Shaquille O’Neal Jersey

Without a doubt, Shaq is one of the most dominant players in NBA history. Many dub him as the most dominant, as he ran riot over the league en route to three straight NBA titles with the Lakers before capturing one more with the Heat.

Shaq was simply bigger and stronger than most of the league, and this was the reason why he put up absurd numbers over his career. But his skill was sublime, as he could handle the ball and pass very well for his size. He could move well and was simply one of the best centers we have ever seen.

Shaq also played with some all-time great players, including those that we cherish to this day. Here are the players that Shaq has played with over his career.

Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers

Without a doubt, Kobe was Shaq’s greatest teammate. He was his 1A to Shaq’s 1, and their duo gave them three NBA titles which could’ve been much more. Kobe’s clutch scoring and overall play for nicely with Shaq’s dominating play on both ends.

Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat

Possibly his second greatest teammate, Wade helped add a fourth ring to Shaq’s impressive resume. Even if Shaq was older and not as dominant as he was in his Lakers days, he was still a very imposing force who averaged 20-10 as the second option. Wade’s Finals performance in 2006 is one of the greatest we have ever seen.

LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James was a man-child when Shaq played with him on the Cavaliers. He was young, extremely athletic, and very dominant. He led the Cavs to a top seed almost every year, and Shaq hoped to hop on the Bron Train if you will. But Shaq was very old, and the Cavs did not have enough in the playoffs.

Karl Malone – Los Angeles Lakers

Malone joined forces with Shaq and Kobe in 2004, as part of a superteam. Malone had an opportunity to capture an NBA ring finally, but he could not help enough as the Lakers fell to the Pistons in the Finals. Malone was certainly older, but still could be a reliable third option.

Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns

Shaq had a revival playing with Nash in Phoenix, as he literally started playing younger. Shaq became the best player on the Suns at the time and even made an All-Star game thanks to his production. Unfortunately for Shaq and the Suns, they weren’t able to go far in the playoffs.

Kevin Garnett – Boston Celtics

Shaq joined Garnett in the frontcourt very late in his career, hoping to add a fifth ring even without playing too big of a role. Shaq tried his best to perform, but he was just too old and ended up getting injured. Garnett was also older and started his decline into retirement.

Paul Pierce – Boston Celtics

Pierce was also aging when Shaq joined him and the Celtics but was still arguably their best player alongside Rajon Rondo. Pierce could still shoot, score, and make clutch buckets when it mattered. Unfortunately for Shaq, Pierce could not do it at a high level as he used to and the Celtics slowly began fading into a rebuild.

Ray Allen – Boston Celtics

The third member of the Big Three Celtics, Allen was also old when Shaq joined him and the team. Allen was still a reliable knockdown shooter but he could not shoot the Celtics to another NBA Finals win. Allen later joined the Heat to win an NBA championship.

Penny Hardaway – Orlando Magic

One of Shaq’s greatest teammates is Penny Hardaway. Penny was so great, that many thought he was the next face of the league. And he was. He had exceptional playmaking and scoring ability, and his partnership with a young dominant Shaq led them to the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, an unstoppable Hakeem Olajuwon and Rockets beat them. Penny later dealt with unfortunate injuries that derailed his career.

Amar’e Stoudemire – Phoenix Suns

Amar’e was a beast in his prime and was an unstoppable player alongside Steve Nash. Unluckily for Shaq, he caught the older version of Amar’e who was dealing with back issues. Shaq soon took over as the Sun’s best big man, and Stoudemire later took his talents to New York where injuries derailed his career there.

Rajon Rondo – Boston Celtics

Rondo was slowly becoming the face of the Celtics franchise when Shaq arrived. The Big Three of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen were aging and soon would be on their way out. Rondo was a young gun who was a triple-double threat every night, and Shaq got some easy buckets playing alongside him for a brief amount of time.

Dennis Rodman – Los Angeles Lakers

Rodman is arguably the greatest rebounder of all time, thanks to his knack of being in the right position and also his intense hustle and passion. Rodman and Shaq played with each other for the Lakers, at the very tail-end of Rodman’s career. Shaq never got to play with the dominant Rodman that won 5 NBA titles.

