And-Ones: Shaq, Brown, Expansion, Antetokounmpo

Current NBA on TNT analyst and 15-time All-Star Shaquille O’Neal believes the league should cancel the rest of the season and shift its focus to next year, he said in an interview with Mike D. Sykes, II of For The Win. 

O’Neal, listing safety concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, explained the NBA shouldn’t rush the rest of this season or the playoffs. Instead, each of the players and teams should focus on next season.

“I think we should scrap the season,” O’Neal said. “Everybody go home, get healthy, come back next year. Just scrap the season. Just scrap it. To try and come back now and do a rush playoffs as a player? Any team that wins this year, there’s an asterisk. They’re not going to get the respect. What if a team that’s not really in the mix of things all of a sudden wins with a new playoff format? Nobody is going to respect that. So, scrap it. Worry about the safety of the fans and the people. Come back next year.”

A growing number of current NBA players remain optimistic that the season could be resurrected, including LeBron James, who tweeted as much toward the end of last month.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a call with players on Friday discussing the steps necessary for a return, including regulations on various practice facilities and what to expect for the future. For O’Neal, however, it’s clear what decision needs to be made.

“It’s hard, but kudos to Adam Silver for taking that first step and thinking about the safety of the people and the players,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with the remainder of the season but I would like everybody to be safe… So however long it takes for us to get 100% back to normal, I’m willing to wait.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA player Shannon Brown was arrested after being accused of shooting his rifle at two people who were interested in homes for sale in Atlanta last week, according to ESPN. Brown, who played nine NBA seasons and most recently spent time with Miami in 2014-15, told authorities he believed the couple was trying to break into his home. Investigators reportedly found one empty shell casing at his house, with Brown facing an aggravated assault charge due to the incident. Nobody was injured in the situation.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report examines whether it’s time for the NBA to consider expansion to ease the financial burden caused by COVID-19. The league will likely be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic for multiple seasons to come, particularly from a revenue standpoint. “The league has expanded its line of credit, and I assume teams are using it,” said salary-cap expert Larry Coon. “Here’s an opportunity to erase that debt.” 
  • Alex Antetokounmpo, the youngest brother of Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, plans to play professionally in Europe and skip college with sights set on eventually making the NBA, according to Nikos Varlas of EuroHoops. Antetokounmpo, 18, is seeking the strongest competition possible to prepare himself for the future. “I am examining my options, I have a few choices from the States, but I have decided to play in Europe”, he said. “I want to become a pro as soon as possible. I was born and raised in Europe, I know European basketball and the best thing for me would be to sign a contract with a European club. I will have to train and compete against grown men, I will experience strong competition and pressure and I will evolve on every level.”
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30 thoughts on “And-Ones: Shaq, Brown, Expansion, Antetokounmpo

  1. ThePeople'sElbow

    Shaq with the sensible comments. Finally. Maybe his voice will influence others to stop thinking selfishly and adopt a greater good approach.

    • mrshyguy99

      well he not the only one there was reports when they had that players call with slivr. paul actually was one of the people who was worried about the other players well being

  2. hOsEbEeLiOn

    If we are talking expansion

    San Diego
    Kansas City

    Would be my choices for NBA teams.

    San Diego just has the Padres now that the chargers left. Give them a competent owner and a decent location for a venue and fans will come. Owner is key in san Diego. Padres haven’t exactly been the poster boy for ownership Continuity and Dean Spanos wasn’t exactly a beloved in San Diego, even before he left for LA.

    Seattle has a great fan base for Seahawks and Mariners over the years.

    Pittsburgh would definitely flock towards an NBA team if the owner was better than the pirates owner.

    Baltimore is in the same boat as Pittsburgh with the Orioles. Owner definitely drives a lot of people away.

    Kansas City has a long history of fans with the chiefs.

    • mrshyguy99

      seattle should be at top of the list and does cali need a 5th team? i dont know how others will do as a city. but dont forget vegas. they always seem to do well with summer league .

    • hiflew

      All of those cities already have several pro franchises in other sports. I would go one of those, probably Seattle, and then try a city whose market is not saturated. Louisville would be my first choice, although that area of the country has several teams. Wichita and Albuquerque are others that could cater to fans that just don’t have close access to a team. Yes, they are smaller markets, but the NBA doesn’t have as many seats to fill as MLB or the NFL so smaller markets can still be viable.

      • Smaller markets can be viable? Do you understand that ticket prices might not work in smaller economies, and ticket revenue is a fairly small portion of the budget puzzle anyhow. Advertising is pretty large and the market not in attendance at games but still very interested can be an essential part of that team’s economic lifeblood. So no, Wichita is not getting a NBA team. Nor is Louisville, slugger. That would encroach too much on the Pacers market and they need no extra competition to survive with their limited market.

        St. Louis has the size if they had interest in a pro basketball franchise. Finding a smaller market is a delicate balancing act if it is to survive. For sure it makes for a compelling story that is great to see as it creates a deep bond when it works but executing in the right place and time is soooo much more difficult than you seem to take it for.

