by Lang Whitaker

We’re running low on The Links today…just not much out there.

I mentioned Ron Artest stopping by yesterday. Still not really sure why he was here. He walked around the offices, talked to a bunch of people, shook a lot of hands, watched Sam and I play Madden 07. It’s always surreal to be talking to Ron and then suddenly remember that he started the greatest brawl in pro sports history.

Anyway…

THE LINKS…
• This whole Al Harrington mess is still dragging along. The only good news is that the Pacers say something will happen this week. Everyone’s blaming the Hawks for dragging this thing out, but wasn’t it the Pacers who took half the season to trade Ron Artest? Probably didn’t help that Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh both took a vacation last week.

Drew Gooden‘s deal isn’t official quite yet, but he’s going to sign with the Cavs this week. What’s interesting is the poke Drew’s agent takes at the Nuggets for signing Nene to a contract that he says is “not realistic.” Remember, Drew’s agent is also Melo‘s agent.

• And even though they say Drew’s contract had nothing to do with their negotiations, the Sonics and Chris Wilcox are suddenly close to a new deal.

• Man, the people in South Korea must really be starved for basketball if Team USA was able to “thrill” them with, as this story says, “precision shooting from the three point line.” Because nothing’s more thrilling than a jump shot, after all.

Also, here’s a random photo gallery of Shane Battier visiting a Buddhist monastery.

• Breaking down the final four prospects to make the Mavs roster.

• One of these days, Tony Allen might be able to return to playing basketball for the Celtics.