Alonzo Mourning – Miami Heat

Alonzo was Shaq’s backup for the Miami Heat in the mid-2000s. Alonzo proved a pivotal piece for the Heat’s championship ring, as he added another big body who could shot block and bang down low when Shaq rested. Mourning and Shaq were also compared often early on in their careers as both were great big men.

Gary Payton – Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers

Payton was another player who played alongside Shaq, both for the Lakers and Heat. He was a backup to Jason Williams and provided defense and hustle en route to an NBA ring. Payton was also a part of the Lakers superteam that failed to defeat the Pistons in the NBA Finals.

Grant Hill – Phoenix Suns

Grant Hill was another all-time great talent who should have been the face of the NBA. He was a special player who was very similar to LeBron James, except he had unbelievable handles. Hill suffered from injuries, but had a brief revival with the Suns alongside Shaq. Shaq became the best player for the Suns while Hill provided scoring and hustle off the bench.

Glen Rice – Los Angeles Lakers

Many fail to realize how Glen Rice was a big piece for the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Of course, Bryant and Shaq took all the spotlight since they were the most unstoppable duo we have ever seen. But Rice was a very important third star for this team who provides scoring when the team needed him most. It is about time people began giving him some love.

Alonzo Mourning Jersey

Miami Heat Vice President of Player Progams Alonzo Mourning gestures as he is announced during the NBA basketball draft lottery, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in New York.

Alonzo Mourning has two legacies.

For Miami Heat fans, he’s the seven-time All-Star, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, NBA champion whose No. 33 jersey was the first to grace the rafters of American Airlines Arena. To those with no knowledge of his NBA legacy, he’s best known for giving the internet arguably one of the greatest memes of all time.

The gif — a shot of Mourning staring off into space before shrugging and slowly nodding his head — has become synonymous with hesitancy, especially when confronted with unfavorable circumstances. Business Insider’s Meredith Cash recently caught up with the Hall of Fame big man and asked what it’s like to be remembered in such an unique way.

“I have gotten asked about that gif a lot,” Mourning told Cash. “It is very funny. It’s hilarious to sit back and watch.”

The image was captured in 2006 during the fourth quarter of the Heat’s regular-season opener against the Chicago Bulls. Down 30 at the time, Mourning would finish with only one point and two rebounds in 15 minutes. It’s safe to say he wasn’t pleased with his performance.

“Did you see the score?” Mourning continued. “If you look at the score of the game, you can see why I had that facial expression. I’m somebody that hates to lose.”

While he couldn’t remember exactly what was going through his head, Mourning speculated as to what might’ve been going through his head.

“I’d like to think I was actually talking to myself,” Mourning said.

What he was saying, however, is up for debate. Regardless, young people and internet users alike are forever indebted to him for providing such an emotive form of self-expression.

Glen Rice Jersey recently sat down with the one-time champ and All-Star Game MVP to get a shooter’s perspective on how the game has changed, how he’d fit in today and a few shooters that he admires.

Steph Curry, Glen Rice, Klay Thompson

In his last full NBA season (2002-03), Glen Rice connected on his 4.1 3-point attempts per game at a 39.8 percent clip. Rice finished his career having knocked down 1,559 triples while shooting 40 percent from deep.

Despite being such a dangerous threat from beyond the arc, Rice finished his career averaging fewer than four 3-point attempts per game. While 3.9 attempts per game might seem surprisingly low for one of the greatest shooters in league history, it is a direct representation of the game’s evolution. recently sat down with Rice to get a shooter’s perspective on how the game has changed, how he’d fit in today and a few shooters that he admires.

In the 15 years since Rice retired, the 3-point shot has evolved into one of the most dangerous weapons in the game. This season, 114 players attempt at least 4.0 threes per game, with league leader James Harden attempting 13.8 triples per contest.

Naturally, the one-time champ shared that he’s a fan of the direction the game is going: “I like it. I’m a 3-point shooter, so obviously I like to see guys shoot the three.”

Rice continued, sharing that, “It’s amazing to me that you have so many big guys who are stepping out there and [are] able to shoot the 3-pointer, and do it well. It helps the game, it definitely widens the floor. It gives guys who can shoot and dribble an opportunity to be that much more explosive and better offensively – it’s doing the game a real good justice.”

