This title probably made you laugh. You probably contemplated whether or not this article was even worth clicking, right? Because, surely, that headline alone is enough to make me sound crazy for even writing this. Believe me when I say that even I believe that it sounds nuts, but former Magic forward, Horace Grant feels as if it’s God’s honest truth.
Grant was recently on The B.S. Report with Bill Simmons, and told Bill that back when he was member of the Orlando Magic, Shaq called him (just before signing with the Lakers), and Grant didn’t answer. Grant believes that something as simple as a missed call may have changed the landscape surrounding the Magic’s future.
“He called me, and I didn’t return his call, before he signed with the Lakers.” Grant said. “And to this day, I wish I had just answered that call, and maybe he still would have been in Orlando. I heard about it and saw it on the news, and it was like Mike Tyson hit me. You cannot recover from a guy that size, in his prime, that dominant to think you are going to win a championship. Absolutely not.”
If you don’t believe me, then you can listen for yourself.
So, is there any possible way that something that sounds so insane could actually be true? I honestly don’t have the answer to that question. As a Magic’ fan, I recall (even though I was only 12) the moment Shaq ditched the Sunshine State for the red carpets in Hollywood. Shaq made what had to have been a tough decision, based on the Magic’s excellent roster. A decision that eventually panned out, as Shaq and Kobe Bryant won three championships in a row in LA.
Horace also blames egos for the hostility between Shaq and Penny Hardaway. It’s a shame that two young, talented superstars like Shaq and Penny couldn’t work it out in Orlando. The possibilities were almost endless for that bunch.
We often try to pick the best players of all-time, and decide who is better than who. It’s not easy to compare players from different eras, but to make a list of the top ten, you have to try. Here’s my top ten players of all-time.
Honorable Mentions: LeBron James, John Stockton, Hakeem Olajuwon
10. Tim Duncan
Duncan is a part of a Spurs team that has been dominant in recent years, appearing in five NBA Finals, and winning four of them, since 1999. He is the biggest piece in the Spurs’ big 3, and he is loved by the city of San Antonio. Aside from 4 championships (so far), he is also a 2x MVP, a 3x Finals MVP, and a 14x all-star.
Just like that, it’s Wednesday, and here is THE LOWDOWN!
The San Antonio Spurs manhandled the Miami Heat in game 3. LeBron, Wade, and everyone’s favorite prehistoric power forward, Chris Bosh, were all less-than-impressive in the blow-out loss on the Spurs home floor. The 113-77 beating by the veteran Spurs was the obvious story last night, but the fact that Tony Parker got a bit banged up and will undergo an MRI this morning to see if it’s simply cramping, or something more severe. For the Spurs’ sake, hopefully it’s something minor, and won’t require Parker to miss any time. (Beyond The Buzzer)
Speaking of the Spurs, and their French-born star point guard, San Antonio head coach, and future hall of famer, Greg Popovich, claims that foreign players are “harder working” than American players. So, does “Pop” have a point here, or is he simply blowing smoke? (Pass The Pill)
Last little tidbit on the San Antonio Spurs (I promise). The Spurs made 673 three-pointers in last night’s win over the defending champs (no really, they drained an NBA Finals RECORD, 16 shots from beyond the arc). Here is a video recap of all 16 from deep.
(Video courtesy of Eye On Basketball)
So… We all know that the NFL’s single-season sack record stands firm at 22.5 sacks. This record is held by New York Giants former DE, and co-host of LIVE With Kelly And Michael, Michael Strahan. Well, before your start thinking that record (set back in 2001) has a chance of making it through the 2013 season, you better start thinking again. Carolina Panthers defensive end, Greg Hardy, a third-year player, who is coming off an 11-sack season, says that his ” goal for this year” is “50 sacks”. Sure, whatever you say, pal. And if you believe that, then I have some magic beans to sell you. (Helmet2Helmet)
Bryce Harper does NOT appreciate the DL (go frickin figure!). In fact, Harper had just received a round of cortisone and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections on Monday. (Nats Enquirer)
I want to play already! Can’t sit here and watch my boys out there! Miss being on the field! #DLsucks
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) June 12, 2013
Former Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers great, Shaquille O’Neal, has shockingly taken (another) shot at soon-to-be free agent center, Dwight Howard. This most recent shot at Dwight comes in the wake of Chauncey Billups saying that Blake Griffin is “too nice” on First Take earlier this week. Shaq has essentially recycled what Chauncey said, but instead of firing the insult gun at Blake Griffin, Shaquille aimed and fired at his favorite target… Dwight Howard. (ESPN LA)
This is what the big fella had to say:
“I’m a connoisseur of giggling and playing and all that … but when I cross that line, I’m ready to tear your face off. … He’s just too nice. If I was him, I would get into the same mood I was in.”
Johnny Football (Johnny Manziel) has boarded the “We Hate Tim Tebow” train. The train currently sits at full capacity. The Texas A&M quarterback said “I would hope that I’m a better passer than Tim Tebow,”. This comment was made on ESPN’s First Take. Tebow has recently taken his talents to New England and the 40-minute loops of “all Tebow, all the time” have started back up on networks such as ESPN. (Fox Sports Southwest)
Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Sports-Kings daily Lockdown lady of the day. Paulina Gretzky:
Now this is the Kobe Bryant we all know. The one who tells it how it is. Not the Kobe who took a soft stance earlier in the week. Shaq has fired shots at Dwight Howard relentlessly over the duration of Dwight’s career. So Shaq’s recent comments about how Brook Lopez and Andrew Bynum are better than Dwight, shouldn’t come as a surprise. Now Kobe has provided the fuel for yet another Shaq rebuttal…potentially. Does O’Neal really want to rekindle another feud with Kobe?
“That’s just his job, to make opinions,” Bryant said of O’Neal, initially echoing his politically correct response from earlier this week.
“I mean, Dwight is going to be one of the greatest centers of all time,” he said. “To not say anything but that is laughable.”
Then things got interesting when Kobe started comparing the two centers.
“Shaq has three Finals MVPs and a myriad of championships, but Dwight does have three defensive player of the year awards, something that Shaq was never able to accomplish,” he said. “So I think there’s a lot to be said for Dwight and for where he’s at so early in his career.”
Your turn Shaq…
The original Superman, Shaquille O’Neal, has never been secretive about beefing with Dwight Howard. He has called him a fraud, and has also said Andrew Bynum is better. In a report from USA Today, Shaq takes shots at Dwight Howard…again.
Among other things, Shaq took jabs at Howard basically hinting that he doesn’t think D12 can hang in the tradition of great Lakers big men, including Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and himself:
“I have three sons, and I always tell them that if you want to call yourself big then you have big shoes to fill. Anybody who calls himself big has big shoes to fill. Right now, he’s off pace. He has to get himself on pace if he wants to call himself big.”
Shaq also said that Howard will face much harsher criticism in the City of Angels if he thought he had it tough in Orlando, as well as Lakers fans having extremely high expectations pairing Howard with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash:
“The first thing the great Jerry West did when I signed with the Lakers is he walked me into the Forum and told me to look up. He showed me all the great big men that played before me and how many championships they won. The Lakers have a tradition of having great big men. He has a lot of work ahead of him. If he thinks the Orlando Sentinel was on his case when he didn’t perform, guys like Bill Plaschke, they don’t play…the first year they (the fans) are going to love him, but the second and third year, if they don’t win, he will be back to square one.”
Whether or not Dwight Howard will take these comments to heart and use them as motivation, or will just go about his business and play his game, is up for speculation. Either way, it’s hard not to imagine the Lakers jumping right into the mix of NBA Finals talks with the team they’ve put together.