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OKC Loud Links: Bell Toll or Gong Show?

As we've reported and undoubtedly you've read elsewhere, the NBA pre-season has been canceled, which puts the regular season on unholy notice. I still maintain my prediction that I aired on the radio show "Technically Speaking." I think that if a season is to be had this year, it will come after about two months of games have been missed; as one very old man put it once, sometimes there has to be some pain felt in the offering before one realizes the seriousness of it all. So hang on to your britches, this thing is still getting started.

Owners' Revised Proposal Means There's Hope For a Full Season | CBS Sports

Berger writes today that the owners have adjusted their position that gives us a glimmer of hope. As he later reported in the day, however, that offered percentage is still below 50%.

On-Time Start to Season in Jeopardy | Sports Illustrated 

Lowe writes that the two sides are still so far apart that bringing closure to everything in a matter of 10 days may be too daunting a task.

Moneyball and the Houston Rockets | Grantland

Rockets GM Daryl Morey and his executive VP Sam Hinkie pen a piece for their buddy Bill Simmons (Simmons refers to Morey as "dork Elvis"). Morey represents the forefront of the new wave of NBA GM's who have attempted to adopt the Moneyball method to hoops.

The Most Grueling Stretches of 1998-99 | Sports Illustrated

Lowe recounts the dark days of the last lockout, when players were out of shape yet expected to play many back-to-back-to-back games to get a 50 game season in the books. This is what I know - an eighth seed made the Finals (Knicks) and that should really never happen. 

Know Your Lockout History: 1999 Lockout Calendar | HoopSpeak

Here is a handy timeline to help you remember how and when things happened over a decade ago. Shawn Kemp's playing weight a month before the season started is a nice touch. 

NBA Parity is Impossible | Wages of Wins

Possibly? No, Impossible.

More links after the jump.

Zach Randolph: Chameleon Workout Warrior | Sports Radio Interviews

The Grizzlies were the last team that the Thunder were able to decidedly beat last season, and it looks to me like they're itching to get it started again. What I love about their team is that I could see them beating just about anybody in the West in a given series, regardless of whether they have home court advantage. They feel built for the post season, kind of like the Rockets were back in the '90's.

Should Phoenix Trade Steve Nash? | HoopSpeak

One of the spots where Steve Nash could land is OKC, where he'd play the point and Russell Westbrook would shift to the two. Here is the tantalizing question though - what would be worth giving up to gain Nash for about two years? Would you give up James Harden? Serge Ibaka

Hero of the Week: Kobe Bryant | Behind the Basket

This is probably not a headline we've grown accustomed to seeing. I'll accept Kobe Bryant's position on its face, but there is still a part of me that feels that Kobe is a big fan of European feudalism. 

Taking the Next Step: Russell Westbrook | Basketball Prospectus

I tend to think that Russell cutting his turnovers in half would do a lot to alter perceptions of him, rather than demanding that he shoot less.

Metta World Peace Donates $285K to Mental Health Charities | Ball Don't Lie

The erstwhile Ron Artest continues to matriculate in life.

All Harrington Has a Chimp | SB Nation

This chimp still cannot rival Kevin Durant's panda.

Mark Cuban: Getting Some Things Off His Chest | BlogMaverick

I guess months of voluntary silence can have that effect on a man as gregarious as Cuban. This post isn't for everyone, but it is a great stream of consciousness insight into how Cuban views business in the U.S.