While it once was a surprise to see a big man attempt a long-range shot, centres like Brook Lopez, Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns and DeMarcus Cousins have done plenty to change the narrative surrounding bigs and shooting. Lopez, who is attempting over six triples per game this season, is doing so at a 36.5 percent rate.

As Rice felt the game’s evolution has only made it better, it makes sense that he believes he’d thrive in this era.

The 1997 All-Star Game MVP laughed as he shared with that in today’s game, “If you like eating a lot you’ll get full on me!”

“Like I said earlier, when I was playing, if we shot six 3-pointers as an individual [per] game, we thought we were shooting too many threes,” Rice added. “The opportunity to get out there and maybe shoot 15 3-pointers a game? I would really hurt myself if wasn’t averaging 30 points per game. It would really be a great time.”

Rice’s best scoring year was with the Hornets in the 1996-97 season, where he averaged 26.8 points per game while connecting on 47 percent of his 5.6 3-point attempts per game. That year, the most threes Rice attempted in a game was 13 (he sank five) and he knocked down six triples on two different occasions.

As a member of the Lakers in 1999, Rice scored 40 points thanks to a career-high eight triples (on 10 attempts). When looking at the numbers, you can’t help but think a shooter of Rice’s calibre would thrive in today’s game when given the opportunity to attempt over 10 threes with regularity.

Shifting forward to this current era, Rice needed to look no further than the two-time defending champs to dish out praise to the best shooters in the game.

“It’s hard not to like what Steph Curry’s doing. I had seen him shooting at a young age when I was here in Charlotte and he would come in and shoot with us.”

Rice and Steph’s father, Dell, spent three seasons together as teammates with the Hornets. As a result, Rice has the unique perspective of having watched Stephen Curry develop from a very young age.

As far as a player he sees himself in? Curry’s backcourt mate immediately came to mind.

“One of the guys I admire a lot is Klay Thompson. When I look at him, I see a lot of similarities in the way I shoot – he’s like 6-7, 6-8, got a perfect form and, when he gets going … there’s nobody other than maybe Steph that can shoot the ball as well as he does.”

Thompson showed he has the ability to get hotter than anyone in the league with his performance in which he drained 14 treys, breaking a record previously held by Curry. With their dynamic, Curry could very well put forth another record-breaking performance before we know it.

Josh Richardson Jersey

The Philadelphia 76ers had a decision to make this offseason. They wanted to keep free agent Jimmy Butler, who was acquired in a November trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Butler had other plans. He left for the Miami Heat and the two teams worked out a sign-and-trade that netted the Sixers a young guard in Josh Richardson.

Richardson has the billing of a good athlete who has good length and he can help the Sixers on either end of the floor. He averaged 16.6 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in his final season in Miami in 2018-19 and he is looking to help the Sixers get to the Finals in 2020.

To prepare for the 2019-20 season, ESPN is beginning to list their top 100 players in the NBA and Richardson came in ranked 86th on the list.

Richardson might not be as good as Redick as a shooter, but he really is good at hitting open catch-and-shoot 3s. His shooting percentage jumped to 42.4% (73rd percentile) when his defender was at least 6 feet away. Simmons created 452 such open looks last year, and it’s fair to expect Richardson’s 3-point activity to skew toward his strengths in Philly, where he’ll play alongside higher-usage teammates who command a lot of defensive attention.

Richardson will be able to do plenty of things on the floor like being able to spread the floor in his own way and he is an upgrade over Redick defensively. When the season begins on October 23, it will be interesting to see just how well the Sixers do with Richardson rather than Redick in the lineup.

Wayne Ellington Jersey

Entering the 2019-20 season, the New York Knicks look very different from last year’s 17-win squad. After a very active summer, the Knicks added nine new players – many of whom will play a featured role. One such additions is veteran swingman Wayne Ellington, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal.

HoopsHype caught up with Ellington to discuss his decision to sign with New York, expectations for this season, the Knicks’ offseason workouts, his various NBA stops, his veteran leadership and more.

Can you walk me through you free-agency experience and why you ultimately decided to sign with the New York Knicks?

