Posts Tagged ‘Shaquille O’Neal’

Throwback Thursday: Shaquille O’Neal


VIDEO: Shaquille O’Neal leads the Lakers to the title in 2000

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Shaquille O’Neal wins first Finals MVP

For the first seven seasons in his NBA career, Shaquille O’Neal achieved tremendous success during the regular season, but consistent success in the playoffs eluded him. Sure, he reached the NBA Finals in just his third season (1994-95) as a member of the Orlando Magic, but his team was swept from the NBA’s championship stage in four games.

After signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 1996, O’Neal was again a focal point of the team and led L.A. on playoff runs. He never reached The Finals again, though, until the 1999-2000 season. That was the season in which he ran away with the regular season MVP trophy and, once he got back to The Finals, made sure not to flub this time around.

On June 18, 2000, he was named unanimous MVP of The Finals after L.A. ousted the Indiana Pacers 116-111 in Game 6. O’Neal averaged 38 points, 16.7 rebounds and 2.67 blocks in the six-game Finals series. He became just the third person to sweep MVP honors for the season, capturing the All-Star Game MVP, which he shared with San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP awards. O’Neal joined Willis Reed (1970) and Michael Jordan (1996). The Lakers tied the NBA Finals single game record with only five turnovers.

In honor of Shaq’s big accomplishment 15 years ago today, we pay homage to his tremendous career::


Gallery: Shaquille O’Neal’s career

What are your favorite O’Neal memories? Leave your comments below!

Kobe Bryant would like to remind you how good the 2001 Lakers were

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Golden State Warriors may be the latest NBA champs, but Kobe Bryant would like to take a moment and remind you of the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers. Back then, Kobe and Shaq teamed up to win a second championship with a pair of dominant performances, leading the Lakers to a 15-1 postseason record. According to Kobe, he just happened to come across this picture, the day after the Warriors won the title, so he posted it on Instagram…

Came across this and just had to post it. #DominantDuo #2alphas #23yrsYoung #lakers #shaq #mamba

A photo posted by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

Have we seen the 2015 NBA Finals before?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — They say everything old is new again. Perhaps that applies to the NBA as well? A YouTube user took the audio from NBC’s coverage of the 2001 Finals, when Allen Iverson and the Sixers took on Shaq and Kobe and the Lakers and applied that to some visuals of this year’s Finals. I guess the David/Goliath storyline is applicable to many situations, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry


VIDEO: 2015 vs 2001 Finals

(via SLAM)

EJ, Shaq featured on Hawks’ kiss cam

By Jeff Case

The Atlanta Hawks are in the Eastern Conference finals and the series is being broadcast on TNT, which makes for an in-town jaunt to cover the Hawks’ home games in the series for the “Inside the NBA” crew of Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. That quartet had a perch in Philips Arena to watch and broadcast the game and, as is tradition at Hawks games between quarters or during timeouts, the “Kiss Cam” was had its moment in the sun.

The Hawks had a great Kiss Cam moment in the East semifinals against the Wizards, but they may have one-upped it when they got Johnson and O’Neal on there last night and, well, just watch below …

(h/t SI’s Extra Mustard)

 

David Letterman sure loved the NBA

NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Basketball legends Magic Johnson (left) and Larry Bird (center) talk with Dave (right) about their friendship and their rivalry on the court when they visit the Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday, April 11, 2012 on the CBS Television Network. This photo is provided by CBS from the Late Show with David Letterman photo archive. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)

Magic Johnson (left) and Larry Bird (center) are interviewed on the Late Show with David Letterman on April 11, 2012 (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)

By Jeff Case

In case you’ve been living under a rock or something the last week or so, here’s an update: The “Late Show with David Letterman” is nearing the finish line and, tonight, David Letterman will host his final show. For 33 years and across two networks, the “Late Show” forever changed the face of late-night TV talk shows behind Letterman’s unique sense of humor and style. Amazingly, when he walks off the stage tonight, he will have hosted 6,028 broadcasts.

(The Indianapolis Star has a great look at the life and times of the TV icon here.)

Letterman, an Indiana native, is also a well-known sports fan and, in particular, a basketball fan and Indiana Pacers fan (he even did a Pacers-themed Top 10 once). Everyone from Reggie Miller to Shaquille O’Neal to Michael Jordan (who gave Letterman some guff over wearing adidas shoes) appeared on the show, as did former NBA commissioner David Stern and current commissioner Adam Silver.

