Shaquille O'Neal and Scottie Pippen Johnny Nunez/WireImage

A week ago, Shaquille O'Neal and Scottie Pippen got into an Instagram feud over the former's suggestion that an all-time Los Angeles Lakers lineup would beat that of the Chicago Bulls ... by 50.

On Tuesday, Shaq talked about it on his podcast, The Big Podcast with Shaq ... and did nothing to dump water on the fire.

Instead, he poured gallons and gallons of gasoline.

It all started when he was asked if his Instagram post was meant to call out the Bulls.

"Of course not. ... I didn't even make the picture; some other little guy made the picture so I just took it. ... And I said we'd beat 'em by 50. And that's how I feel and I'm sticking to it. I didn't say: 'Hey at Scottie Pippen, we'll beat you guys by 50. Hey, at Rodman we'll beat you guys by [50].' I just said, 'I'll beat you by 50.'"

This is where Pippen went wrong, according to Shaq. O'Neal explains:

"He made it personal when he said, 'Oh, at Shaq, hey I don't believe in hypotheticals.' So he swung first, so I'm going to swing second, and I'm going to swing last. Because I don't let bums disrespect me.

"Yeah, he was a great player, but I'm the bridge, he's the water. He will always be under me. Every now and then he will rise to the occasion and get to the same level as the bridge. But when reality kicks in, I am bridge, he is water, he is under me. Scottie Pippen can't disrespect me. So he comes at me, I'm coming back. And we can do this all day, because I have nothing to do."

Shaq wasn't done.

"He made it personal when he put 'At Shaq, we've got six rings,' like he was the main focus of the six rings. You were not the main focus of the six rings. Don't make me put out the scouting report. He wasn't even a factor in the scouting report. It was all about [Michael Jordan]. ... You double Mike, Scottie was open, Scottie hit a couple shots."

Still not done.

"Let's just talk reality. When you say top 10 players, his name will never be mentioned. When you say top 20 players, his name maybe will be mentioned. So don't come to me like I'm not a player. ... You're a Benz, you're a 550. I'm a 600, V-12. OK?"

At this point, O'Neal was asked if he really meant "bum." His response?

"Bum."

Then:

"Think about why I'm saying 'bum.' Because I have the G-14 classification to say that. Everybody can't say that about a Scottie Pippen, but I can. ... I can say he's a bum."

G-14, if you were wondering, is from the movie "Rush Hour."

Now, does O'Neal have a relationship with Pippen?

"I don't. ... He was cool, respectful and all that. But he made it personal when he came at me, flashing his six rings like he was the main, main factor of the six rings. Stop it, Scottie. We all know you were second fiddle. You'll always be second fiddle. ... You're Robin. you're not Batman. You're not Puffy, you're Mase."

Was Shaq a Robin?

"Yeah, towards the end."

But ...

"Three Finals MVPs ain't got Robin on it. Robin Hood [maybe]."

Then O'Neal went back in on Pippen. At this point, if we'd been tagging these with fire emoji, we'd be out.

"When Michael left, you didn't do nothing. All you did was cry and whine when Phil [Jackson] didn't give you the last shot. He gave it to Toni Kukoc, who was a much better player than you. Toni Kukoc hit the game[-winning] shot. When you left and went to Houston, what did you do? Nothing. When you left and went to Portland, what did you do? Oh yeah, you took us to a Game 7 ... up by 17 in the fourth quarter, what happened? You lose."

For the unfamiliar, this is the infamous refusing-to-come-off-the-bench moment from during Jordan's first retirement, and this is the write-up for the Lakers' epic 2000 comeback (it was actually 16 points in the game and 15 in the fourth).

Shaq was just about done, but wanted to make one last point:

"Those are Mike's six rings."

Woof. Pippen has been invited to go on the podcast to debate; we'll see if that happens.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

H/T Sporting News

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Vin BakerRocky Widner /NBAE/Getty Images

The story of Vin Baker can be seen as a sad one: A former big man for the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics and other teams -- he of four straight All-Star appearances and one 20-and-10 season -- fell into alcoholism and ended up losing nearly $100 million.

But that story is far from over, and it's taken a significant and positive turn.

As profiled by the Providence Journal, the 43-year-old Connecticut native is now living in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, and training to be a manager at the Starbucks for which he works.

"In this company, there are opportunities for everyone," the 6-foot-11 Baker told the paper. "I have an excellent situation here at Starbucks, and the people are wonderful."

As for the people who view his story as tragic, Baker was quick to downplay that notion. He isn't running away from it, either; he wants people to learn from his mistakes.

"When you learn lessons in life, no matter what level you're at financially, the important part to realize is it could happen," he told the Journal. "I was an alcoholic. I lost a fortune. I had a great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they're like, 'Wow.'

"For me, I'm 43, and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces. I'm a father. I'm a minister in my father's church. I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back. If I use my notoriety in the right way, most people will appreciate that this guy is just trying to bounce back in his life."