Wayne Ellington: There were a lot of teams that were interested. I spoke to a lot of different teams and considered a lot of different situations, but [my agent] Mark Bartelstein and I just felt like this was the perfect situation for me. Obviously, New York is a very young team. They have a nice young core with Kevin Knox, who they drafted last year, and RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, who was one of the first people I heard from. He was hitting me up like, “Yo, I need you, man! I need your shooting!” Things just came together pretty quickly, honestly. The interest was mutual and I just feel like it’s going to be a great situation. A lot of people are counting us out, and we hear all of those rumblings. We hear all of it. We’re excited and we’re a very motivated group.

I talked to Bobby Portis and Elfrid Payton recently and they both said that this team has a lot of dogs, a lot of guys with the same attitude. They also stressed that everyone is going to push each other and that the practices will be intense since there will be a lot of competition. When the whole team has the same mentality and there’s a lot of competition day-to-day, how beneficial is that?

WE: Man, I think that’s the recipe for success. When you have guys that are this motivated and this hungry, guys who get after it every single day and put that work in, I think that’s the recipe for success. I think that perfectly describes this group. Like Bobby and Elfrid were saying, we got a bunch of dogs who are relentless, who will get after it. We really do. That’s the DNA of this team, man. Win, lose or draw, at the end of the game, the opponent is going to feel us. They’re going to feel like they had a fight that night.

Recently, a number of Knicks players got together for group workouts in Los Angeles. Were you able to make it out to L.A. for those training sessions?

WE: Nah, I wasn’t able to make it to L.A., but I was in Miami last week and we had a few guys come into town to get some work in, so that was good as well.

There are nine new players on this roster. You’ve played for a number of different teams, so what are the keys to getting everyone acclimated and how long does that adjustment typically take?

WE: I think the key is doing what we’ve already been doing, which is getting together right now. We’re not wasting any time, not waiting until training camp for guys to get together and meet each other and train together. I think we’re doing it perfectly. Like you said, there was a group of guys out in L.A. and then there was a group in Miami last week. That’s the key: Having the guys get familiar with each other and get comfortable with each other now so when camp comes, all of that stuff is out of the way. We’ll all know each other already. We’ll still have to learn some things on the court with each other, but it’s much easier and the process moves a lot faster when you’ve already spent time with the guys and you’ve already gotten to know them on a personal level.

You mentioned the young guys like RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox. You’re known for providing leadership and mentoring players. What are some things you’re trying to teach the young guys in terms of being a professional and succeeding in the league?

WE: That’s one of the things I talked to Fiz (David Fizdale) about before committing here – filling that leadership role. I want to be someone who guides the young guys and shows them the way. [I’m stressing] accountability – being able to look themselves in the mirror and hold themselves accountable. I think that’s one of the top things. Putting the team first and understanding that in order for the team to have success, it can’t be about “me, me, me,” it has to be about us. And just things like being on time, making sure you’re putting in the proper work every day and creating great habits. Those are just a few of the things that I’m going to be preaching and showing these young guys.

New York is a huge market, which means there’s a lot of pressure. The media can be really tough in New York too. How do you prepare the young guys for that?

WE: I think you have to make sure that they understand that this is a business and that it’s the reporter’s job to ask tough questions and make a story, and it’s our job to handle those questions the right way. You have to stay cool. Don’t let anyone get you riled up. There are going to be stories that come out that talk badly about you and feature negative stuff, but that’s all part of the game, man. You need to be able to handle it the right way because that’s part of being a professional. Always stay positive, never talk bad about a teammate and try to take your emotion out of it even if you feel some type of way. And you have to understand that if you say something, it’s going to be out there for the whole world to see, so just stay positive. Whatever you do, try to remain positive.

When you were young, which veterans showed you the ropes and taught you how to be a good pro?

WE: There were a few different guys, honestly. When I first came into the league, I was on a young team and there wasn’t much of a veteran presence. But after I left Minnesota, I ended up going to Memphis, which was great for me because I was able to learn from some great vets like Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. These are all guys who are professionals and I saw the way they worked and the way they went about everything. I saw why this team had success. They worked their butts off every day. Their motto was “Grit and Grind” and they grinded every single day. That was the first team I was on that really opened my eyes. After that, I was in Dallas where I got to watch one of the all-time greats in Dirk Nowitzki and see how he worked every single day. I got to learn from Vince Carter too. Later, I got to be around Kobe Bryant. I was around some great guys and I learned a whole lot!

