Shaq Can’t Rap But He Can Diss Kobe

June 24, 2008

Just in case anybody had forgotten that Kobe Bryant has never won an NBA title without Shaquille O’Neal, the big man sent out a reminder.

The Phoenix Suns center can be seen rapping that “Kobe couldn’t do without me” in a video posted online at celebrity news and gossip site TMZ.com

During the two-minute video, a grinning O’Neal lurches through an improvised rap in which he skewers the Lakers’ star, with whom he won three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002 while with Los Angeles.

“I was freestyling. That’s all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever,” O’Neal told ESPN.com Monday. “That is what MC’s do. They freestyle when called upon. I’m totally cool with Kobe. No issue at all.”

O’Neal and Bryant last played together in 2004. After a long-simmering feud came to a boil in public, O’Neal was traded to Miami before the 2004-05 season, and won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2006.

Bryant and the Lakers didn’t reach the finals again until earlier this month, when the Boston Celtics beat them 4-2.

“You know how I be,” Shaq rapped. “Last week Kobe couldn’t do without me.”

O’Neal, who has recorded seven albums, also said he is “the difference between first and last place” and even took a jab at former New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing’s lack of championship rings.

Originally found @ Yahoo.com

Thanks to TMZ/ YouTube for the video.

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NBA’s Biggest Nightmare

June 11, 2008


As David Stern stood surrounded near a loading dock at the Staples Center, with all the beautiful people waiting courtside, with the return of a glamour NBA Finals, the commissioner had to consider the possibility that he had delivered an invitation for Tim Donaghy to embarrass the NBA again, to usurp its starry stage.

“He picks his spots,” Stern grumbled. “This guy is dancing as fast as he can to throw as much against the wall so his sentence won’t be as hard.”

There’s a chance Donaghy’s attorney, John Lauro, had long ago chosen to release wild stories of league corruption during the Finals, but there’s a possibility, too, that the league needlessly provoked it. The NBA wanted this Donaghy circus on Tuesday night about as much they wanted the San Antonio Spurs back in the Finals.

Within the past week, the NBA filed a letter with federal probation officials calling for Donaghy to pay restitution of $1 million, a sum that the league says it invested in investigating the rogue ref. When the government asked the NBA – considered the victim of Donaghy’s crimes – for a figure on its damages, the league should’ve shown restraint and taken a pass.

Donaghy is no sympathetic figure. He’s a bad guy, but he is also a broken man who has lost his family and his career. Whatever his prison sentence, his life is in ruins. He deserves everything he gets, but make no mistake: The blood money is beneath the NBA.

Let it go. Just let it go.

So, Donaghy had one dart left for Stern before the felon’s sentencing in July, and empowered with the feds requesting the judge grant Donaghy probation over prison because of his cooperation in the prosecution of his co-conspirators, Lauro fired on the commissioner who has trashed his client’s credibility for months. What’s more, Lauro tried to provide the judge details of disclosures that the feds didn’t include in the recommendation letter.

Nevertheless, the timing seems more about exacting revenge on Stern and his league than leveraging the judge for a shorter sentence. The lawyer waited until there were suspicions of strange officiating in Game 2, until the series had moved to Los Angeles for Game 3, and let loose these sordid stories of NBA corruption, compromises and fixes.

Still, Stern is right when he says – so far, anyway – that, “Mr. Donaghy is the only one here that’s guilty of criminal activity.”

Did the league and referees conspire to get the Lakers past the Sacramento Kings and into the 2002 NBA Finals? Did Yao Ming get unfairly targeted in the 2005 playoffs at the behest of the league? Were NBA referees punished for throwing superstars out of games? Do relationships among team officials, coaches and players with refs compromise calls on the floor?

There’s a chance there’s some chards of truth on the smaller ones, but the biggies? Do you truly think league executives would expose themselves to criminal prosecution for better television ratings, better matchups?

Enough with the conspiracies, enough.