        • seth3120

          Living in St Louis I don’t want an NBA team and don’t get the vibe the city would be huge supporters. I still hold out hope one day the NFL will return it was and would be successful here. While I like the NBA it would block that move I don’t think we could support another major sport. I also don’t like our chances of actually winning all that much as an NBA franchise here. With players building teams as much as general managers these days I don’t see a “big 3” or anything choosing to bring us a championship or two. They will do it in NY, LA, Boston, etc. I fear we’d be a team like New Orleans where Davis forced his way out. But this is a very good sports town and it has the appetite for more I just don’t think it’s the NBA route.

      • ThePeople'sElbow

        Wichita and Albuquerque are borderline laughable suggestions. 94 and 61 largest MSA in America = less than 1M population in each and their going to support a professional sports franchise? How will they ever raise the tax dollars to build an arena?

        Have any billionaires decided to locate their business in these areas? You’re nuts!

        • Natergater77

          My votes are Seattle and Vegas, to many variables for other markets like Nashville, Jacksonville or Austin

    • Buckman

      The Green Bay Packers provide the best example of how a small market team can succeed. Community ownership begets stability and psychological investment. There is no threat that the Packers will leave town. Unfortunately, the current billionaire owners in all pro leagues are against this paradigm.

    • joeyrocafella

      Every playoff team trained differently during the lockdown. LeBron has a bball court in his house… Giannis does not have one in his apartment. Ayers are at completely different conditioning levels

    • JD Candello

      Totally agree Afk

      I get why lil Stevie Kerr wanted to ice the season but Shaq has me scratching my head

      It really just feels like the times we live in now. Everybody wants to throw an asterisk on everything- Nothing is ever good enough/we just slam things before they ever get a chance to get off the ground-

      Frustrating, if pulled off wisely the NBA could provide America with so much value in what they do best !

  3. The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant

    Alexis is the youngest brother, Kostas is also younger.

  4. doodles120

    Yep, award the title to the Milwaukee Bucks, best record and then move onto next year

  5. Simmons>Russ

    Relocate the Washington Wizards to Seattle. John Wall, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura and those guys start back up Seattle which would gain lots of attention and fans quickly.

    Relocate the Memphis Grizzlies to Las Vegas. Ja Morant, JJJ Justin Winslow all those young young’s start up something new and exciting in Vegas.

    Since the Wizards moved from the East to the West, have the Pelicans join the Eastern Conference. Zion Lonzo and those guys now instead of having to really compete and struggle each year to make the playoffs will have an easier time in the east.

    Plus from a selling point of view you have Zion and Lonzo up against the Sixers with Simmons and Embiid, Boston and Tatum, Bucks with Giannas, Raptors with Siakim and against the Knicks.

    Out West the Wizards now I’m Seattle would firstly struggle a little but Seattle has very passionate fans and has been wanting basketball for ages. John Wall coming back from injury and being really athletic would be great, Bradley Beal is a super star and Rui who has a huge following from Japan moves a lot closer which would bring more fans also. Could also mean NBA games in Japan.

    Lastly the Grizzlies going from Memphis to Vegas now have a much bigger market. They are a young team and a tough team which would take awhile to establish itself in Vegas but would eventually be strong. They also have great modern arenas for playing and the summer league always went well there.

    • The best part is they can still call themselves the Washington Wizards in Seattle.

      I mean, it’s not the Salt Lake City Jazz.

    • x%sure

      Vegas is way overrated as a host city. It’s surrounded by desert not people and is not appreciated by neighbors anyway. It’s not that large. People just like visiting there is all.

      Teams are not going to relocate because of certain players! Owners have to be really compelled. Why Leonsis to Seattle?

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Why would the Wizards move to Seattle? Just because they have a few name value players? You could move half the league by that logic.

      Expand to Seattle and Las Vegas, and kick New Orleans East. Leave the rest

  6. Old Dave

    I don’t get this “let’s cancel the season because there would be an asterisk to the champion” comment. Like there wasn’t an asterisk for every champion in the past 5 years already.

    Last year Raptors won, but hey, there is an asterisk to it because Durant and Thompson were injured.

    GSW won 2017 and 18 but both are definitely with an asterisk because Durant joining a 73 win team made it possible.

    And there is an asterisk to GSW’s 2015 title as well because Cavs were without Irving and Love in the Finals.

    You can argue about 2016 but there was the Draymond Green suspension prior to a crucial game that you may also envoke as a reason of an asterisk.

    So, I don’t get why “having an asterisk to the champion” should be a deciding factor against playing out the season when there always is an asterisk.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      wrong. you’re putting an arbitrary asterisk on things that don’t require one. Injuries are a part of the game.

  7. Seattle is a lock if they expand.

    In the central / eastern portion of the country, the market is pretty saturated. Pittsburgh, St. Louis, or Kansas City would be your best bets.

    Out West, I would imagine they would go with either Vegas or San Diego. Then you would move two of Minnesota, New Orleans, or Memphis to the East.

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