There's much more in Kevin McNamara's piece on Baker, who recently worked with the Bucks coaching staff at the Las Vegas Summer League, thanks to an invite from Jason Kidd.

Check it out here.

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Jordan/BirdNathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Today in Hypothetical NBA Debates: Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan in one-on-one!

No, we're not asking who'd win a battle in their primes, nor a real-life version of those Bird-Jordan McDonald's commercials. We're talking about a question posed to the Indiana Pacers' president of basketball operations Monday on the Dan Patrick Show.

That question: Could Bird, 58, take Jordan, 52, right now?

"Could I take Jordan? Where's this going? Can I wear my Hickory uniform? Boy, that'd be a good game," Bird said, before offering the goods:

"I hate to admit this, but he'd kill me. ... I'm 40 pounds more than I was when I played, I'm broken-down, I really don't care like I used to, I have a fight in me but it's not the fight that I once had ... but it'd be a pretty close game."

Ah, there's the trash-talker we know and love, unable to fully commit to the idea of getting killed on the court by a rival.

This came as part of a larger conversation based on Jordan's comments from June, in which he said he was "pretty sure" he could beat the members of his Charlotte Hornets one-on-one.

Bird was having none of that, by the way. When he heard Jordan said he could beat his players now, Bird offered a big laugh.

"Now?" he said. "Oh, gee. Come on.

"He can believe whatever he wants. ... He'd have to prove that to me. Man, [star athletes have] to let this stuff go. ... That's just ridiculous."

Bird was also asked if he was ever better than someone who was on his roster while he coached the Pacers (from 1997 to 2000, when he was 40-43).

"I don't know about that," he said. And what about shooting?

"Oh yeah. Oh God yeah. Standing still, shooting? Ain't no problem."

Still, he said, he was never the best shooter while he coached the Pacers.

"Nah, Reggie [Miller] was here, Chris Mullin, Sam Perkins; they had some pretty good shooters."

And speaking of shooting, Bird weighed in on another debate: Is, as a number of sharpshooting legends have suggested, Stephen Curry the best shooter of all time?

"I don't know about that," Bird said. "Chris Mullin was pretty good. ... [But] deep shooter, Curry is about one of the best."

Are you in the conversation, Bird was asked?

His answer, without hesitation: "Yep."

For more from Bird -- including talk of his high school days, whether he could have gone pro at 18-19 and more, check out the full interview here.

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Though never an All-Star, the late Manute Bol was an NBA legend, known for his incredible height (7-foot-7) and shot-blocking prowess (he averaged a stunning 5.0 per game as a rookie).

His son, Bol Bol, a 6-foot-10 (or is it 6-foot-11?) big man from Bishop Miege High School in suburban Kansas City, shows similar promise as a rim protector -- but his game has so much more. As evidenced by his latest mixtape, he can hit 3s -- be they spot-up or pull-up -- go coast-to-coast with the dribble and drive to the basket like a wing.

Check it out. That move at 3:35 is just sweet.

Now, he just finished his freshman year, so he's naturally got to sharpen a lot of these skills before we can declare him the next Kevin Durant; that shooting motion in particular brings Shawn Marion to mind (although The Matrix often made it work).

But Bol isn't just noteworthy because of his dad and his size; it's early, but he's got a five-star rating by ESPN and is ranked No. 19 in the Class of 2018.

H/T SB Nation

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Jordan Spieth turns 22, but still beyond his years

July 27, 2015
Jul
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On Monday, Jordan Spieth turned the ripe old age of 22. And with two majors already in his trophy case, sometimes it's hard to remember he isn't a seasoned professional. His mom Chris wished him a happy birthday on Twitter with a photo of him and his No. 1 fan, his younger sister, Ellie.
Much has been made about Spieth's poise and presence in the spotlight. His mom says a reason for that is his sister, who was born with a neurological disorder, which places her on the autism spectrum.

When Spieth was blowing away the competition en route to his first Masters title, Ian O'Connor wrote about Spieth's family keeping him grounded during his rapid rise to stardom. He writes that Jordan calls his sister "the funniest member of our family" who has shaped him more than golf ever could.

Ellie inspires her entire family and keeps them in the moment, and her influence was ingrained in Jordan early on.

"Ellie always thought her brothers won at everything," Chris said, "so there's no way they were allowed to be down around her. No way. Jordan realizes this isn't real life at the Masters. Trying to sit around and have dinner when his sister doesn't want to eat when everybody else is eating and has a fit, that's real life."

"I really love when she's able to be out there, love spending time with her," Spieth said. Even when they are apart, Jordan FaceTimes Ellie and trades video messages with her and the rest of his family.

"It's humbling to see her and her friends and the struggles they go through each day that we take for granted," Spieth said. "And my experience with her and in her class and with her friends, it's fantastic, and I love being a part of it and helping support it."

Jordan Spieth acting beyond his years often seems more remarkable than his golf game. So far, the fame and fortune that has come with Spieth's early success has not derailed him; and with Ellie and his family's support, Jordan will continue to spoil us with some great golf for many birthdays to come.

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