You’ve been so consistent throughout your career and had success on many different teams. No matter where you are, you manage to carve out a role and emerge as a key contributor. That’s not easy to do.

WE: It is hard. Honestly, it’s really hard, especially when you’re a young player in all of these different situations – having to learn new stuff and be the new guy over and over again. It was tough for me. But there were certain things that I knew I could always control like my work ethic, my professionalism and how I approached the game every single day. I really focused on those things and I think that’s why I was able to have success and stay in the league. Most young guys that play for team after team and are in the kind of situations I was in, a lot of those guys don’t stay in the league. Those things I mentioned were crutches for me; I honestly think those things helped me prevail.

There were a lot of New York fans who were upset that the team didn’t land Kevin Durant and/or Kyrie Irving. I’ve also seen some Knicks fans who aren’t sure what to expect from this group that’s been assembled. What message do you have for fans about this team?

WE: I think if they’re a little patient, everyone is going to love the end result. Like Elfrid and Bobby, I agree that we embody what New York basketball is about – the toughness, the grind. We’ll be working our butts off every single night and playing as hard as possible. We’ll be picking guys up all 94 feet and bringing that defensive mentality. And obviously the name of the game is putting the ball in the basket, and we have guys who can do that as well. Everyone was obviously focusing on the other team in New York because of the signings they had this summer, but I think we’re going to shock a whole lot of people.

I feel like you’re one of those guys who will have your pick of post-playing careers. I could see you succeed as a coach, executive or broadcaster. Do you know what you want to do when your NBA career is over? (Hopefully, far down the road!)

WE: (Laughs) Hopefully it’s a pretty long time from now! I have started to think about it a little bit, but I haven’t really decided anything. I’m keeping all of my options open. I have thought about all of those things. I’ve thought about coaching, I’ve thought about working in a front office and I’ve thought about broadcasting. They all came to mind, but nothing has really jumped out to me yet. I feel like I still have some years to put a plan together. I definitely want to put a plan together for the future [before I retire].

Ah, so you’re going to be like Chauncey Billups and have the media companies and teams bidding over you. That’s a great spot to be in!

WE: (Laughs) That’s an amazing spot to be in! Chauncey is one of the guys who I really look up to.

Congratulations on having your second child this summer! What’s the biggest difference between raising your second baby compared to your first baby?

WE: You’re a lot more prepared! There’s none of that anxiety. It’s not as scary this time. (Laughs) I feel a lot more prepared and calm this time.

You’re hosting a basketball tournament and back-to-school event this weekend in your hometown. Can you share some details?

WE: Yeah, the tournament and back-to-school event will be in Pottstown, PA – a place where I spent a lot of valuable time growing up. I just wanted to do something to give back to the community. We’re doing a basketball tournament where the winner gets some prize money and then we’re doing a backpack and school-supply giveaway as our back-to-school event. It’s really a big community event more than anything. We’ll have bounce houses, face-painting, food and music. It’s just something positive for the community. I want everyone to come out on a Saturday and enjoy themselves.

Dwyane Wade Jersey

Dwyane Wade Jersey0

Dwyane Wade’s job first and foremost is to be a parent.

Discussing his 12-year-old son Zion, who attended Miami’s Pride parade in April, the newly retired NBA star told Variety that family supports family.

“I don’t really talk about it much because it’s Zion’s story to tell,” Wade said recently at Cannes Lions. “I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job. And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do.”

Though Wade, 37, was out of town with the Miami Heat during the Pride event, Zion was photographed with stepmother Gabrielle Union and siblings, wearing a yellow tank top with a rainbow pin. Wade later posted on social media, “We support each other with Pride!”

“I think people expect you to parent each kid the same. They are all different, and I have to get to know them and where they are. I have to say to most parents, get to know your kids. Don’t put your wants and needs on them,” Wade said.

In addition to Zion, Wade is also a proud dad to sons Zaire and Xavier, both from previous relationships, as well as daughter Kaavia, whom he welcomed with Union, via surrogate, last fall. He reiterated the importance of being understanding in a paternal role, amid the criticism received.