With that in mind, here’s a look back at some of Letterman’s best NBA-related interviews …


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Michael Jordan in 1986


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Patrick Ewing in 1989 (FF to the 30 minute mark)


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Isiah Thomas in the late 1980s


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Reggie Miller and Spike Lee in 1994


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Grant Hill in 1994


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Dennis Rodman in 1997


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Charles Barkley in 2006


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Dwyane Wade in 2006


VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Magic Johnson and Larry Bird

(more…)

The internet reacts to Shaq falling down


VIDEO: Shaq Falls

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Every night on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” there’s a moment when Kenny Smith hops up from the analyst table and runs to the back wall of the set. And every once in a random while, Kenny’s fellow analyst Shaquille O’Neal will jump up and race Smith to the wall.

Last night was one of those nights, and as Kenny hopped up, Shaq did, too. Except Shaq took about one step and crashed to the floor, his legs tangled in wires and a monitor. Here’s the initial fall…

Shaq then challenged the internet to come up with the best Shaq falling meme, and plenty of them were generated…
(more…)

Talk Show: Hailey Clauson

Hailey Clauson 2

photo credit Getty Images // Michael Stewart

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With the NBA All-Star Weekend about to tip-off in New York City, we decided to talk to some celebrities who know both basketball and New York, to chat about what’s happening in the NBA, their advice for people visiting New York, and whatever else happens to come up in discussion.

Today we catch up with the model Hailey Clauson. A native of Los Angeles, Hailey has been the face of several brands, and she’s about to make her rookie debut in the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. You can keep up with her on Instagram.

We spoke last week during a snowy day in Manhattan…

HAILEY: I just got to New York late last night, and I just went outside to walk my dog and it’s pretty rough.

ME: Yeah, I just went outside a little while ago and it’s pretty brutal today.

HAILEY: It’s quite a shock for me.

ME: Right, because you’re from California, right?

HAILEY: Yeah, and I just got back last night from California, and I’ve been gone for like a month-and-a-half.

ME: You must travel a lot, right?

HAILEY: I do, I’m all over the place. I’m actually back and forth to L.A. a lot, which is nice but yeah, I’m all over the place.

ME: Were you a basketball fan growing up?

HAILEY: Yeah, I was always a Lakers fan. My dad was always super into basketball, so when I was a kid that’s all we did was watch Lakers games.

ME: Wait, you must be relatively tall if you’re a model. Did you ever play basketball?

HAILEY: I did play basketball. I played for five years. I’m six feet tall and I’ve been six feet since I was twelve.

ME: So you were like the Shaq of the league you were in?

HAILEY: Pretty much (laughs). I was towering over all the other girls. I had long arms.

ME: Did you like playing basketball?

HAILEY: Yeah. I was definitely a good defensive player, but wasn’t that good on offense. I was good at blocking… (her phone cuts off; we reconnect a few minutes later).

ME: You OK?

HAILEY: I’m sorry. My phone is all messed up, and when my face touches it, it hangs up. So now it’s on speaker so that won’t happen again.

ME: It seems like being able to touch someone’s face should be one of the main jobs of a phone.

HAILEY: Well, it’s because I dropped it in the toilet and somehow it’s still working.

ME: You were saying you were a defensive specialist when you used to play. When did you stop playing basketball?

HAILEY: I stopped when I was about 13, which was when I started modeling. So I started to use my tallness for something else.

ME: At least you’ve always been able to put it to some use.

HAILEY: I know, I took advantage!

ME: So when you were growing up back then in L.A., did anyone like the Clippers? They weren’t as good then as they are now.

HAILEY: No. I mean, we would go to Clippers games because the tickets were reasonable. No the Clippers are killing it, and that’s cool. I’m kind of sad for the Lakers, but everyone has their moments.

ME: Were you Team Kobe or Team Shaq with those Lakers teams?

HAILEY: I was Team Kobe And Shaq. We had a signed Shaq jersey framed in our house. My Dad washed cars and he washed Shaq’s car, and Shaq gave him the signed jersey, which was pretty cool.

ME: Who was your third-favorite player on those teams?

HAILEY: Um, Derek Fisher probably.

ME: OK. I co-host a podcast with Rick Fox so I was going to see if you happened to mention him. I’m actually glad you didn’t choose him.

HAILEY: I liked Rick Fox! He was always like, in movies and stuff, too, so I thought he was cool.

ME: So are you still a Lakers fan now even thought you moved to New York?

HAILEY: Yeah, I’m still a Lakers fan. I’ll always be a Lakers fan.

ME: If somebody was coming to New York for All-Star Weekend, where would you tell them to go visit?

HAILEY: I feel like New York’s known for its good restaurants. My favorite restaurant is called Lovely Day, and it’s a little hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant. When it’s not snowing, New York is super fun to walk around, and the Highline and everything is super cool.

ME: Last thing before I let you go, who will win a championship first, the Lakers or the Knicks?

HAILEY: Um…Lakers? Yeah, Lakers. I had to think about it but I have to stick with the Lakers.

