Jalen Rose on LeBron James: 'The Lakers know he ain't leaving now'
Right now, LeBron has just one more year on his current deal. Th is means that unless he signs an extension, The King is going to be a free agent again next summer. If you ask former NBA player turned ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, however, he is adamant that LeBron isn’t going anywhere. According to Rose, the Lakers know that they’re going to be able to keep LeBron in Hollywood beyond this season because of his family (h/t Michael Macasero of sportskeeda): “They know he ain’t leaving now,” Rose said. “So it don’t even matter what happens with the contract.
Shareef O’Neal responded to criticism from former Los Angeles Lakers big man Robert Horry about the youngster’s chances of being a successful NBA player. O’Neal played for the Lakers during this year’s NBA Summer League, but did not end up making the team. Instead, he signed a six-figure deal with the G-League's Ignite team. © Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Shareef O'Neal
During an episode of Horry’s “Big Shot Bob Pod with Robert Horry” podcast released last week, Horry criticized O’Neal’s effort.
“I picked up my phone, and I was getting ready to call Shaq like, ‘Yo man, you gotta tell your son…he can’t be playing off the damn O’Neal name,’” Horry said, via Lakers Daily. “You gotta put forth some more effort man. You know Shareef’s such a nice kid, that I don’t know if he has that dog in him to go out there and take what he wants.”
ESPN panel doesn't rank back-to-back reigning MVP Nikola Jokic as top-five contender for hardware
The group of ESPN media members came out with their projections for every major award on Thursday and despite capturing back-to-back regular season MVP honors, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is nowhere near the top of the list of favorites for the hardware. "Jokic may have captured the past two MVP awards, but our panel doesn't like his chances for a three-peat," the article reads. "(Giannis) Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, has the inside track to win his third award but has some company near the top.
O’Neal took the high road on Wednesday, tweeting a gracious response to Horry’s take.
“I know this outta love and no disrespect!!!” O’Neal wrote. “I got you BIG SHOT but you know who raised me, I don’t quit. Always been taught to go get it and take it. Been heading in the right step…like I said I got you! You’ll see.”
O’Neal has almost impossible expectations to live up to with a Hall-of-Fame father, but is in a solid position for being an undrafted player who only scored 97 points in three college seasons.
Lakers' Russell Westbrook has reportedly hired a new agent
Russell Westbrook signed with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.Westbrook signed with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday.
While O’Neal did not make the Lakers’ roster, he did sign a reported six-figure contract to play with the G League Ignite for next season. He averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game over six total Summer League appearances.
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Related slideshow: The 25 best NBA nicknames of all time (Provided by Yardbarker)
The 25 best NBA nicknames of all time
If you are an NBA player, there is a good chance you are a known name. You may very well be a star and even one who surpasses the world of sports fandom. Everybody knows Michael Jordan, right? Some guys are known by only one name. Shaq. Kobe. LeBron. Then there are the famous nicknames and the maybe not-as-famous nicknames that are still fun. Who doesn’t like a good nickname? We certainly do, and so do NBA fans. Here are our 25 favorite NBA nicknames.
This is a nickname that has superseded his actual name. How many people call him Earvin Johnson? Nobody, right? He’s Magic Johnson. That’s what he’s been known as since he basically became famous. That’s what he’s known as now. Johnson will always be Magic, which is also a great nickname for a crazy talented point guard.
It’s such a simple nickname, but it’s so iconic. His name is Julius Erving, and he was a “doctor” of basketball, so he became known as Dr. J. And yet it just stuck with everybody. Dr. J just rolls off the tongue, and Erving’s amazing dunks and stellar play certainly helped embed the nickname in our minds.
The U.S Postal Service doesn’t actually have that “Neither rain nor snow…” motto, but we still think of mail carriers as being largely reliable. That’s how Karl Malone got his nickname, “The Mailman.” Malone always delivered — except on Sunday and national holidays, we guess.
The Big O
Until Russell Westbrook came around, Oscar Robertson was the last player to average a triple-double over a whole NBA season. “The Big” whatever is usually a decent nickname concept, but none of them tops “The Big O” as a nickname. It’s just fun to call somebody “The Big O.”
Wilt the Stilt
Rhyming is a good choice for nicknames. There are a couple of those on this list. Wilt Chamberlain was tall (7-foot-1). So are people who walk on stilts. Hence, Wilt the Stilt. It’s not an intimidating nickname, but it’s fresh enough to be fun.
What is Allen Iverson the answer to? We aren’t sure. That wasn’t really what was important. All that mattered was A.I. (not as good of a nickname) was the Answer. It was a formidable nickname and fitting for a guy who changed the NBA.
Most guys get nicknames for their physical traits or their offensive acumen. Not Gary Payton. He earned his nickname for his defensive skills. Payton is the only point guard to ever be Defensive Player of the Year. He fit to the guys he was guarding like a glove. Works for us.
