HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – If you put your ear against the wall outside the Target Center, you can still hear the calliope music coming from inside. The Timberwolves’ merry-go-round continues.
Ricky Rubio is coming and Kurt Rambis might be going and that means the latest redevelopment project in downtown Minneapolis is back on track, assuming that general manager David Kahn doesn’t take another point guard in the Draft.
But seriously, after two years of running in a knee-deep snow with back-to-back records of 15-67 and 17-65, is it possible that Kahn’s vision for the Wolves comes from some place other than acute hypothermia?
We all know what the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game was missing in recent years. Not enough high-pitched, teenage-girl shrieks and shrills.
Justin Bieber is bringing his hoops talents to Los Angeles and the BBVA NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. ESPN is televising the gathering of entertainers and athletes on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. ET.
In addition to the Grammy-nominated pop-singing sensation, this year’s celebrity games also features NBA legends such as Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, Bill Walton, Chris Mullin and AC Green. On the Hollywood side, look for Jimmy Kimmel, Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Rob Kardashian, Zach Levi (“Chuck”), Jason Alexander and Common. ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons also nabbed a roster spot. Complete teams, which will also feature current WNBA players, will be announced later.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We spent nearly the entire month of June talking about the Celtics and Lakers as they battled it out in an epic seven-game NBA Finals that captivated basketball fans around the globe.
Few people had a better view of the Celtics then and now than our main manA. Sherrod Blakely, who covers the Celtics and the league for ComcastSportsNet and CSNNE.com.
No one, other than maybe Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant, had a better or more unique seat for the Lakers’ title run and all that’s gone on since than Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss.
We worked them both for insights on these title contenders on Episode 31 of the Hang Time Podcast, which includes a special guest appearance from NBA TV analyst “3D” Dennis Scott.
You’ll soon be able to add best-selling author to her list of accomplishments. Buss co-authored (along with Steve Springer) “Laker Girl,” her diary that chronicled last season’s title run while connecting the dots that stretch back decades to the origins of her father’s and her family’s long history with the Lakers.
Buss gave up the goods on Justin Bieber‘s ring night visit to the Staples Center, opened up about her favorite Lakers of all time and the genesis of “Jeanie-Vision” (below) and so much more.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We could spend a week collecting, dissecting and analyzing all the nicknames for Shaquille O’Neal now that he’s officially a member of the Boston Celtics.
The Big Shamrock.
The Big Chowda.
The Big Leprechaun.
The Big Green Monster.
And one of our personal faves, The Big Cloverfield (courtesy of HT reader Jesse Giambatista, who explains that the alias is a “collaboration between an Irish 4 leaf clover and the movie of the same name with the ginormous space/sea creature.)
The list could go on and on, and we’re warming up to Red AuerShaq and Tip-In O’Neal. But we’ll offer up something a little different after doing a little research on the big fella. How about the Big Influential? … as in Shaq is far and away the most influential basketball player on the planet (in terms of his reach on social networking platforms) and one of the most influential athletes in any discipline.
FC: I recently asked Twitter founder Jack Dorsey who he thought is using the platform in the most effective way, he mentioned you. He told me two things in particular. One was where you gave away game tickets to the first two people to meet you at a given place and touch you? That’s a pretty intimate thing, what made you take it to that extreme? Why was touching better than “hello”?
SHAQ: Ah… Mr. Dorsey. That is funny, and true…. I was on the Phoenix Suns then. Again, I try to do things differently than others. Not intentionally trying to be different, but truly to invite people to break down expectations. I am approachable. I guess that was what I was trying to do.
FC: Dorsey also mentioned how someone had tweeted that they thought they were in the same restaurant as you, you saw it and invited them to lunch. What made you do that?
SHAQ: Accessibility. That would be pretty rude of me to be in the same restaurant and not offer them to join me (this doesn’t mean I am always in the position to do this). It struck me that moment basically, so I invited them. They were cool, they were fans. Again, not really above any of it. Appreciated that they even care. Make it fun for someone. Make their day one to remember. I do not think about those things when I do them, but here we are talking about it now. That makes me feel good.
FC: Your bio says you’re “very quotatious” and there are times when I can feel an almost rap rhythm to your tweets. I know you have skills with a microphone, do you try to channel that flow in your Twittering?
SHAQ: I am a Quotatious genius! I add Shaquotes into everything. (Smile)
The Celtics didn’t get the “Most Dominant Ever” Shaq. They didn’t get the 15-time All-Star, three-time Finals MVP or the All-Star Game MVP Shaq, the guy that once teamed with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade to win titles.