Damian Lillard dropped his third rap album in August, and the Blazers point guard may have started a new rap beef in a recent podcast appearance after calling out Shaquille O’Neal. “I think I rap better than Shaq,” Lillard said on the Joe Budden Podcast in September. “I think he was viewed as Shaq. … People weren’t looking like this [is] a real rapper. It was like, ‘That’s Shaq rapping.’ So, of course, it was a big deal.”
O'Neal didn't take kindly to Lillard's critique. The three-time Finals MVP released a diss track on his Instagram on Thursday, including a slew of lines that may cut deep for the Portland star. "Take time to respond, there is no hurry," Shaq rapped. "You'll never be Westbrook, never be Steph Curry."
Lillard clapped back with a track of his own on Tuesday, providing a SoundCloud link before heading to practice. "New school got new hits, Space Jam, not Blue Chips," Lillard rapped on the track Reign Reign Go Away. "Hangman, you shoes s---, Game 6, I'm too lit. ... We both could be working at Kinkos, but Kobe won you them rings, though. "
"I think I rap better than Shaq," Lillard said on The Joe Budden Podcast. "I've heard Shaq's stuff. I've like...I think people was like...I think he was viewed as Shaq. People was like, this [is] Shaq. It wasn't like, Shaq and Biggie. People weren't looking like this [is] a real rapper. It was like, 'That’s Shaq rapping.' So, of course, it was a big deal."
Shaq Diesel didn't immediately respond to Lillard's comments, but he recently surfaced with a diss track. He shared the three-and-a-half-minute song on Instagram, opening by saying, "Daddy has to come out of retirement to spank one of these undisciplined children." Shaq goes on to show that no matter how long he's been out of the game, he still has a few bars left in him. "How you say that you better than Dies / When you ain't got more cheddar than Dies / What you talkin' bout? / Legendary I'm a hip hop scholar / I'm tryin' to get a billion who gives a f*ck about a D.O.L.L.A." Check out Shaq's flow below and let us know what you think.
Tommi Beer: In a B/R chat earlier today, Knicks rookie RJ Barrett is asked who he would most like to posterize. His response: “I know who I really wanna say but I’m not gonna. Let’s go with Porzingis.”
Lonzo Ball: I’m not dissing anybody I loved my time in LA. I use my music as an outlet to express things that happen in my life #50and30 out now! Let me know y’all favorite track 👌🏼 pic.twitter.com/xBhI3Ld6ZK
Lonzo Ball dropped his second mixtape titled “50&30″— named after the 50 points and 30 rebounds his manager, Darren Moore, dropped in a charity game — on Thursday and on the first track, “Last Days,” he aired out his grievances with the Los Angeles Lakers and his former Big Baller Brand business partner Alan Foster.
The song opens with the hook, in which Ball repeatedly says the Lakers will regret trading him: "You know I’m all about business; L.A. is going to regret their decision; Straight to the money, you know how we get it; We count up the cash and add up the digits."
Newly signed Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard became an unexpected target of Lakers legends Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant on Wednesday after comments from Bryant about O’Neal surfaced. O’Neal’s lack of respect for Howard was such that he refused to even spell his name correctly. But as the eight-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer prepares to join the Lakers for a second time while fighting for his NBA livelihood, he says he has no time or energy to worry about what O’Neal says. Howard was asked about Shaq’s comments during a stream on Instagram Live and Howard referred to whatever Shaq or anyone says as “irrelevant.”
Ben Golliver: After Game 3 loss to Thunder, Blazers guard Damian Lillard said he saw Dennis Schröder tap his wrist a la 'Dame time' celebration: "It was kind of funny. He waited so late in the game when he knew the game was decided to do it. He hadn't pulled that out the first 2 games."
Royce Young: Damian Lillard says he didn't see any baby rocking from Westbrook, but did see Dennis Schroder tapping on his wrist. Said he thought it was funny Schroder waited so late in the game to do it.
Billy Reinhardt: Ben Simmons on if Jared Dudley still thinks he’s average in the half court. “I don’t know, I’m not worried about it.”
Rachel Nichols: Tuesday: FS1 airs an interview in which Terry Rozier calls Joel Embiid “lame.” Wednesday: Sixers beat the Celtics, Embiid posts this on IG. Note the “location” and also the pic with Jimmy Butler.
Terry Rozier: "I thought the confetti was going to drop tonight. A big win, don't want to take nothing away from them, but I thought the confetti was gonna drop tonight."
Boston has won 17 of the last 19 regular-season meetings, the last of which was a 112-109 victory in Philadelphia in February. Embiid believed he'd been fouled by Al Horford in the final minute -- the NBA's Last 2-Minute Report would later agree -- and was fined for his public criticism of the officiating that included profanity. He used more profanity the next night when explaining why he was so angry. "It was against Boston again which I (expletive) hate. I'm sorry, which I hate," Embiid said.
Rob Perez: 10 seconds later, Simmons tip slams on Giannis’ head and primal screams in his grill let’s go
Joel Embiid: It was an honor to be part of the 3rd stringers and get a win against real NBA starters #TheProcess
Kings guard Iman Shumpert was stopped from going into the Portland locker room by arena and Trail Blazers security after Sacramento's 115-107 victory Monday night. Shumpert apparently was angry at Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who set a hard screen in the second half. "Some stuff needed to be between me and him, a conversation between two men," Shumpert said. "Some stuff happened out there that we needed to have a conversation about. That's it."
