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OKC Loud Links: It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere, Do We Have a Deal?

There is a meeting scheduled today at 1PM, which will be the latest attempt before an artificially set deadline. The NBA has threatened to reset everything if the players do not consent to their latest proposal, but the players are holding fast.

How Will Everything Play Out? | ESPN

Coon writes a lengthy FAQ where he brings us up to speed on all the variables involved and how they might play out in different future scenarios. If you don't have time to read anything else today on the lockout situation, just read this one to get filled in. 

Players Call Stern's Bluff | CBS Sports

The players as of right now are rejecting the ultimatum, but that may change within a few hours.

Hardline Owners Sniffing Victory | ESPN

Abbott writes that there are a number of owners who actually would prefer it if the players rejected the latest proposal. Can the players use this piece of information as leverage? Or is it just a spectacular head-fake?

An Option Worth Considering | NY Times

Mahoney writes that one interesting proposal that is on the table that is both simple and potentially very effective is a dual player/team option on the player's final contract year. 

NBA Needs a Drastically Different Model | NY Times

I like the idea of some sort of profit-sharing plan being accessible to vested veterans, but the proposal here is both ambitious and reckless. I can count at least half a dozen unintended consequences falling out from a proposal like this, the most fun of which would be the potential that two Superduper stars (LeBron & Wade?) could stage a hostile takeover. Barbarians at the (Ticket) Gate!

Hunter "Cool" With Pierce's Decert Movement | CBS Sports

Celtics veteran Paul Pierce has taken to the forefront in the decertification movement, and from at least this account, Billy Hunter (who would be out of a job if decertification happened) appears to be ok with it.

Stern Rips Kessler For Remark | ESPN

The Gumbel comment was a little bit more subtle, but NBPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler's comment was not. Stern rightly ripped him for it. 

Update: Kessler later apologized for the remark.

Agents Upset With Hardline Owners | Hoopsworld

Scroll down a bit and there is a section on how some agents are vowing never to do business with the likes of the hardliners like Holt, Gilbert, or Sarver. There have been a lot of hollow statements made during this tete-a-tete, but that one is as cavernous as the Grand Canyon.

More links after the jump.

Players Toss Stern a Lifeline | SB Nation

Ziller writes that the Union may have finally engineered a deft negotiating move, simultaneously accepting the BRI split but asking for help on the system issues. 

Ed Macauley (1928-2011): The Forgotten Celtic | CelticsBlog

Ed Macauley was the Celtics first true star, but he later became a footnote as one of the trade pieces that brought GOAT Bill Russell to the team. CelticsBlog remembers him.

The Bottom Line on NBA Finances | Wages of Wins

This is...exhaustive...but if you want to understand better how the NBA's financials work, you would do well to read this post, along with Part 2.

Michael Simply Being Michael | Sheridan Hoops

While this post is mostly about Michael Jordan's hardline stance in the negotiations, it also contains some content that looks back at the 1992 Olympic squad, which I will eat up with a spoon every time.

Rudy Gay Hosts Charity Exhibition | ESPN

Kevin Durant only scored 29? Charity interest must be really waning at this point.

Update: Case in point - even LeBron James looks bored with his own off-the-backboard-slam.