Shaq talks NBA’s all-time greatest (and Kazaam) with GQ

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Shaquille O’Neal really doesn’t talk clothing in his interview with GQ. Which is fine, my guess is that Shaq doesn’t really fit into anything off the rack anyway. We shop for clothes in very different worlds.

But he does talk with GQ about a number of other things, from his girlfriend (they are still together, despite what you may read) and his business degree.

GQ also asked him the question a lot of us have wondered: Why “Kazaam?”

“I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, ‘Hey, here’s $7 million, come in and do this genie movie.’ What am I going to say, no? So I did it. “

Kind of hard to argue with that.

Sure, they talked basketball, too. And Chris Bosh. Like why he is always so hard on Bosh.

“I’m just not calling him part of the Big 3. He put up good numbers, but he wasn’t leading Toronto to any number one spots, you know what I’m saying? One day I gave him 46 points and he was like ‘Oh, s***, Shaq cheated.’ That’s when I called him the RuPaul of the NBA. A lot of times I’m just messing around but if he thinks I’m serious, so what?”

Bosh did not make Shaq’s list of the greatest players in NBA history. (If Bosh makes your list of the NBA’s all-time greatest — and you’re name isn’t Mrs. Bosh — we need to have a talk.) Shaq broke is all-time list down by position:

Point Guard? “I probably have to give that to Magic Johnson.”
Shooting guard? “Jordan.”
Small forward? “Probably Bird.”
Power forward? “Either Barkley or Karl Malone. Or even Tim Duncan. It’s a mix-up, I’m not sure.”
Center? “Greatest center is Kareem, Wilt, or me. Depends on how you look at it.”

Kind of hard to argue with that, too.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.