HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Proving once again that he is willing to go where other would not dare, TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal graced the stage on Live with Kelly (Ripa) and Michael (Strahan) to battle with the hosts in a karaoke sing-off.
Shaq was on the road, so the home crowd wasn’t completely behind him. But it’s hard to argue that Rip or Strahan topped Shaq’s version of the Prince classic, When Doves Cry:
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – This day, this moment, belongs to Reggie Miller.
This is his night in the Hall of Fame spotlight. But in addition to family, friends and former teammates, coaches and fans who will all share in his special moment.
That group includes his colleagues at TNT, who shared some of their own thoughts about Miller …
“Reggie will go down as one of the greatest shooters of all time. But you can’t mention Reggie’s name and not think of the legendary comeback against the Knicks.”
“Reggie is a friend of mine and I’m very happy for him. It’s an awesome accomplishment and it’s going to be a wonderful night for him and his sister.”
“I loved watching Reggie play because for 48 minutes he gave you everything he had, and he possessed all those qualities that encompass being a superstar in this league: worth ethic, court sense, will to win, loyalty, charisma, killer instinct, ability to perform in the clutch … the list goes on and on. Like all the greats, Reggie wanted the ball in his hands with the game hanging in the balance and time and again he would deliver. His night in Springfield is richly deserved, and we’re all richer for having watched such a talent for all those years in the Pacers uniform.”
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS –Shaquille O’Neal‘s playing days might not be over for good.
The TNT analyst is currently being wooed by a team in the Mexican league to play a “couple of games” next month. According to a report from Xavier Cabello of ESPNDeportes.com, O’Neal, a 15-time NBA All-Star, is getting the full court press from Sergio Ganem, president of Fuerza Regia:
The 40-year-old retired NBA center received the invitation this past August during a visit to Monterrey, where he did some social work at a community center for youth in wheelchairs.
No deal is in place, but Ganem spoke with O’Neal by phone in an attempt to convince him to return to action, and the team expects a response from O’Neal next week. Ganem noted that O’Neal’s availability will depend, in large part, upon his schedule as analyst for TNT’s Inside the NBA.
Fuerza Regia has distinguished itself for attention-grabbing contracts in the past. The team brought in Dennis Rodman in 2004 for two games and 7 foot, 9-inch player Sun Ming Ming, of China. The season started Sept. 4.
If a stint in Mexico will keep O’Neal out of traffic and clothed (below), then a short stint in Mexico might be a good thing.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – For a man whose name is synonymous with a franchise, city and state, it should come as no surprise that there are rumblings about Reggie Miller one day returning to help run the Indiana Pacers.
Miller’s headed to Springfield for a glorious weekend that will include his being enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. But there will be no shortage of chatter about the TNT analyst’s future and whether or not it might one day include a return to Indianapolis and the Pacers.
There couldn’t be a more a natural fit, from this perspective.
Miller embodies everything the Pacers stood for during the height of the franchise’s NBA glory years. His return would be more than just symbolic, though, as Miller has proved himself to be not only an ambassador for the Pacers, Indiana and the game itself, but also an astute observer of the global growth of the game over the past three decades.
“I never close any doors,” Miller said. “I listen to everything. (Owner) Herb Simon and I have had this conversation before. So yes, if something presented itself, I would definitely look at it and go from there.”
The Pacers have been led by either Donnie Walsh or Larry Bird for nearly the past 30 years.
Walsh returned for his second stint with the organization, replacing Bird as president, in June. Bird is taking at least the next year off. The 71-year-old Walsh hasn’t put a timetable on how long he will remain in his current capacity.
“I’m always interested,” Simon said. “Reggie would be a wonderful person to have in this franchise.”
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The real games don’t start until Oct. 30, but there will be plenty of chances to catch a glimpse of new faces in new places during the NBA preseason, a 22-day, 115-game schedule released Thursday afternoon.
Basketball fans in Fresno will get a treat when Steve Nash makes his Lakers debut on Sunday, Oct. 7 against the Warriors (though Dwight Howard might not be ready by then). A few hours earlier, Ray Allen will play his first game with the Heat in Atlanta. Andrew Bynum, meanwhile, will have to wait until an Oct. 11 in Orlando (of all places) to get in his first action with the Sixers.
Allen will have a great opportunity to build some off-the-court chemistry with his new teammates when they travel across the world, as part of the league’s slate of nine international games featuring 10 teams. Allen’s former team actually tips off the preseason with a game in Istanbul, Turkey on NBA TV.
NBA Europe Live presented by BBVA
Oct. 5 — Boston at Fenerbahce Ulker (NBA TV) – Istanbul, Turkey
Oct. 6 — Dallas at Alba Berlin (NBA TV) – Berlin, Germany
Oct. 7 – Boston at Emporio Armani Milano (NBA TV) – Milan, Italy
Oct. 9 — Dallas at FC Barcelona Regal (NBA TV) – Barcelona, Spain (more…)
LAS VEGAS — Someone needs to get Deron Williams a crown since he’s the NBA’s new king of technology.
First he broke his own free-agent news by Tweeting that he was picking the Brooklyn Nets over the Dallas Mavericks. His latest high-tech move came just after 9 p.m. local time, when he signed the five-year, $98 million deal with the Nets on the opening night/morning of the free-agent signing period on an iPad, per Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
An added twist, according to Berger, is the fourth year opt-out that was included in the contract, which no doubt serves as an escape hatch for Williams if the Joe Johnson sign-and-trade deal is the only other major move the Nets make to revamp their team.
The Dwight Howard trade rumors that were percolating Monday have shifted dramatically and now include teams other than the Nets, the team Howard has requested the Orlando Magic trade him to since December.
HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – After each and every game in this hotly contested Western Conference finals, the urge to make grand predictions about the final outcome has hit all of us.
Two games in it seemed as if the Spurs would not lose. They were unblemished since April 11 and hadn’t shown any signs of slowing down, not even against a Thunder team considered by many to be the closest thing to their equal at this point of the season.
Two games later it’s hard to see how the Thunder could have gotten their noses rearranged the way they did in those first two games. They drafted on the energy of their home crowd and the adjustments made after Games 1 and 2, and showed us all that invincibility in this series has a 48-hour shelf life and has yet to make it through airport security.
If anything, all we know after four games is that this series is everything we imagined it would be when the conference semifinals ended and the matchup was made. The Spurs and Thunder head back to the starting line for Monday night’s Game 5 like it’s May 27 all over again, heavyweights set to do battle in what now boils down to a best of-3 series with the Thunder needing to crack the Spurs’ armor on their home floor.
Anyone wanting to revise their predictions on this series from five or six games to the full and epic seven will not be penalized. There really is only a sliver of difference between these two teams, and in this series it remains that home court advantage. (That third quarter lead the Thunder couldn’t hold on to in Game 1 might very well turn out to be the defining moment of this series.) These teams are a combined 13-0 at home in this postseason.
HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – Well, that didn’t take long.
As soon as he was included in the discussion for the vacant general manager job in Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal has taken himself out of the mix.
The future Hall of Famer and TNT analyst released a statement this afternoon denying any interest in pursuing the position that came open with Monday’s mutual parting of the ways between the Magic and Otis Smith.
And this isn’t coming from any back channel sources or anyone else. It’s from the big fella himself, who said he has no plans of leaving the Inside set where has starred this season alongside Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson.
“When I first heard about the vacancy for the Orlando Magic general manager position, I was clearly intrigued.” he said in a statement. “I was drafted by the Magic, I have a great love for the franchise, and I have made the city of Orlando my home. Additionally, I have great admiration and respect for the DeVos family. However, this is not a job I have an interest in pursuing. I feel very fortunate to be with TNT and to have the best job in sports. I look forward to many more years with Charles, Kenny and E.J. I wish the best for the Magic and I am confident that they will select a great GM and coach.”
ESPN’s The Magazine’sChris Broussard reported Wednesday that there was mutual interest between O’Neal and the Magic and that he could interview with them as early as next week. Barkley was on The Dan Patrick Show this morning and confirmed that O’Neal indicated to him that he had interest in the job and would be interviewing with the franchise that drafted him.
But all of that comes crashing down with O’Neal’s statement that he has no plans of giving up his seat on the set at TNT.
HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – We can see it now: Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited” blaring from the sound system and a suited and booted Shaquille O’Neal walking to the podium as he’s introduced as the Orlando Magic’s new general manager.
Don’t laugh. It might not be as far-fetched as it sounds.
Dan asked Barkley if Shaquille O’Neal has told him he’s is interested in the Orlando GM job. “Yes,” Barkley said. “I do know he’s interested in the job and he’s going to interview for it.”
Barkley said O’Neal and Dwight Howard have had issues in the past, but that doesn’t mean Shaq can’t go to Orlando.
Barkley thinks Howard needs to make a decision and stay or go in Orlando. He’s sick of talking about it.
“They’re trying to do anything they can to keep Dwight there and get a buzz,” Barkley said. “They have to do something whether Dwight stays there or not. Bringing in Shaquille is an attention getter.”
This gives folks a license to let their imaginations run wild with images of O’Neal back in the city where his Hall of Fame playing career began, the same city he calls home. If Shaq is on the short list of people the Magic want to talk to about replacing Otis Smith, it is noteworthy. Especially considering the nature of his departure from the Magic in 1996 for the Los Angeles Lakers.
O’Neal hasn’t even finished his first year of retirement and already his name is popping up in a GM search. That’s impressive, no matter how it all transpired.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Something told me not to turn away, not to go to sleep on the final game of wild and crazy opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.
Even when the Grizzlies lead reached 27 points and the crowd was losing its collective mind at the sight of the home team roasting the Los Angeles Clippers, my basketball conscience wouldn’t let me turn the channel.
For the longest time it was like watching one of those Animal Planet specials where the water buffalo are trying to cross the river and the crocodiles keep snatching them and dragging them under water. You want to stop watching … but you can’t.
But this time, the water buffalo turned the tables at the end.
I’ll never go to sleep early on these games again. Not after what the Clippers did last night, staging an epic comeback and finishing the game on a 28-3 run, sparked by a Reggie Evans layup with 7:54 to play, to shock Memphis and the Grizzlies with a 99-98 Game 1 win.
I’d have never believed it if I hadn’t watched it for myself. And it’s always fun witnessing history, even if it comes at the expense of our beloved Hang Time Grizzlies.
Speaking of history, the Clippers had some on their side this season. Fifteen times they won games after trailing by 10 or more points, per Elias Sports. But down 27 in the Grind House … when the Grizzlies had it working in ever way imaginable, including my main man Zach Randolph doing push ups … and with Chris Paul struggling with that groin injury … Caron Butler in a suit after breaking his hand … and Blake Griffin just struggling in his playoff debut … there was no way this was happening.
Oh, but it did.
Paul came through as he almost always does at winning time, dishing out seven assists in the fourth quarter alone. Nick Young nailed those three monster 3-pointers Reggie Miller-style (all in one minute) and the Clippers flipped the script in the toughness department, out-rebounding the Grizzlies 16-4.
When Kenyon Martin stuck that hand in Rudy Gay‘s face to bother that last shot, there were no miracles left in the building. The Grizzlies’ nine-minute scoring drought was just as startling as the comeback.