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OKC Loud Links: Breaking Good?

Are the two sides close? Do they realize what hangs in the balance to their own wallets if something good doesn't happen this weekend? At least we have one more charity game to preoccupy us this weekend.

Taxing the Rich Not as Simple as it Seems | Sports Illustrated

On the one hand, we have a union that is steadfastly opposed to a hard cap. On the other hand, we have years of proof that punitive damages to teams that bust the salary cap really only hurt the smaller teams that the tax is trying to protect. Lowe writes that the negotiations have gone back and forth to construct a way to keep teams in check from overspending that are outside of these two extremes.

Spinning NBPA in Total Disarray | Newday

Here is a look inside the fabric of the NBPA. The writer makes astute observations about how Union head Billy Hunter's leadership is perceived, who is a real asset to the union, and where things might be headed.

Lockout Leaves Drafted Players in Limbo | LA Times

This is a good look at how last year's draft class is faring. At least among the players interviewed here, it looks as if they're doing a good job of not adopting the NBA lifestyle mindset since they do not yet have the NBA paycheck.

No Basketball, No Problem | Slate

The writer argues that, from a local economic perspective, pro sports work stoppages have not had a material impact on local economies, that the entertainment dollars simply shift from one outlet to another. 

The Hidden Impacts of the Home Team | SB Nation

Sharp pushes back against the Slate piece, honing in on a lot of the assumptions the writer makes and looking at specific examples where reality pierces the economic model.

Pushback Against Superagents' Ultimatum Letter | ESPN

Interestingly, players and people connected to the CBA were not too happy about what the biggest NBA agents did over the weekend. Said one:

"The agents are saying they're speaking for the players but in actuality they're not...They're just taking liberties that they really don't have."

Bill Russell Sues NCAA, Electronic Arts Over Image Use | Bloomberg

NBA legend and historic icon Bill Russell has joined a suit that targets both Electronic Arts' and the NCAA's use of player images to make a profit, while providing those players with no compensation. The suit was originally brought be UCLA star Ed O'Bannon.

Why David Stern Wants Us to Panic | SB Nation

David Stern controls it all, you see.

More links after the jump.

Wilt Chamberlain Dominates the High School Court | Ball Don't Lie

A 17 year old Wilt Chamberlain was every bit as spectacular to watch as his later iterations. Amazing footage; the simple sight of Wilt gripping a basketball with two fingers makes you realize how different he was from an athletic standpoint.

The Lockout Cliff | Hardwood Paroxysm

Hutchon, also the supreme editor of SBN's own Rufus on Fire, writes that we're approaching the cliff with "Thelma and Louise"-like determination. Apropos of nothing, I think it is interesting that "Thelma and Louise" ended before their car landed, thus sparing us the sight of the two protagonists' broken, bloody, and charred dead corpses. Food for thought.

Deron Williams Travels a Long Way for a Loss | LA Times

Apparently Deron Williams is a bit shocked to find that Hungarian basketball is a bit different than he expected.

Addressing Anger | HoopSpeak

Strauss wrote a post a few days ago that took to task what he personally felt was a misuse of the plight of many of the workers who are out of a job due to the lockout, and not surprisingly got some push-back. Sometimes even when you're right, you're wrong.

Chinese Pacer Fans Reenact Classic Reggie Miller Moments | 8 Points 9 Seconds

Wade does his best "Simpsons Comic Book Guy" impersonation in reviewing the ChinaPacers' attempts at re-creating Indiana Pacer magic.

It's All About the W's: Steve Nash | Behind the Basket

Steve Nash gets his turn in Blott's W's analysis. While Nash's impact on the two teams he's played for is significant, I also think his imprint on the game overall surpasses it.

Dan Gilbert Still Making Money Off LeBron | Ball Don't Lie

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is morphing into Vince McMahon.