all or in part by their fans. The author rightly notes that at the end of the day it probably wouldn't work, but it is still a worth-while read because he examines a number of facets in depth. 

Pointing Two Fingers | ESPN

Abbott examines the role that both David Stern and Billy Hunter played in bringing us to this stalemate. I especially like his assessment of Hunter, and the phrase "leading from behind" seems particularly appropriate. Hunter did not use the weapons in his arsenal to try and win.

Shared Blame Includes Fans | Daily Thunder

This is sort of an anti-populist position, but Young is right. The fans' demand for basketball makes it far more economically inelastic than you might think.

Necessity, Sanity Would Like Fewer Games | NY Times

I for one agree with the sentiment that the NBA season is too long by about 15 games. I think it would be much more compelling and less like a marathon (especially in the early months) if games were reduced.

Owners Take Wrong Path to Competitive Balance | SB Nation

Ziller argues that a hard cap (or a hard cap proxy) is the wrong way to go about building competitive balance. At the end of the day I don't really agree with his argument (See Tim Donahue's argument to understand why) but he works hard to make the argument compelling.

More links after the jump.

Do the Big Spenders' Bets Pay Off? | NY Times

We've seen a number of professional analyses that argue both ways - 1) overspending works; and 2) overspending does not work. However, one point they seldom make is that they never parse out the difference between "winning" and "contending." You can buy a "winning team." Just look at the Hawks or the Trail Blazers. However, to buy a "contending team?" That's a little more difficult. 

It Isn't the Economy, Stupid | HoopSpeak

Strauss is right - the economic stagnation we're experiencing is not and should not be a functional talking point for the owners to argue that the players take reduced salaries. From the business side of things, everything this past season was on the up-and-up. Besides, if owners were really concerned about the economy, they would have reduced ticket prices.

Lockout Might Effect Fringe Players Most | Ridiculous Upside

The guys who have toiled away in other leagues in order to just get a shot at the NBA have very little recourse during this lockout.

Why the NBPA Is Playing Against a Stacked Deck | Knickerblogger

Here is a good look at the personal economics of the average player. While marginal players still have higher earning power, it is important to examine the numbers in their proper context.

Rogue of the Week: NBA, NBPA Bosses | Behind the Basket

Blott echos Henry Abbott's sentiment above. The two men that could have created a season chose not to do so. Perhaps their reasons are valid, but the fact remains.

Logos Through the Years | Basketball Prospectus

Yes, you can even rank logos.

Charles Barkley: Not A Twitter Fan | SB Nation

Yet another thing that the Chuckster and me have in common.

Ben Gordon: Not Optimistic | Detroit Free Press

Ben Gordon has been attentively listening in on the lockout proceedings, and in his opinion this situation could last multiple years.