Shaq does not want his name used on "Basketball Wives"

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I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch the premiere of VH1’s “Basketball Wives” last weekend. I was going to, it was part of the job I told myself, but there was nothing about this that is remotely appealing. So when it came time, I thought a rerun of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America was the better reality television option. Probably was.

Apparently Shaquille O’Neal isn’t watching either. Not only that, he had his lawyers contact his ex-wife and show star Shaunie O’Neal to make sure his name was not even uttered on the show. Of course, TMZ got the scoop.

Shaq’s lawyer has fired off a letter to the network — obtained by TMZ — in which he demands VH1 immediately halt production on “any further episodes of ‘Basketball Wives’ which make any reference to Mr. O’Neal.”

Shaq’s lawyer claims Shaunie signed a confidentiality agreement at some point in their relationship — so if she says anything about Shaq on TV, she and the production company will find their asses in court.

Of course, one of the upcoming episodes was going to focus heavily on the pair’s relationship. What else has it got to sell?

Eric Freeman of The Baseline took one for the team and watched the premiere episode last weekend. His comments:

The conceit of the show is that Shaunie O’Neal, the long-time wife of Shaquille who recently filed for divorce, is looking to bring new basketball wives into her social circle, except no one involved acts like they’re particularly excited about hanging out with anyone else…

In contrast to the show’s title, most of the cast members are former fiancees or long-term girlfriends, not wives. Then there’s Royce (Dwight Howard’s baby mama, although that is never mentioned), a former dancer who has dated several players and exists only because she’s a free spirit (i.e. dances provocatively at nightclubs) who needs guidance from the wise older women.

Evelyn, ex of Antoine Walker: “Yeah, I had all these Louis Vuitton bags, but at the end of the day it didn’t mean anything, because he wasn’t there.” Change “Louis Vuitton bags” to “great seats,” and that quote could very easily come from any number of disgruntled fans.

Yup, the Gordon Ramsay call sounds pretty good now.

Did Gregg Popovich leave a $5,000 tip at a Memphis restaurant? (PHOTO)

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Gregg Popovich seems like a nice, considerate dude with a good head on his shoulders. The San Antonio Spurs coach made headlines this season as a leading advocate against many of the political changes occurring since the election of Donald Trump. He’s a thoughtful guy.

Popovich is also apparently a big tipper. A photo recently surfaced via Reddit and MySA.com that showed Popovich’s signature on a bill that had a $5,000 tip on it.

Nope, not a typo. $5,000.

Via MySA.com:

If you’re ever waiting on Pop, be sure to come back to refill his water as much as you can. It looks like it might be worth it for you.

Reports: Rajon Rondo “preparing to attempt to play in Game 5” but may wait until Game 6

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So you’re saying there’s a chance….

The Bulls have been lost at the once since Rajon Rondo went out with a fractured thumb — Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams have been abject disasters to the point Isaiah Canaan was brought out of mothballs (and played fairly well in Game 4). The smart play would be a no point guard lineup with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler as the ball handlers, but that will wear those guys down and will only work for stretches.

What the Bulls need is Rondo back. And that could happen for Game 5 Wednesday, if not maybe for Game 6, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports, and Marc Stein of ESPN.

Rondo is tough, he might be able to play through this, although it likely would limit his effectiveness, particularly when he has the ball.

The Bulls will take whatever he can give. The Celtics woke up the last two games, and it’s going to be difficult to turn the tide without better play at the point.

Rockets owner appears to leave seat, yell at refs during matchup with Thunder (VIDEO)

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The Houston Rockets are in control of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and were up 3-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5 in Texas.

That did not stop what appeared to be Rockets owner Leslie Alexander from complaining to NBA referees. During gameplay. While standing directly next to an official, some 20 feet from his courtside seat.

Via Twitter:

Congratulations are in order to Bill Kennedy, the official in question, for keeping his cool. Or perhaps he just was so surprised by some dude yelling in his ear from right next to him he didn’t know how to react.

Brandon Jennings no fan of the NBA’s new Awards Ceremony event

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Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)

The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.

Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:

Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)

There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).

It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.