Links on Fire! (Aug 8)

USA TODAY Sports

The NBA released its 2013-14 schedule this week and some other things happened. But we're all ready for some actual basketball stuff. Until then, links!

First up, Cody Zeller and his college teammate, Victor Oladipo, are total buds. These two had some fun "dunking on" other rookies during the annual rookie photo shoot this week. It's fun to see these guys with some personality and even though Oladipo did the bulk of the set up and dunking, it wouldn't have been possible had Zeller not been there with the basket!

And what's a photo shoot without photos? Basically a bunch of guys standing around in their game uniforms staring at each other I guess. So good thing they took some pictures.

The NBA schedule was released this week (duh) and there are so many fun things to break down. The NBA and NFL are joining forces to see how many people they can get to stay inside or leave the city completely during Super Bowl weekend when the Heat face off against the Nets on Super Bowl eve. Among the underreported facts, your Bobcats have the most back-to-back games in the league. Holler. And the league gets in on Laker-fan trolling by putting Kobe (?) and company on TV more than the Heat.

Fresh off taking us all back to a simpler time when sneaker commercials were both awesome and funny, Blake Griffin returns in a new spot with teammate Chris Paul for Jordan Brand and Footlocker. It's great to see Jordan Brand starting to utilize Blake's skills in front of the camera the way Kia has done over the last two seasons. Plus, Dr. Drain is already legendary.

In sad news, Brandon Jennings vowed to give up taking bad shots this year. Upon completing his sign-and-trade from Milwaukee to Detroit, Jennings also prognosticated about the Motor City morphing into another Lob City with the likes of Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, and Greg Monroe set to snatch lobs out of the air. They should be more fun to watch, no doubt about that. But RIP to Jennings hoisting up bad shots. Luckily, Monta Ellis has made no such proclamation in Dallas.

In not-exactly-NBA-news-but-it's-August-news, Kansas head coach Bill Self said he wouldn't rule out coaching in the NBA some day if the opportunity presents itself. Cool. Welcome Self to the ranks of every basketball coach everywhere. Of course, Self was quick to note that he's very happy in Lawrence, as he should be.

Cult-favorite big man Nikola Pekovic is on the verge of signing a juicy new contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, so he's decided to sit out this round of Eurobasket championship games. Given that we're talking about roughly $60 million, Pekovic is probably doing the right thing. Definitely.

Everyone's favorite funny, understated big guy, Greg Oden, signed on with the Miami Heat this week, hoping to resurrect a career sidetracked by injury. Oden and Kevin Durant were the top two choices in the 2007 NBA Draft and many were split on who to take first overall. Luckily for Seattle (sorry...seriously I'm sorry) Oklahoma City, Portland made that decision for them and the rest is history. Not sure there's anyone who doesn't wish the best for the big fella. Why would you? Jerk.

Finally, this is a bit of old news, and since linking your own site is kind of like retweeting yourself (not unheard of or inappropriate, but perhaps poor form) Chris Littman over at The Sporting News relayed just how effective the new branding has already been for the Horncats.

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