Within the NBA, there’s a belief that Donaghy was always planning to file these papers in New York on Tuesday, but the recent timing of the league’s demand of $1 million restitution makes it look like Lauro and Donaghy were furious and struck back.

For the league, the money isn’t the issue. It can find that million between the cushions of couches in its midtown Manhattan tower. For the NBA, this was a self-defeating exercise, useless. And yes, Donaghy is responsible for his felony acts, for betting on games, providing gamblers inside information and, as Stern said, “a convicted felon who really violated probably the most sacred trust in sports.” Nevertheless, Donaghy had been an employee with a pattern of disturbing behavior, whose acts should have invited a more probing league investigation into his double life.

Who has paid the price in the NBA? Who lost their job over Donaghy? Perhaps the NBA wouldn’t have had to pay $1 million for this investigation – if it did spend that much – had it gone deeper in its original probes.

From the beginning, Stern engaged in a relentless campaign to isolate the corruption to Donaghy. He cast doubts on Donaghy’s credibility with constant refrains that he’s a “convicted felon.” Stern started in the summer, calling him a “rouge, isolated official.” All along, his instincts were right: As long as the scandal was contained to this creep, the sport could survive the scandal.

As it turned out, the story never had the legs that the NBA feared. The league was still moving quietly toward Donaghy’s sentencing in mid-July, when it looks like it took a foolish risk.

Stern doesn’t need restitution out of Donaghy. He needs him out of the news, out of his life. And how many millions of dollars would the NBA have paid for that crook to be out of sight, out of mind, on a night the starry Hollywood stage at Staples should’ve belonged to Kobe Bryant?

This was originally found @ Yahoo Sports

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Dennis Rodman Arrested For Domestic Violence

May 1, 2008

Former NBA star and ex-husband of Carmen Electra was arrested in Century City (part of Los Angeles) late Wednesday night (10:15pm) for domestic violence. He was taken to the Van Nuys jail where he was kept, booked, and released from earlier this morning. He was arrested for felonious domestic violence, which by definition requires some clear evidence of injury, such as scratches, bruises, or broken limbs.

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Isiah Thomas Fired as coach of New York Knicks

April 18, 2008

NEW YORK – Isiah Thomas was fired as coach of the New York Knicks on Friday after a season of listless and dreadful basketball, a tawdry lawsuit and unending chants from fans demanding Thomas’ dismissal.

Thomas, the coach for two seasons, will remain with the organization reporting directly to new president Donnie Walsh, a rapid fall for Thomas who also was team president a little more than two weeks ago.

“It’s very difficult to be the coach and general manager,” he said. “Maybe it was too much.”

Walsh took over Thomas’ role as team president April 2, and his first big decision was to change coaches as he begins the process of turning around a team that never won a playoff game in Thomas’ tenure.

“I just believe a new voice, a new coach, is necessary to change the direction of the team,” Walsh said. “This is a coveted job. People want to coach here.

“I can’t tell you really where we failed,” Walsh said. “The bottom line is we haven’t won, and the team didn’t look like it was motivated to try to win.”

Two of those 59-loss debacles came in the last three years, when the Knicks solidified themselves as the NBA’s most dysfunctional franchise with poor play on the court and embarrassing behavior off it.

This season alone, Thomas was found to have sexually harassed a former team employee, feuded with point guard Stephon Marbury and benched center Eddy Curry — the players Thomas acquired in the two biggest of a number of moves that never panned out.

Walsh wants a new coach in place by the draft in June, when the Knicks will finally have their lottery pick again after handing over their last two to Chicago in the Curry trade.

Walsh said he hasn’t talked to any candidates, but mentioned former Knick and current TV analyst Mark Jackson, and assistant coach Herb Williams as people who likely would be interviewed. He said he has no timetable to make his decision.

“Obviously, when you’re losing, there has to be a culture change,” he said. “There’s no easy answer. … We’ve got to work 24-7 to become competitive.”

Complete Story: Yahoo News

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