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Links for an Offseason Monday

Hardwood Paroxysm " The State Of Minnesota Is Now The Edge Of Madness
The Timberwolves did not look themselves in the mirror before they walked into that draft room Thursday night. Ricky Rubio has a rare concotion of elements that make him unique unto himself out of this draft class. He has star power, fan hype, professional employment, and capable handlers. This formula results in the one thing that can strike fear into the hearts of drafting small market teams. Leverage.

HP goes in depth on the reality of fielding a small market NBA team. Essentially, the point is that small market teams (except San Antonio, I suppose) can't just expect that being an NBA team and providing NBA competition is attractive enough for every single player. If Ricky Rubio thinks you play in the US equivalent of Siberia, there's a reason for that. If Allen Iverson thinks Charlotte is a town apathetic to pro sports and won't come here because of it, there's a reason for that. Not to get all Michael Jackson on you, but HP has it right that we've got to start with looking in the mirror and acknowledging what everyone else thinks about us before we begin to think about who we can convince to play here.

Houston Rockets Take Control of RGV Vipers - Ridiculous Upside
Breaking down the announcement that the Houston Rockets will control the basketball operations of the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Smart NBA teams are snapping up D-League teams. The Lakers, Zombie Sonics, Spurs, and now the Rockets (am I missing a team?) all have direct control over their own minor league teams, and the development that goes with them. The Bobcats are losing cash, but it's a relatively small investment to have a D-League team at their disposal. Greensboro, anyone? Rock Hill? Wilmington?

Brazil rallies past U.S. for Confed Cup championship | Sporting News
Brazil's "Beautiful Game" came alive in the second half Sunday with three comeback goals in a 3-2 win over the United States in the Confederations Cup final.

I blame Giuseppe Rossi. (/lame soccer joke)