WNBA superstar and Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie will be the first female athlete honored with a statue outside of Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Arash Markazi reported the news, writing that the Los Angeles Sparks and Anschutz Entertainment Group still have to iron out the specific date but agreed Leslie will be the 11th statue outside of the famed sports and entertainment arena. Leslie’s statue will also be the first of a WNBA player outside of a team’s home arena.
Lisa Leslie is going to get a statue outside of Staples Center. The Sparks and AEG will talk about the specifics soon but it will be the 11th in Star Plaza and the first honoring a female athlete. It will be the first statue of a WNBA player outside the home arena of a WNBA team. pic.twitter.com/nw7YdDh30u
According to bleacherreport.com, Leslie went to the Sparks in the WNBA’s inaugural draft in 1997 and played her entire career with the team through 2009. During her professional basketball career, Leslie won three league MVPs, two championships, four Olympic gold medals and three All-Star Game MVPs .
Leslie, who was the first WNBA player to dunk in a game, was also named to eight All-Star teams and 12 All-WNBA teams, including eight first-team selections. In addition to her WNBA achievements, she once scored 101 points in a half during a game for Morningside High in Inglewood, and was named first-team all-conference in each of her four seasons at USC.
Leslie will now be forever memorialized alongside statues of Los Angeles legends such as Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Shaquille O’Neal’s one big ole’ holly, jolly good guy who spent the day doing good and giving out backpacks to kids at Eagle’s Landing Middle School in Henry County Georgia last week, WSBTVreports.
Shaq-A-Claus shared the love and surprised the school with an unplanned visit. He greeted kids in the National Junior Beta Club and congratulated them on a job well done, said school district spokesman JD Hardin.
Then he attended a pep rally and spoke to students about making good life choices, before handing out some backpacks, Hardin said.
Shaq took to Twitter to thank his partners for teaming up with him.
Again.. I would like to Thank all my partners for their support with Shaq A Claus 2018 This will be an awesome event for the kids Merry Christmas pic.twitter.com/VwNANrHeQJ
article by Chelsea Edwards and Rob Fukuzaki via abc7.com
A 9-foot, 1,200-pound bronze statue of Laker great Shaquille O’Neal was unveiled in the front of Staples Center in Friday. The statue, which is connected to Staples Center and suspended 10 feet off the ground, was brought to downtown Los Angeles on Thursday prior to the unveiling ceremony.
The ceremony at Star Plaza outside Staples Center included live music, a Ferris wheel, interactive games as well as speeches from O’Neal himself and his teammates, colleagues and friends. Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Jerry West, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke at the event.
“I just want to say thank you. I’ve learned so much from you as a player. Everything you’ve done for this city, everything you’ve done for this franchise,” Bryant said. “Kids, your kids, you guys should know your dad was a bad man. Congratulations and much love to you, my brother.”
A few of O’Neal’s six children also spoke during the ceremony and helped him unveil the massive statue hanging above the ground. O’Neal thanked Jerry West, his former teammates and, of course, the fans for believing in him throughout his career. “This moment is very unexpected because I see two Lakers ahead of me that definitely deserve this statue,” he said. “To the fans, you know I love you, and I just wanted you to know that I heard you in the games when I was missing free throws.”
At the end of his speech, he chanted, “Can you dig it?” to a cheerful crowd. O’Neal played for the Lakers from 1996 to 2004, leading the team to three consecutive NBA championships and winning the NBA finals MVP award each time.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry became the first unanimous NBA Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, winning the award for a second straight season. Curry swept all 131 first-place votes, including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and one from the Kia MVP fan vote. San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was second in the voting, followed by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.
Former Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson, is a newly announced inductee into the prestigious Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“I’m just proud of my family and friends and my fans that helped me get to this point,” the Virginia native said during the finalist announcement back in February. The six-foot tall point guard/shooting guard played 14 seasons in the NBA, and was selected as the 1996 Rookie Of The Year with the 76ers. Additionally, “The Answer” is an 11-time NBA All-Star, a two time All-Star MVP (2001 and 2005) and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2001.
NBC 10 writes, “Among the Sixers’ all-time leaders, Iverson is tied with Wilt Chamberlain for first in points per game (27.6) and tied with Maurice Cheeks for steals per game (2.3). He is also first in three-point field goals (885). Iverson ranks second in points (19,931), minutes per game (41.4), minutes played (29,879), free throws (5,122) and steals (1,644) and is third in assists (4,385). Iverson ranks fourth in minutes per game (41.4), seventh in points per game (27.7) and is tied for 10th in steals per game (2.17) with John Stockton among all-time NBA players.”
The 2016 class is pretty star-studded. Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming, John McLendon (first African-American professional coach) and WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes are among the other Hall of Fame inductees, according to CBS Sports.
The Hall of Fame induction and festivities will take place in Springfield, Mass. from Sept. 8-10.
Shaquille O’Neal will become the third Miami Heat player to have his number retired, with the team announcing today that O’Neal’s No. 32 will join the No. 33 of Alonzo Mourning and No. 10 of Tim Hardaway already raised to the rafters at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“Shaquille O’Neal is one of the truly elite players in the history of the game and one of the greatest players to ever wear a Heat uniform,” Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement. “He took us to another level as a basketball franchise while leading us to our first NBA championship.
“Retiring his number in the rafters, along with Heat greats Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, is something we are very proud of.”
O’Neal’s jersey will be raised early next season, with the 2016-17 schedule not to be released until mid-summer.
With O’Neal honored for his relatively brief Heat tenure and single championship with the franchise, it makes it all but inevitable the Heat eventually will retire LeBron James‘ No. 6, with James spending more time with the franchise and winning two titles in his four seasons with the team.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry‘s greatness as a basketball player can be measured by his record-setting shooting numbers that are changing the game. His immense popularity derives from something less tangible.
