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OKC Loud Links: Wasting Time

The CBA discussions are scheduled to continue tomorrow on June 30th, which is the last day that a deal can be done before a lock-out is invoked. Which of course makes me wonder, do these parties have something more important going on today?

Thunder Exercise Options on Five Players, Including Mullens | Daily Thunder

Young asks the question of why the option was picked up on Byron Mullens, who has seen very little action in the past two seasons. I'll counter with this - many of you thought that you'd never be able to forget Nenad Krstic. Well...Mullens has the talent to make you forget Nenad Krstic.

CBA: What Each Side Wants | ESPN

Here is a handy article that provides to you in bullet-point format what each side of the labor dispute is fighting for. Of course, the answer is always "money," but keep this checklist in mind when the two parties seek to present their cases to the public.

Reliving the NBA's Best Worst Rappers of All Time | SB Nation

Any list that kicks off with the phrase, "It's time to discuss Dana Barros' hip-hop career" is getting a link from me. Heaven help us, have we already descended to this point, and the lockout has not even started? Still, great list though.

20 Questions from the Association - Still Locked In | Hardwood Hype

Given the scrutiny and day-to-day reexamination of his value that he's subjected to, should Russell Westbrook take a page from Ron Artest's book and henceforth be known as "Blogosphere?"

The CBA, The Lockout, The Basics | Behind the Basket

Here is a good stab at understanding the deeper intricacies of the issues that are being debated at the negotiation table. 

More links after the jump.

The Problem With Dismissing Math in Sports | SB Nation

Ziller takes a stab at providing a counterweight to yesterday's Grantland piece about applying math to measure sports. I think both sides have merit, but there is something so alluring about chasing that perfect number that tells you everything you want to know about Jose Barea. (aside - this is how you know numbers should not define Barea - he's currently dating a former Miss Universe who is probably taller and richer than he is).

Manufactured Runs | Basketball Baseball Prospectus

Here is another detailed and a little less snarky argument against the Grantland piece. I think that the author draws out an important antagonistic sentiment with this assertion:

Lehrer dresses his argument up in a Malcolm Gladwell-like pop sociology motif, but it's the same argument that curmudgeony (sic) old sportswriters have been using since the dawn of time: these geeks aren't really sports fans. Not like the rest of us. If only they could get their heads out of their spreadsheets now and then, they could learn to live life a little, enjoy themselves a bit.

For some reason, the whole debate reminds me of this scene from White Men Can't Jump.

Atlantic Division Draft Grades | Wages of Wins

the WoW team assembles to break down the draft of each of the five teams in the Atlantic Division. It is one of the rare times where the Nets finish first in something.

Players, Owners to Meet Again Thursday | ESPN

The CBA labor talks have not progressed, and parties are expected to meet tomorrow to try to forge things out at the last minute. Unless, of course, they don't, and simply vote for an extension. Classic David Stern:

"I sure would like to see us make a deal..."

5 Things to Do During a Potential Lockout | OKC Thunder Fans

Horror of Horrors, there is a legitimate threat that we won't have any sports (basketball or football)  to watch on Christmas Day. Yeah, I checked. Christmas falls on a Sunday this year.

Andre Miller and George Karl Didn't Speak for Several Years | Ball Don't Lie

Good news for Thunder fans - the Nuggets traded for a guard who George Karl actually traded away five years ago. Pity the Nuggets fans though, as if they didn't have enough to stress about in watching Karl sit like a Rodin statue while the Thunder accelerate past them.

Kevin Durant Looms Large at BIO Convention | NewsOK

It is interesting that at an event designed to promote the advancement of life sciences and the biotech industry, one of the main attractions is a life-size cardboard cutout of Kevin Durant.

Weak NBA Draft Overshadowed by Impending Lockout | Manila Bulletin

Even people in the Philippines are starting to freak out that there may not be an NBA season next year.  

Thunder Girls Invited to Perform in China | Edmondson Sun

For the third consecutive year, the Thunder are sending their dancers, the Thunder Girls, to China to help promote the NBA in international markets.

Nate Robinson: Planking | Sports Illustrated

Note to the NBA: if you don't fix the labor situation, it will afford even more free time for our pro athletes, which means ridiculous trends like "planking" will become all the rage. I for one am not looking to the day when a pic shows up on Twitter of Kendrick Perkins planking on top of pygmy goats.