NBA Lockout Talks Slow To A Crawl; Shaq & Kareem Throwdown

Screw you Dave Checketts. Screw you. If you were following along with lockout news yesterday, you would’ve noticed that at some point in the late afternoon, people started getting really excited. It’s because this dude Checketts – who used to be general manager of the Jazz, president of the New York Knicks and president of Madison Square Garden – said in a radio interview that he had heard the players and owners had agreed to a deal. Checketts knows David Stern well, and his name is big enough that it gave people a quick fluttering of the stomach. But it wasn’t long before everyone and their momma shot it down. In fact, nothing had really changed from Wednesday night, when there were a few briefs glimpses of progress. Last night ended with a new offer from the owners, one union officials will look over and present to team representatives early next week. The idea behind this new offer would be a Dec. 15 starting point and 72 games … Whenever we talk about Aquille Carr, people on the West Coast love to tell us to calm down and check out this kid. There are four or five moves in that mixtape that could problem make the 10 best crossovers of all time list we ran yesterday … Shaquille O’Neal has started yet another cat fight. His new book – Shaq Uncut: My Story – is earning more enemies than Penn State lately. There was Kobe Bryant. Pat Riley. Big Baby Davis. LeBron James. Mike Brown. Now, after writing that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar never helped him or offered advice while O’Neal was playing, Shaq has started another spat. Kareem, who is a pretty sensitive dude, responded on Facebook to the accusations, saying he would’ve gladly offered help, but that O’Neal never asked for it and seemed to be basking in his own glory. Kareem didn’t necessarily take any shots at him, and even said he truly respected O’Neal’s accomplishments. He just pointed out that Shaq never really wanted any help. That’s not surprising. Shaq was famous for doing it his way, and his way alone. For over a decade, he didn’t need anything outside of his strength and athleticism. In his mind, what was Kareem going to teach him that he needed? O’Neal never ventured out past five or six feet from the hoop, so what good was a skyhook? We could definitely see it being hard for a prime Shaq to start taking lessons from Abdul-Jabbar. Perhaps early in his career, his ego would’ve let him. But it’s hard to see that going down with Shaq when he was 27, 28, 29 years old. So why the comments in the book? … But don’t think the whole book is about Shaq taking shots at people. Much of the story centers around how O’Neal himself used to be the center of repeated shots. Literally. Much of the book focuses on the relationship between O’Neal and his father, Phillip Harrison. Pretty much everyone has seen the Army sergeant at some point on TV. According to Shaq and Jackie MacMullan, he used to beat young Shaq all the time. That’s how he raised him. At one point, Harrison came home one night and punched O’Neal in the face. It was a wake-up call. They went to see Jon Koncak that night with the father telling the son that if he just worked a little, he could make big money. Amazingly, O’Neal holds no grudges and basically says if it wasn’t for his father, he would’ve ended up in prison. It’s an interesting dynamic. The physical abuse worked you could say. But would you do this to your kid? … The NBA Draft will be affected one way or another with the lockout going on, and if we don’t have a season, then everything is really up in the air. “What will happen to the draft with no season?” That question’s been lingering for a while. Up until this point, the NBA wouldn’t even acknowledge it. But sources say they have begun preliminary discussions just in case the season is canceled. The two most suggested routes would be to re-run last year’s draft order, and hold a second lottery to determine the order of the top 14 picks. The other was to base the selections on team’s records from the past five seasons. We’ll be honest, neither one of those sounds good … Everyone can relax. The authorities have discovered the person who stole Shawn Bradley‘s custom-made bicycle. Now that he’s become overweight following his NBA career, Bradley was using the thing – which is twice the size of a normal mountain bike and has an 80 centimeter carbon fiber-aluminum frame – to stay in shape. Apparently, the thief just walked up and stole it. He probably s— a brick when he saw the size of it, and couldn’t do anything else other than take it with him. Surprising that Bradley didn’t just hunt the culprit down and handle him himself. The big man was always into throwing bows … Kentucky just don’t stop. Yesterday, Alex Poythress, the No. 17-ranked prospect in 2012, committed to John Calipari. He’s athletic, versatile and has an enormous wingspan, all things that Cal adores. Check him out; he screams NBA potential. The ‘Cats have a shot at finishing with the top recruiting class for the fourth consecutive season, something that’s never been done … Cal isn’t getting everyone though. The best two guard in the senior class is going to Michigan State. Gary Harris, a 6-4 smooth shooter, chose the school because of one main reason: Tom Izzo … We’re out like Mike McQueary.

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