BBVA Rising Stars Challenge

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


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.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.