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Shaq to play in Turkey next season?

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Well, it’s not even noon but we have our winner for weirdest story of the day locked up. My work here is done.

You all remember how Allen Iverson is playing basketball in Turkey right now (and sitting the fourth quarters). Well that has apparently emboldened his Besiktas general manager to start approaching other NBA players such as Shaquille O’Neal and… well, here are the quotes, from Ajansspor, picked up and translated by Hoopnotes (via Celtics Blog):

Seref Yalcin, GM of the Turkish club, said he was in the United States to meet with the center who said to him: “I want to be champion this season with Boston. But I’m coming to Turkey next year….”

“Some people will still come out and said ‘Shaq won’t come to Turkey’,” Yalcin added. “But the chances are very high.”

If you want to connect the dots in your mind, Shaq has a player option on his $1.4 million deal with the Celtics next season. There is going to be a lockout (whether or not it costs games is another question) so maybe Shaq opts out and becomes a free agent and then he would be free to sign with Besiktas.

If you believe that is going to happen, I won’t spoil Christmas by telling you Santa Claus isn’t real. Of course he is. Both Santa at the North Pole and Shaq in Turkey make nice stories for a winter’s night. Don’t stop believin’.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.