Inside the NBA It was never supposed to be the home of a scholarly analysis of basketball, but is it too much to ask that panelists be familiar with active NBA players?
During halftime of the Raptors-Bucks game, the TNT team compared the first-half performances of Raptors teammates Norm Powell and Pascal Siakam. Ernie Johnson threw it at Shaquille O’Neal and said, “You have your eyes on Pascal.”
“No,” Shaq replied, “I have my eyes on Siakam.”
“Oh, I never knew his first name,” Shaq confessed after Johnson corrected him. “I don’t call him Pascal. I call it Siakam. “
It’s not exactly the same, but Shaq’s mistake reminds me of a video from 10 years ago that I’ll never forget, when French Mike thought a caller was playing a prank on him. mentioning a Tigers pitcher named Al Alburquerque. (French insisted that she knew the reliever only by his full name: Alberto José Alburquerque).
Albuquerque was a guy French should have known. He had just allowed two runs without recording an out in the eighth inning of a playoff game against the Yankees the night before. Shaq should definitely know Siakam’s full name too. It’s not a random bench heater for a team at the bottom of the rankings. It’s his fifth year in the NBA and his third as a full-time starter. He won a championship in 2019 and was an All-Star last year. He’s the top scorer for the Raptors! Even if Shaq didn’t know his name, he didn’t even bother looking for it?
Shaq has been kind of an embarrassment in Inside the NBA this year. Last month, after Christian Wood had 27 points and 15 rebounds in the Rockets’ victory, O’Neal told him: “I owe you an apology, I was not very familiar with your game.” Wood replied by calling Shaq “casual”. And then there was the whole thing with Shaq calling Donovan Mitchell in a painfully awkward interview. Shaq has always been the show’s resident curmudgeon, but he’s not as endearing when he’s also misinformed.
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A good song
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.