"I'm not going to worry about it," he said. "He's going into retirement soon. I'm not going to worry about a guy who's going into retirement soon."
Iman Shumpert: I apologize to the fans if I made a scene. Wasn't my intention but this 2019 stuff is all about a "story". Don't let that distract you from this young Scores ball club getting a great victory against a tested Blazers team #theScoresisHERE #purpletalk
Ben Golliver: Thunder’s Russell Westbrook on his air guitar celebration near Lakers’ Lance Stephenson: “Was I thinking about it? I wasn’t thinking about no damn guitar. It was an and-one. Having fun, per usual.”
To which Embiid responded in the comments: “Bruh that’s a block, layup … whatever that is. You were bbq chicken on the post tonight. You had 4 fouls in 8 mins young fella. I would’ve fouled you out in 10. That’s a welcome to the f league. Gotta learn to guard without fouling. All love haha.”
John Denton: .@OrlandoMagic C Mo Bamba on finishing a dunk over @sixers C Joel Embiid: "I winked at (Embiid), I winked at him, and I should have told him, `Welcome to the league.'" He was referring to the dunk that Embiid got over him earlier in the summer and posted on social media channels.
The Knicks rookie’s debut included a couple highlight alley-oop jams and a heated exchange with Wizards grumpy veteran Morris, who was ejected following two technical fouls because he couldn’t get over something Robinson called him. “This stupid ass rookie was talking too much. And obviously, I didn’t like what he said,” Morris complained Monday after the Knicks beat the Wizards in overtime of their preseason opener, 124-121.
Candace Buckner: Morris was asked if he ever had any interaction with Mitchell Robinson before: “I don’t even know him. I ain’t never really seen him b4. He just checked into the game. I never even guarded him. I didn’t know there was a Mitchell on their team! I didn’t know anything about him.”
“He could have helped his team out tonight if he’d just be quiet. I didn’t say nothing to him,” said Robinson, who finished with six points and seven boards in 17 minutes. “If he would’ve just hushed and continued to play the game, but he wanted to keep going. He got out. We got the win, I kept playing.”
“Yeah, that was awesome. You don't instigate it but you don't back down,” Fizdale said. “The kid's tough. Don’t let his slim frame fool you. He's not going to back away. The kid grew up in some tough surroundings. I'm sure he got in some scuffles down there in the Bayou. That's who we are. That's the Knicks DNA. We're going to keep holding on to that. We may not necessarily totally instigate stuff but we're definitely not shying away from stuff.”
Howard laughed off whatever beef there might be at the Wizards media day podium, but when he got a chance to sit down with Chris Miller, he was more frank about what's going on between them. "I like to joke and have fun, but I don't go at other NBA players or NBA vets because I respect all of them because they came before me," Howard told Miller. "[Shaq] said something online about the whole rings situation. He got rings, I'm not in his league and all that stuff. But if that's your only way to come back at all players, then you really don't have too much to say."
"I think it's a little insecurity on his part because people call him 'Superman' and they call me 'Superman.' But if I'm an older guy and it's younger players that are being compared to me and they have that same nickname, I want to feel good about it."
Ben Axelrod: Tristan Thompson: “We’re still 4-time Eastern Conference champions, so until you take us down from that, teams ain’t got much to say. Boston, Philly, they ain’t got much to say. Boston had homecourt Game 7 and lost. Philly, you guys almost got swept. Toronto - we know that story”
Shaquille O’Neal is still not Dwight Howard‘s biggest fan. And Shaq still loves the tired “ringzzzz” argument. It all started because Shaq was watching a couple of guys roast Howard on MTV’s Wild N’ Out. Shaq liked it so much he decided to post it to Instagram. Howard took the bait and responded in the comments. He should have known better.
Rob Perez: Wiggins’ story update is likely in response to Captain Jackson going off on him and telling him he has no heart... Or was it meant for both? WHAT IS GOING ON
Stephen Jackson: Have a good yr lil one. This ain’t the smoke u won’t. God bless. Somebody @ Lil one for me. Wish u the best. #GBG #BoyStop #TruthHurts
Less than two hours after Rubio’s tweet went live, Ingles had a little bit of fun with his own tweet when he wrote “My purple jerseys sold out already?”.
That’s when things got interesting as former Los Angeles Clippers and now Detroit Pistons player Blake Griffin injected himself. Griffin has built a reputation as a funny character outside of his immense basketball talents and he tried using those skills on Ingles. His reply of “yeah Michigan is cold. Needed something to burn in my fireplace” was well received as it recorded more than 13,000 likes.
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
In their sit-down interview back in August, Durant and Green rehashed the incident and how it ultimately affected KD’s decision to leave the Warriors. Surprisingly, KD claimed it wasn’t the beef itself that pushed him away, but the way Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the front office handled things. “It wasn’t the argument,” the former Warriors star said. “It was the way that everybody … Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put a mask over everything. I really felt that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s— all out.”