Sports Commentary, Media and Vegas

Category — Shaq

The Powers That Be

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    Where’s Arte Moreno? Magic Johnson?
    The usual suspects such as Roger Goodell, David Stern and Bud Selig are among a list of the 50 most powerful people (only 3 women) in sports. But Ed O’Bannon? That’s right. The former UCLA star could change the landscape of college sports with his suit against the NCAA.

March 6, 2013   No Comments

What Are The Odds?

    We’re trolling around in our 2nd home, the always entertaining Las Vegas. Hit the over (202.5) for the Spurs-Clips blowout, but due to a brief case of blindness at the betting window, we bet the Clips instead of the Spurs. And the old lady wondered why I was cussing?
    Your favorites for the NBA championship? The Heat (+165) and the Thunder (+280) are the picks now, but we all know how quickly that can change. The rest: Spurs (5-1); Clippers (6-1); Lakers (13-1); Knicks (12-1); Bulls (14-1); Warriors (16-1); Pacers (25-1); Celtics and Nuggets (35-1); and Rockets (60-1).
    Us? We like the Spurs. That could change too. If we’re wrong, we’ll plead another case of blindness. Seriously.

February 21, 2013   No Comments

Vegas: Sights & Seen

Miguel took over Pure Nightclub at Caesar Palace in Vegas earlier this morning. Around 1 a.m. the R&B singer, accompanied by his stunning girlfriend Nazanin Mandi, hit the red carpet before performing an hour later. Also in the house: Shaq, who of course showed off some of his best moves; actor Chazz Palminteri sipping cocktails; and former welterweight champ Zab Judah.
Images courtesy of Scott Harrison/Retna and Karl Larson/Powers Imagery LLC

February 20, 2013   No Comments

Legends Of Showtime (Plus A Freeloader)

Of all the statements Magic Johnson made today regarding the death of Dr. Jerry Buss, none struck a cord (because he’s so accurate, but Dr. Buss’ son Jim is too full shit to realize it) with me more than this one: “I hope Jeanie Buss takes over the team.”
Though Magic and Dr. Buss operated on a much larger platform, I couldn’t help thinking about Barry Switzer and Billy Sims. Back in my days in Norman in the late 70s, there were always stories about the off-the-field exploits of Barry and Billy.
But this was a much larger party. And a lot more of them. Magic and Dr. Buss, regardless of your opinions of either, were the origins of “Showtime” and the legends of it crossing a ton of barriers, the Hollywood element, the Laker girls (Paula Abdul among the most famous), the parties (did we mention the parties?) and Johnson stunning the world years after the high times when he announced he was HIV positive.
And those are just starter pistols.
Having moved to L.A. in 1986, during the height of Showtime, I was as consumed with it as any basketball fan. And this was as a time when the Herald-Examiner, particularly the sports section, was the best read in town.
Before Buss purchased the team in 1979 from Jack Kent Cooke, the Lakers were practically 2nd city to the Dodgers, Rams, USC football and UCLA basketball. Imagine that now.
Columnist Bill Plaschke scratches the surface with some quick-hitting recollections from Magic.
L.A. Times

February 18, 2013   No Comments

An Appreciation

    “When someone as celebrated and charismatic as Jerry Buss dies, we are reminded of 2 things. First, just how much 1 person with vision and strength of will can accomplish. Second, how fragile each of us is, regardless of how powerful we were. Those 2 things combine to inspire us to reach for the stars, but also to remain with our feet firmly on the ground among our loved ones. Dr. Buss embodied that compassionate entrepreneurial spirit. He strove to reach greater heights without forgetting his community roots. During his stewardship, the Lakers exemplified his personal standards of excellence and became one of the dominant teams in the NBA and a force of good within the community. The man may be gone, but he has made us all better people for knowing him.”
    — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

February 18, 2013   No Comments

‘Where Are Your Balls At?’

Is that you Smush Parker? Or is that Phil Jackson smiling ear to ear? Oh look, there’s Derek Fisher, and imagine how lucky he feels.
With the Thunder lighting up the Lakers in a 116-101 smackdown (guess the Laker fans don’t get tacos?) tonight at Staples and my homies dancing again with glee, we figured it would be a great time to post Kobe’s top 10 quotes of the season. Remember Laker fans when he told you to “shut up?” Me neither.
Maybe it was the timing of Kobe and the wife announcing today they were reconciling. Worst secret in L.A. Or maybe Kobe hasn’t realized all pussy ain’t good pussy? Or maybe he does. Sometimes when you’re poking around and realize how stupid you were not to get a pre-up (“I love my wife too much to get a pre-nup”), you realize how smart Shaq was and how he really wasn’t such a bad guy after all.
Dime Magazine

January 12, 2013   No Comments

On The Chuck Wagon

    How do you get tired of doing nothing?
    Charles Barkley weary of his night job at TNT? Quit and I can only imagine the long line to sit in that big-ass chair.
    Barkley cries to writer Richard Deitsch about the need for challenges to continue his NBA studio analyst role at the network. Could we recommend doing some research now and then?

November 5, 2012   No Comments


    Questions always consume NBA fans on opening night. And they will have more as the season dribbles along. Can the Heat repeat as champs? Can the Lakers win the West? Can the Thunder continue to be the best in the West after trading James Harden? Or will the Nuggets emerge? In the East, can any club seriously challenge the Heat?
    We know this. LeBron and the Heat are the favorites (7-4) to win it all again, while the Lakers (2-1) are the No. 2 pick. The Thunder (7-2) are the No. 3 choice, but after that it gets dicey.
    Vegas Insider

October 30, 2012   No Comments

We Could Always Rely On Good Old Dr. Buss To Play Games, But Not These Empty Suits

    It’s bad enough we can’t get the Pac-12 Network. Now this.
    Taking a page out of the Phil Jackson playbook, this is like 2 bad-ass kids who can’t get along in the sandbox.
    Less than a week before the NBA season tips off, Time Warner Cable and DirectTV continue their standoff. What it means for Laker fans is we can’t see games locally, unless they’re carried by TNT (hell, I wish TNT carried all of the Laker games), ABC or ESPN. So far, most of us haven’t been able to watch a preseason game because these 2 can’t work out a deal. It’s not only DirectTV subscribers being screwed by this. If you subscribe to the Dish Network, Charter, Cox, Verizon, AT&T and some of the other cable systems you’re not getting the games either. This blackout also includes many bars in the L.A. area.
    Here’s where you can lodge complaints: At DirectTV, call or email Robert Mercer at (310) 964-4683 or You can call Time Warner Cable at 888.488.3368. Ask for Mark Shuken.

October 24, 2012   No Comments

Promises, Promises

    I cracked open ESPN The Magazine’s NBA Preview today. I immediately flipped to the prediction page for this season’s final showdown. Heat defeat Nuggets as Miami repeats. Seriously.
    We could see the Nuggets doing some damage. They’re deep, play an uptempo style that gives teams like the Lakers problems and they now have Andre Iguodala to lead a talented cast. But can they crack the Thunder?
    Laker fans will be annoyed to read their club is being pegged as the No. 4 pick in the West. That would be 4th behind the Nuggets, Thunder and (gulp) Timberwolves. We’re not buying the T-Wolves.
    And the Mavericks don’t even make the playoffs.

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October 23, 2012   No Comments