While many NBA greats rely on uncommon height and athletic ability that average fans can only dream of having, Curry’s game relies on the skills that every casual player can work on: shooting, dribbling and passing.
The difference is, perhaps nobody ever has put those three skills together the same way Curry has in the past year, as he has dominated on the court and made the once-downtrodden Golden State Warriors the NBA’s must-watch team.
“The way that I play has a lot of skill but is stuff that if you go to the YMCA or rec leagues or church leagues around the country, everybody wants to shoot, everybody wants to handle the ball, make creative passes and stuff like that,” he said. “You can work on that stuff. Not everybody has the vertical or the physical gifts to be able to go out and do a windmill dunk and stuff like that. I can’t even do it.”
That’s about all Curry is unable to do on the basketball court. His amazing year, in which he won an MVP, led Golden State to its first title in 40 years and helped the Warriors get off to a record-setting start this season earned him The Associated Press 2015 Male Athlete of the Year.
Curry finished first in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors, with the results released Saturday. He joined LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as the only basketball players to win the honor in the 85 years of the award. Curry beat out golfer Jordan Spieth, who won two majors, and American Pharoah, who became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.
While American Pharoah got three more first-place votes than Curry’s 24, Curry appeared on 86 percent of the 82 ballots that ranked the top five candidates. More than one-third of the voters left American Pharoah off their list.
“That’s a real honor,” Curry said. “I’m appreciative of that acknowledgement because it’s across all different sports. … It’s pretty cool.”
After a scene stealing turn in the Universal comedy Trainwreck, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is taking his talents to Burbank. He has partnered in a content creation deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment that will put his SpringHill Entertainment banner on the studio track to generate content in TV, movies and digital. Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros, James and his SpringHill cofounder Maverick Carter are calling the arrangement unprecedented.
“LeBron James has one of the most powerful, well-known brands in the world and we are excited to be in business with him and his partner, Maverick Carter, and SpringHill Entertainment,” said Tsujihara. “The combination of LeBron’s global media presence and Warner Bros.’ unmatched production and distribution expertise is a big win for fans everywhere. We’re excited to welcome LeBron and Maverick to the Warner Bros. family and look forward to partnering on incredible projects that will connect with consumers across a variety of platforms.” Said James: “Connecting with my fans and telling meaningful stories have always been my passion. In everything I’ve done, from Nike commercials to Uninterrupted and Survivor’s Remorse, it’s always about connecting with people of all ages and providing unique content they can all enjoy. And I’ve always loved movies, which makes Warner Bros. the ultimate partner to help us continue to push the envelope. I can’t wait to see what we come up with.”
James had been courted by several studios before he made his splashy acting turn in the Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck, opposite Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. Among those projects that had heat at one time or another was Ballers, a film that had Kevin Hart poised to play the brother of an NBA superstar (James), who after living in his sibling’s shadow gets a chance to prove himself at a basketball camp operated by his bro.
There is a long record of basketball stars who’ve tried to transition to movies and TV. Most of it has ended in futility. Michael Jordan made a splash in “Space Jam,” and while he certainly had the poise and good looks to go further, he seemed to lose interest. Shaquille O’Neal had a few forgettable onscreen turns that included “Steel” and “Kazaam”, Julius Erving had “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.” Ray Allen got strong notices starring opposite Denzel Washington in Spike Lee’s “He Got Game.” Magic Johnson had a short lived late night talk show. Then there is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who made two of the most noteworthy acting turns by a hoops star, shining as an airline pilot in the Zucker Brothers spoof “Airplane!,” and squaring off against Bruce Lee in that actor’s final film, “Game of Death.” Jabbar also developed projects as a producer, and that is where James can make a mark. SpringHill’s output so far includes Disney XD’s inspirational series Becoming, the Starz’ scripted comedy Survivor’s Remorse; Uninterrupted, the multimedia platform for unfiltered athlete content hosted on Turner digital platform Bleacher Report, and an upcoming primetime game show for NBC.
Shaquille O’Neal is joining the ownership group of the Sacramento Kings. The Kings announced Monday that O’Neal has acquired a minority stake in the team under new owner Vivek Ranadive. The Kings will introduce the four-time NBA champion at a news conference Tuesday in Sacramento.
O’Neal tormented the Kings during the height of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and handed Sacramento its biggest blow by rallying the Lakers from a 3-2 deficit to win the 2002 Western Conference finals. O’Neal retired after the 2010-11 season and has worked as an analyst for TNT the last two seasons.
This Feb. 5, 1999 file photo shows O’Neal putting his arms around teammates, Elden Campbell (41) and Kobe Bryant (8) as Eddie Jones (6) and Derek Harper walk in front as they return to play the Houston Rockets in the fourth quarter. (AP Photo/ Victoria Arocho,File)
In the midst of the Los Angeles Lakers race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers plan to retire former center Shaquille O’Neal before Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. O’Neal, who retired in 2011 after his sole season with the Boston Celtics, averaged 27 points, nearly 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game as a Laker during the regular season.
O’Neal was dominant during the Lakers championship ‘threepeat’ from 1999-2002, earning three consecutive NBA Finals MVPs. His coach during that championship run, Phil Jackson, will speak at the jersey retirement ceremony. Kobe Bryant will offer a video tribute which has been pre-recorded according to Kevin Ding of the Orange-County Register.
The ceremony will take place during halftime. Shaq has been keeping busy since announcing he was hanging up his #34 for good, especially on social media. O’Neal boasts nearly 7 million followers on Twitter. He’s currently an NBA analyst and host for Turner Sports’ Inside the NBA show.