“I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it. I’m doing what every parent has to do. Once you bring kids into this world, you become unselfish,” he said.

“It’s my job to be their role model, to be their voice in my kids’ lives, to let them know you can conquer the world. So, go and be your amazing self and we’re going to sit back and just love you.”

Chris Bosh Jersey

Chris Bosh

Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo has been training with former Heat All-Star Chris Bosh this offseason, and it looks like the youngster is making quite an impression.

On a recent episode of the “Five Reasons” podcast with Ethan Skolnick and Chris Wittyngham, Bosh spoke glowingly about Adebayo, saying that the University of Kentucky product has true star potential.

“Nobody knows the talent and upside that Bam has,” Bosh said. “He has tremendous talent, but that’s only half way. That’s only half the battle. Putting that extra work in is the next evolution. Talking to your team, getting on the same page, and these are things I tell the guys all the time. It’s their time now and they have a chance in Miami to really get it back going again.”

It was incredibly exciting to see that Bosh had taken Adebayo under his wing and it is even more exciting to see that Bosh is impressed by what he sees.

Last season, Adebayo got his first really swing at a starting role for the Heat and did not disappoint. In the last month of the 2018-19 season, Adebayo averaged 11.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists on just 26.6 minutes per game.

If he is able to learn from Bosh and develop into even more of a potent offensive weapon, the sky is the limit.

Hopefully, the 2019-20 campaign serves as a true breakout season for the 6-foot-10 youngster.

Greg Oden Jersey

An avid IU fan, having grown up in the Hoosier state, Greg Oden said he watched every move of Romeo Langford’s freshman season.

Oden knew the things to look for. A slight grimace on the face. The tweak of a shot from one game to the next. The way he drove to the basket. The way he defended. The way he released his 3-pointer. How quickly he could switch directions.

Indiana Hoosiers guard Romeo Langford (0) celebrates after a play during the game against Michigan at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. After taking it all in — and then hearing earlier this month that Langford had declared for the NBA draft – Oden had one thought.

“I hope he’s healthy. That’s my No. 1 thing for him,” Oden said at Ohio State University last week, where he is a student coach for the Buckeyes and set to graduate with a degree in sport industry next month. “I could tell he was playing not 100%.”

Oden left Ohio State in 2007 — after a successful freshman year that included a trip to the national championship game — and signed a four-year, $22-million contract with Portland as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Portland Trail Blazer's Greg Oden poses for a photograph during the NBA basketball media day in 2010.

At the time, people said he would be “the next Bill Russell.” Then-Ohio State coach Thad Matta said Oden “was going to be one of the greatest to ever play in the NBA.”

But he was plagued with injuries throughout his professional career, had multiple surgeries and left the league after seven years because of recurring knee ailments.

Not living up to the expectations drove him to a dark place of alcoholism and isolation, Oden told IndyStar last week.

“I never thought this was going to be over,” he said. “I thought I was going to keep on playing. You never really look at the end while you’re playing.”

Oden wanted Langford back at IU

After IU didn’t get into the NCCA tournament this year, Langford sat out during his team’s play in the NIT with a sore back.

He had suffered “a minor back issue” during the Big Ten tournament early in the loss against Ohio State. At one point, it forced Langford to leave the floor of the United Center. IU coach Archie Miller said during the tournament that Langford had been day-to-day ever since.

Indiana's Romeo Langford watches during the first round of the NIT against Saint Francis, Tuesday in Bloomington. Langford, the 2018 IndyStar Mr. Basketball, ended his season averaging a team-leading 34.1 minutes and 16.5 points per game, as well as 5.4 rebounds.

While Oden didn’t get into specifics about what he thought Langford’s health issues were, he did say he was hoping to see him in another season in Bloomington.

“Being an Indiana fan, I kind of hoped that he would come back healthy and try to do a little bit more at IU,” Oden said. “But good luck to him and his future. I just hope he gets healthy enough and enjoys everything that’s about to come to him.”

As for advice for Langford, if Oden could go back and tell his 18-year-old self one thing, he said it would be to soak everything in.

“Actually take the time to enjoy everything that is going on. At that time, you’re just doing it to get to that next level,” he said. “Actually realize what you’re doing at 18 and take it in and learn from (it).”

