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OKC Loud Links: New Meeting, New Hope?

The NBA and NBPA plans to meet today and possibly tomorrow to see if some more incremental steps can be taken. The money issue is getting close, but the hard cap issue still divides. We shall see.

NBA, Union to Meet Tuesday | CBS Sports

Berger writes:

"Negotiations resume after the league made a slight but significant revision last week to its most recent proposal on how to divide the sport's approximately $4 billion in basketball-related income (BRI)."

KD Trash Talked OU, World Ends | Daily Thunder

Not really, of course. But Young writes that Kevin Durant's recent playful banter about the University of Oklahoma once again has gotten blown out of proportion. Young rightly points out that when you come from a school that has natural rivals (i.e. OU and University of Texas), those biases stay with forever. Do you think Michigan football players who find themselves  playing for the Cleveland Browns are required to suddenly develop an affinity for THE Ohio State University?

Should Durant Be Able to Diss OU? | NewsOK

Mayberry comments on this hullabaloo as well. Flip at around - if a UT guy moves to Oklahoma and suddenly says, "Oklahoma University is my new favorite college school to root for," isn't that actually worse?

Keep the Beard | Hardwood Paroxyism

I'm not saying James Harden's signature facial hair shouldn't be trimmed from time to time, but could you ever imagine someone demand that Marvin Gaye or Barry White shave off their beards? 

NFL's Includes Sexual Orientation Anti-Discrimination Language in New CBA, Will NBA Follow? | HoopSpeak

Beckley Mason observes that new CBA's are often a time where the league can move forward, not just with how the league divvies up its money, but also of how they want their respective leagues to be thought. The NFL inserted some simple language into its new agreement, and and given the fact that David Stern has been one of the most progressive commissioners in pro sports, similar langue should find its way into the NBA's version as well.


Can We Dismiss Contraction From Lockout Talks? | SB Nation

Ziller writes that talk of contraction, that insidious idea that puts fans and teams on edge, is a red herring.

More links after the jump.


Durant: All-Star to Movie Star? | Washington Post

One interesting note in this story is that Kevin Durant's agent Aaron Goodwin actually approached Durant with the "Switch" project two years ago. If you recall, the Thunder were pretty bad then. I wonder if that might have inspired a script re-write or two.

Fantasy 3 on 3 Draft | Wages of Wins

The WoW guys decided to do another draft, this time picking players they would want for a 3 on 3 tournament. You will never guess who the #1 pick is.

Lakers-Suns Old-School Box Score |

Despite the lack of any current information, there are still nuggets to be found on the site. This is a box score from a game in 1969, featuring Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and an injured Wilt Chamberlain. What I found most interesting though was that if you look at the lower left, you can see that the referee in the game was Ed Rush. This is the same Ed Rush that reffed games into the early 2000's. Talk about a commitment to getting yelled at on a regular basis.

Goodbye Mid-Level, Hello NBA Season | Sheridan Hoops

One particular piece of the lockout puzzle that has not gotten much attention has been the mid-level exception.

"Put in the 1999 agreement as a trade-off for the players accepting a limit on maximum individual salaries, it started at $1.75 million. Since then, it has grown into a monster.

Last season the Mid-Level started at $5.8 million. With 8.5 percent annual raises, the role players it was designed for were getting five years and $37 million."

The Long NBA Season | Real GM

Do you think an 82 game regular season is too long? Put another way, have you ever heard the economic paradox of water and diamonds

Toronto: Worst Sports City in the World | Grantland

No love from the Grantland staff for our Raptors brethren. I have to challenge though, do you really think there is such a thing as "Chris Bosh hangover syndrome?" 

International Club Competition Qualifiers Schedule | NBA Playbook

Pruiti still craves real basketball, so he takes the time here to examine the EuroLeague and EuroCup schedules.