Does deflating a basketball help?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The big story right now in the NFL concerns the New England Patriots and the accusation that they knowingly deflated the footballs they used in their playoff win last week over the Indianapolis Colts. This would have given them some sort of advantage, experts say, and while we’ll leave that to them to get settled, it did make us wonder, what if an NBA team deflated the basketball? Kenny, Shaq and Chuck got to talking about the same thing last night on “Inside the NBA,” which led to a Shaq free throw shooting contest using a flat basketball…


VIDEO: Deflate Inside

The other question here is, if an NBA team deflated the basketball, which team would that be? Well, I think we have our answer, thanks to this vine from the Milwaukee Bucks, who caught mascot Bango red-handed…er, red-hoofed…

The Sacramento Kings get revenge on Shaq

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’ve ever wondered how NBA players feel about being spotlighted on Shaqtin’ A Fool, I think it’s safe to say they usually aren’t thrilled about it. But rather than complain, the Sacramento Kings recently decided to get even. In this video, several Kings players take over Shaquille O’Neal‘s role and narrate a series of clips of Shaq’s not-so-great moments. Sorry Diesel, you had it coming…


VIDEO: Kings Shaqtin

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with John Leguizamo

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. Today we check in with the multihyphenate (writer-actor, producer-director, and on and on) John Leguizamo. Though he was born in Colombia, Leguizamo’s family moved to New York soon after, and a lifelong love affair with basketball and the New York Knicks began. His latest project is the loosely-autobiographical film Fugly!, out now on demand and on iTunes.

ME: I’ve seen you at lots of Knicks games through the years. Did being a fan of the Knicks start as soon you and your family moved to New York?

LEGUIZAMO: Yeah, definitely. I love basketball — that’s what I played growing up. You know, the sport you play is the sport you end up loving to watch. Somehow, it’s reliving the childhood and the life you never had. So yeah, I was a big Knicks fan back in the day — Clyde and up to Patrick Ewing, Sprewell, Starks, LJ, and up to now, the triangle offense, I’m here.

ME: Even these days, when the franchise is rebuilding, are you still fully invested?

LEGUIZAMO: It’s tough. The triangle offense is a tough thing to figure out. I mean, I guess it worked for Phil Jackson in Chicago and L.A., but how is it going to work on these cats who’ve played so differently all their lives, man? I don’t know, it’s a tough thing to watch. It’s like…(laughing) sending troops into war without weapons. I don’t know. It’s like, “Try and use your fist this time instead of a bayonet!”

ME: Also, to be fair, Phil had Jordan and Pippen in Chicago and Shaq and Kobe in L.A. So there may be a bit of a personnel issue with this Knicks team.

LEGUIZAMO: You mean you don’t think Carmelo is Kobe Bryant? (laughs) I mean, who was Michael Jordan anyway? No athlete will ever equal the excellence of that cat, but Kobe was pretty close, man.

Christmas2014

ME: Let’s get your predictions for the Christmas Day games. First up is your Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards.

LEGUIZAMO: Aw man. I mean, the Knicks will surprise you out of nowhere man, and maybe this is the time they’ll all come together — J.R. Smith and Shumpert — and maybe they’ll still come together for that. So I’ll give it to the Knicks. I mean, they come out of nowhere sometimes and they figure it out, and somehow the triangle offense comes together and somehow they’re loose and free. Or they get totally shut down, I don’t know.

ME: Right, sometimes it’s more like the Bermuda Triangle offense.

LEGUIZAMO: (laughs) Definitely the Bermuda Triangle. I think the Aztecs used The Triangle when they fought the Conquistadores. And what happened to the that empire?

ME: Yeah, didn’t work out so well. What do you do on Christmas Day? Will you watch games, or what’s your plan?

LEGUIZAMO: Well, we travel far. Our families are gypsies, so last year we went to Peru, and this year I’m going to be in Africa on a safari, not a shooting safari but shooting with my camera.

ME: Sounds amazing. OK, next up is the San Antonio Spurs at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LEGUIZAMO: Thunder didn’t show up the other night. I mean, Kevin Durant is back, but I’m gonna go Spurs.

ME: Yeah, it’s hard to pick against them. Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat.

LEGUIZAMO: Aaahhhhhh! Oh dear, that’s gonna be wild. I love LeBron now that he went to the Cavs; somehow he regained my respect and love. But that’s gonna be tough, Look at Dwyane who came in the other day with crazy points. I don’t know, I’m gonna go with the Heat.

ME: Two more. Lakers at the Bulls.

LEGUIZAMO: Bulls. Derrick Rose. That’s all I gotta say, two words: Derrick Rose.

ME: Last one, Los Angeles Clippers at maybe the surprise team of the season, the Golden State Warriors.

LEGUIZAMO: Wow, that’s a tough one. I mean, I love the Clippers, man, I love CP3, and after all they went through, I’m going to do the emotional choice instead of the smart choice (laughing), I’m going to go Clippers.