Derrick Williams Jersey

Derrick Williams Jersey

Former NBAer and current EuroLeague star, Derrick Williams talked to Eurohoops and had an interesting take on Zion Williamson, comparing him to three different players.

The NCAA March Madness tips-off tonight and potential No. 1 overall pick, Zion Williamson of the Duke Blue Devils is ready to take the tournament by storm. Former Arizona forward, No. 2 overall pick and current star in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague competition, Derrick Williams talked to Eurohoops about Zion, saying that he is a mixture of three NBA players.

The 6’7” forward is having an unbelievable season at Duke, averaging 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, on an unreal 69.3% from the field. Ever since the start of the NCAA season, the 18-year old has been drawing comparisons to many NBA greats, including LeBron James. Williams believes he is a mixture of three different NBA players: “He gets in the passing lanes like Scottie Pippen, being able to jump through the lanes. He’s a mixture of three players. He’s a LeBron-ish type of athlete, Scottie Pippen in the passing lanes, Tony Allen on defense. He will be a very good player, I’m excited to see how he does”

Besides the comparisons, Williams, really believes he could be a generational type of player: “He’s a unique player. For somebody that’s 6’6”, 6’7” and 280 pounds, he’s so explosive. He could definitely be one of those generational type of players that people look up to. I think that he has the potential to have that. He’s a really good defensive player. That’s what people don’t really talk about. He gets in the passing lanes really well. It’s a little difficult to pin-point how he plays and who we could compare him to. Yeah… he has the explosiveness like LeBron; not to many people can jump while running full speed like that. LeBron developed his jump-shot, coming off the dribble and shooting, nailing the three-pointers. It’s going to be interesting to watch what levels of his game he’s going to have after Duke.”

Due to his incredible skill-set, physique and talent, Williamson will have tons of pressure heading into the NBA. Derrick Williams, who has played seven seasons in the NBA, compares his case to that of Lonzo Ball’s: “When people were putting up a bunch of pressure on Lonzo Ball, saying he will be the next star of the league, guys in the NBA saw that too, and they were like: “This guy can’t take over the NBA just like this”. They kind of take it to heart. So I think that Zion is one of those players that guys in the NBA will be like that: “Oh, this is the player everyone is talking about?”. He’s going to have a lot of pressure of trying to be the generational players.”

Finally, former Arizona man, agreed that Duke is the favorite to win the trophy this year and stated that anything less than a championship for this team, would be a disappointment: “They deserve to be the favorite. They just got to prove it. Anything less than a championship for that level of talent and that team, would be disappointing. You’ll look back on it and say they had so many potential NBA draft picks and I think that they would be disappointed as well.”

Chris Andersen Jersey

The Denver Nuggets honored Chris Andersen, AKA, the Birdman.

The Birdman, AKA, Chris Andersen got some praise in the game where the Denver Nuggets absolutely destroyed the Los Angeles Lakers on one of the skyline nights as the Nuggets donned their infamous city jerseys showcasing the rainbow skyline.

It was almost fitting as he was an integral part of the 2009 squad which lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

Chris Andersen is one of the most underappreciated players in not just Denver Nuggets’ history, but in NBA history as well. Andersen was a defensive monster as he was ranked second one season in blocks per game. What is even more impressive about this, is that he was coming off the bench and the only one ahead of him was a Dwight Howard in his prime.

His career block average with the Nuggets is 1.7 per game and has a total career average of 1.4 blocks per game. He currently possesses a career defensive rating of 102 to go along with a career defensive box plus/minus of 2.7.

What many also seem to forget is that the Birdman does in fact, have a NBA ring to add to his resume. He received one as a member of the Miami Heat in the 2012-13 season when the Heat possessed the infamous big three of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and of course, LeBron James.

Not to mention, he actually had two different stints with the Denver Nuggets. The first one lasted from 2001 to 2004. The second one lasted from 2008 to 2012 giving him seven seasons total as a Denver Nugget.

We all know about the colorful characters and personality of Chris Andersen, what many seem to forget though is how great of a defensive player he was and how good of a teammate he was anywhere he went.

It was great to see him honored by the organization he assisted in getting to a conference finals so many years ago.