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OKC Loud Links: Lull?

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It appears that the enthusiasm for pro basketball may be waning at the moment. To be sure that is expected, since it is the beginning of the NFL season and football has captured the nation's attention once more. However, the sparse turnout for Washington D.C.'s game this past Saturday was surprising. Perhaps we can conclude that there is only so much appetite for summer ball. What the turnout might also underscore is the power of the NBA's marketing machine, and that you cannot charge NBA regular season ticket prices to a lower income area in the middle of economic stagnation and expect people to turn out over and over again. Hopefully Goodman-Drew II will be better.

Perkins Sets Rondo Standard for PG's | CelticsBlog

Jeff Clark writes about the latest "controversy" involving Kendrick Perkins' purported dust-ups with Russell Westbrook during the season. Even though this ranks at about a '1' on the CONTROVERSY! scale, Jeff does a great job putting it in context.

NBA, NBPA to Meet Next Week | ESPN

Sources say that a meeting is being scheduled next week, as long as everyone can clear off his or her schedule. Maybe I'm just myopic, but it seems to me that during a time period where by definition no business operations can occur, these folks really shouldn't have a whole lot of priorities higher than getting together to hammer out a deal. 

Kevin Durant's Movie: "Switch" | CBS Sports

We probably can't blame Kevin Durant for this project; he's probably just excited to be making a movie. Even so, it would have been nice if they had taken a more original approach. How about, instead of switching Durant with some kid, switch him with, say, Ron Artest? (er, sorry, Metta World Peace)

A Way Out of the Labor Stalemate | NY Times

Here is one of the more original ideas on how to fix the lockout situation. What I like most about it is the flexibility it gives all sides.

Owners Vary in Stances on Revenue Sharing | Sports Illustrated

Lowe parses further the various positions that owners have on both the hard cap and on revenue sharing. As an aside, isn't it interesting that whenever "revenue sharing" is explained, the word "Robust" is always attached to it?

Kobe Bryant Prepared to Loan Money | Ball Don't Lie

And this is how the dastardly Lannisters became the de facto rulers of Westeros.

Top 99 Players of 2015 | SB Nation

Russell Westbrook shows up on this list at #13. In four years, Westbrook will be 26, stronger, quicker, and with better basketball knowledge. In short, as I've long argued, he'll be a 6'3" version of LeBron James, but with the attitude of a wolfpack, not a sheep dog.

More links after the jump.

Mark Cuban: Being Rich is Awesome | BlogMaverick

Mark Cuban has started writing on his personal blog again, and as of late has begun to argue about the hot economic topics of the day.

Steve Javie to Retire | ESPN

Veteran referee Steve Javie is finally hanging up the stripes after 25 seasons with the NBA. I always thought he had good hair.

Magic Johnson Starts at Center | BBall Breakdown

Coach Nick hops into the retro machine to look back at the 1980 finals Game 6, where Magic Johnson had to start at center. For a refresher course if you're new to the game, Magic Johnson was the point guard.

Creating an Offense: How Different Offenses Can Work | SB Nation

Ziller breaks out some more handy charts to see how top-heavy the Thunder's offense is, and what might happen when James Harden gets more minutes.

Chicago Bulls Historical Footnotes: The 1996 Season | Order of the Court

This is a great look at the Chicago Bulls' historic 1996 season, providing a synopsis of all of their losses during the regular season. It is a very short list. And yet, I was witness to that amazing season, and I'm still left with the same feeling - how on earth did the Bulls actually lose that many games?

Durant Keeps Ear on Talk, Eyes on Options | Washington Times

I like how Durant is keeping his eyes open, but I don't think there's any way he'd ever go overseas long-term.