Call him Akeem. Call him Hakeem. We just known that Hakeem Olajuwon is “The Dream.” It’s a rhyming nickname and a perfect one. He had his Dream Shake. He had those basketball shoes that were way cheaper than Jordan’s. You can even just call him “Dream,” and people will know whom you’re talking about.
The Round Mound of Rebound
Some people call Charles Barkley “Sir Charles,” which is kind of blah. However, Barkley was a hefty, formidable rebounder who wasn’t maybe as much of a physical specimen as some of his fellow big men. “The Round Mound of Rebound” just works perfectly, and it’s maybe the most amusing NBA nickname ever.
Vince Carter had a ton of nicknames: “Air Canada.” “Half Man, Half Amazing.” The best of the bunch, though, is “Vinsanity.” His dunking skills were insane, or rather “Vinesane.” It just rolls off the tongue, and until “Linsanity” it was the one “insanity” nickname out there.
Clyde the Glide
Man, when Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler were on the same team, it was a dynamic nickname duo. Maybe “Clyde the Glide” doesn’t make a ton of sense, but we don’t care. Everybody calls him “Clyde the Glide” so you know that works as a nickname.
Joel Embiid likes to have fun. When Sam Hinkie tore down the 76ers to rebuild them, it became known by fans as “The Process.” “Trust The Process” became the rallying cry. Naturally, Embiid, one of the players drafted during that time, decided to give himself the nickname “The Process.” We don’t usually like self-given nicknames, but this one is fun enough to get a pass. Now, if only Embiid and the Sixers could complete that process.
The Dunkin' Dutchman
Rik Smits was a giant guy from the Netherlands who was an underrated player. He was even an All-Star once. When you are over 7-foot tall it’s pretty easy to dunk. It’s also super fun to call a guy “The Dunkin’ Dutchman.”
This is the newest one on the list, and we owe it all to Brook Lopez beginning to shoot threes. The 7-foot center, who had spent his entire career by the basket, was suddenly splashing treys. However, he’s still a mountain of a man, so we get this awesome nickname.
There was a time when Pete Maravich was wearing a jersey that just said “Pistol” on it. He’s not the only Pistol Pete. That’s also the nickname of Oklahoma State’s mascot. However, it’s alliterative and cool, so we still did it for Maravich.
Big Shot Bob
Robert Horry won seven NBA titles even though he was never THAT good of a player. He averaged 7.0 points per game in his career; however, Horry made several iconic big shots. Before he even retired he was being called “Big Shot Bob,” which is, frankly, a great nickname.
Robert Parish played for 21 seasons, and for an NBA-record 1,611 regular-season games. He had a long time to earn a nickname. However, Parish wasn’t the most dynamic of personalities. That’s actually how he got his nickname. He was called “Chief” after the big, quiet character from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Dennis Rodman’s nickname “The Worm” is an indelible one. It’s evocative and unusual. How did he get it though? Well, there are conflicting stories. We can’t say for sure how it started. It doesn’t matter. Rodman was an outsized personality, and he earned an outsized nickname.
A few players in NBA history have been called “Big Dog.” We get it, since it’s a really good nickname. However, to us, the quintessential “Big Dog” is Glenn Robinson. His son, Glenn Robinson III, is now in the NBA. Maybe we could call him “Little Dog?” Or maybe “The Puppy?” Or would that maybe not go over well?
Kenny Smith is on TNT’s NBA programming with two other nicknamed gentleman in Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. Smith has a nickname of his own though. You could say he’s called Kenny “The Jet” Smith because of his speed. In truth, we know it’s because of the Elton John song “Benny and the Jets” as much as anything else.
This is maybe the best nickname story of the bunch. Nik Stauskas was never a remarkable NBA player. However, one day the closed captioning on a game turned “Nik Stauskas” into “Sauce Castillo.” In the modern era that was able to go viral, and a guy who never made much of an impact on the court got a great nickname anyway.
Sure, technically Big Ben is just the bell — not the clock or the giant tower. Let’s not get pedantic. We think of Big Ben as being tall and foreboding. That makes it a perfect nickname for Ben Wallace, who was arguably the best defensive player in the NBA during his time with the Pistons. When he got a rebound, they would also play a bell chiming in Detroit. Not bad for an undersized, undrafted player.
Report: Teams closely tracking start of former Red Sox playoff hero Nathan Eovaldi .
Eovaldi is 4-3 with a 3.14 ERA during his postseason history and helped pitch the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series. His ability to pitch in big games makes him attractive to teams. But he is 0-1 with an 11.08 ERA in July and has allowed 23 hits and 17 runs in 13 innings. If he turns things around on Monday in Houston, contenders may want to take a chance on him.The 32-year-old pitcher has no interest in being traded, though.“I love the organization here,” Eovaldi said on WEEI Friday. “I want to be a part of this organization forever.”For the season, Eovaldi is 4-3 with a 4.43 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 81.1 innings.