Friday FT's: Shaq stops by the White House

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Friday FT's: Shaq stops by the White House

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

Its one thing to sit down in Harvard Square and pose as a statue. Its another to hide behind plants at the Google offices. But there is at least one place Shaquille ONeal cant just walk into -- the White House.

On Tuesdays episode of Conan, ONeal discussed his first second third failed attempt at stopping by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

ONeal: I just want to take up 30 seconds of the President's time. I want to be able to get in, shake his hand, thank you sir, and then leave. That's all I want. I don't want to stay all day."

OBrien: You know he's been kind of busy the last couple of days?

ONeal: I know, but you know, 30 seconds. So I went up to the gate --

OBrien: You don't call ahead? You dont do anything?

ONeal: No, never. I just went up to the gate and I looked at the guy and he had a smile on his face. And I was like makes two questioning faces. And hes like, Shaq, what do you want? And I was like, Can I just say hi to the President? He was like, No Shaq, you can't do it. Im like, Please? I'll go in the back, please? And he was like, No, we can't do it. So I couldn't do it and I was actually quite sad about it pretends to wipes tear from eye. Third time, third time.

ONeal also discussed his cameo in an upcoming Adam Sandler - Al Pacino film, his equation for Twitter success ("I try to make people laugh 60 percent of the time. 30 percent of the time I try to inspire people. And the other 10 percent I'm just trying to sell stuff.) and his ongoing joke war with Ashton Kutcher.

He also talked about his enjoyment for riding in go carts so it was only appropriate that he and OBrien rode childrens toy cars heading into a commercial break. (If you thought Shaq would pick the mini police car over the pint-sized pink Jeep, guess again.)

Another Chance to See Rondo Play

Last week I wrote about Rajon Rondo being slated to play in the Team Kentucky vs. Team Dominican game University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari is organizing on August 15 at Rupp Arena. Turns out there are quite a few people who want to see that game go down, and tickets have sold out. As a result, Calipari is taking the match up from Lexington to Rondos hometown of Louisville to play a second game on August 16 at the Yum! Center, the home court of the University of Louisville basketball team. On Thursday, Calipari tweeted about Rondos participation, Pre-sale 4 the game in Louisville starts at 10 ET. We will play agst Wall, Cousins, Rondo, Bledsoe, Mohammed, Knight, Harrellson & Liggins.

Soiree for the Shamrock Foundation

On Wednesday the Boston Celtics and XFINITY hosted a Summer Soiree which raised over 20,000 to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. The Soiree, held at Scampo at the Liberty Hotel, featured live music, food, raffles, and a silent auction. Celtics legends (including Cedric Maxwell, Dana Barros, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, JoJo White, Tom Satch Sanders, and Tommy Heinsohn) were on hand, along with Celtics dancers and Lucky. Its always a fantastic opportunity to come out and support the Shamrock Foundation because its all about giving back to the kids, Cowens said. This was a great occasion to spend some time with the fans.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@paulpierce34: another behind the scenes pic of my @si_sportskid of the year vid.. better or worse than my frog outfit from halloween? yfrog.comkephgdqj

Birthdays of the Week

Carlos Arroyo, who signed with the Celtics as a free agent in March, turned 32 on July 30. He averaged 2.4 points and 1.7 assists in 15 games as a back up point guard for the C's. Greg Kite, the Celtics first round pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, turned 50 on August 5. Kite played over four seasons for the C's and never averaged more than two points per game. He was waived by the Celtics in February of 1988.

This Week in NBA History

On July 31, 2007, Kevin Garnett was traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and a pair of first round draft picks, and cash considerations.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations after longtime Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball ops Jim Buss were fired, the team announced.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss' daughter, Jim Buss' brother and Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

Johnson, the Hall of Famer guard who led L.A. to five NBA titles, said in the same statement: “It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Johnson, part of a group that owns MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the organization as an adviser earlier this month. Johnson coached the Lakers briefly in the 1993-94 season, going 5-11. 

Johnson's new job with the Lakers won't change his role with the Dodgers, according to the L.A. Times.

The current Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-39 after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (17-65) last season. Kupchak was named an assistant GM under Jerry West in 1986 and in 2000 took over for West as GM.