Bargaining sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday could bring significant progress to stalled negotiations.
“As long as this thing (lockout) lasts, we're going to try to stay in touch,” Collison said.
Despite the lockout, local interest in the Thunder has not waned. Collison and Aldrich both smiled when informed the Thunder had sold out of its full-season ticket allotment last week.
“That's impressive,” Aldrich said. “That shows the loyalty that our fans have. Talking with people, even here (at KU), there are a lot of fans who just want to get the season started on time.”
DURANT ON WESTBROOK
Rumors involving Westbrook linger as the season approaches. Some insist Westbrook will, or should, be traded, while other report rifts between Westbrook and Perkins.
Durant addressed these issues in an interview last week with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
“We butt heads just like any other players because we are both competitive, we both want to go at it, we both have ideas,” Durant said in a phone interview while on the movie set of his upcoming Warner Bros. film, “Switch.” “That's going to happen, but I support him 100 percent. Of course, I hated when people were saying the stuff they were saying, and he hated it as well. I didn't want it to get to his head. I hate when people try to creep into the group and try to break things up.
“I enjoy playing with Russell so much. I hope he understands that, and I'm sure he does. I'm looking forward to next season already. The last thing I've been worrying about is what people say about Russ, and I'm sure that's the last thing he's worrying about as well.
“I don't want any other point guard. He's perfect for us, the type of guy he is, the type of player he is, the type of teammate he is. We're all competitive, especially me and him. We get the best of each other in practice every day, and we want to go at each other and make each other better. We are going to have disagreements. That's what all good players on good teams do.”
John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. Follow him on Twitter @RohdeOK.