Posts Tagged ‘Legacy’

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic hopes to spend his entire career in the Mile High City, just like Tim Duncan did with the San Antonio Spurs.

“I want to be the Tim Duncan of the Denver Nuggets, but I need to win a couple of championships to be him,” Jokic told reporters Monday at Nuggets media day. “I like the city. I like the organization. I like the people. I really enjoy it here. … I don’t want to change anything.”

San Antonio selected Duncan first overall in 1997. The Big Fundamental played the next 19 years for the Spurs, leading the club to five NBA titles during his Hall of Fame career. Duncan remains the franchise’s all-time leader in numerous categories, including points scored, rebounds, blocks, and games played.

Meanwhile, Jokic has built his own impressive resume in Denver over the past seven campaigns. He’s earned four All-Star selections, three All-NBA first-team nods, and the last two MVP awards, and he’s already seventh on the league’s all-time list for triple-doubles.

Jokic reaffirmed his commitment to the Nuggets this past summer by inking an NBA-record five-year, $270-million super-max extension. The Serbian big man is now under contract through at least the 2026-27 campaign and holds a $61.9-million player option for the following season.

One performer from WWF’s Attitude Era who Shawn Michaels believes would have been “phenomenal” in today’s WWE is Chyna.

A founding member of D-Generation X, alongside Michaels and Triple H, Chyna was a former WWF Women’s Champion and two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion. She died in 2016 at 46 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of DX three years later.

In 1999, Chyna became the first woman to appear in the Royal Rumble match, a groundbreaking moment. The WWE did not introduce a Royal Rumble match for the women’s division until its 2018 Royal Rumble event.

In a recent interview with The New York Post, Michaels said he believes the Chyna would have fit in great with WWE’s current roster.

“From a performer standpoint, she would clearly fit in and be phenomenal,” Michaels, 57, said. “I think what makes her the awe-inspiring, innovative and transforming woman that she was was that she did it earlier than all of them.”

Michaels said her style and character “would be a bit more commonplace today.” “She would certainly have an incredible career — but I don’t know that she’d be the trailblazer today that she is if she were currently doing it today,” he added, pointing out her status as a pioneer in wrestling world by competing for titles in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Michaels’ interview comes as D-Generation X celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The group is scheduled to make an appearance on the October 10 episode of “Monday Night Raw” at the Barclays Center in New York City.

LeBron James reaffirmed his commitment to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, inking a two-year, $97.1-million contract extension instead of testing free agency next year.

If Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has her way, the four-time Finals MVP will remain in Hollywood for the remainder of his playing days.

“With LeBron, we have a line of communication between the two of us, and he knows that he can reach me any time and vice-versa,” Buss told Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck on a recent episode of “The Crossover” podcast. “And I think he feels appreciated. I know I appreciated that he signed an extension to stay here and continue to lead the Laker team.

“He’s a fantastic leader both on and off the court, and I feel like we’re blessed to have him as a Laker. I want to see him retire as a Laker.”

James’ new deal includes a $50.7-million player option for the 2024-25 campaign. The Akron, Ohio, native hasn’t been shy about potentially playing alongside his son Bronny, who is a four-star recruit in the class of 2023 and is draft-eligible the following year.

James joined the Lakers in free agency four years ago. The former No. 1 overall pick has continued to play at an elite level since moving to the West Coast, averaging 27 points, 8.2 assists, 8.0 boards, and 1.2 steals during his tenure in Los Angeles. He registered a league-leading 10.2 dimes per contest in 2019-20 and led the Lakers to their 17th NBA title that same season.

James will likely surpass franchise icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this upcoming campaign as the Association’s all-time leading scorer, and Buss takes a lot of pride knowing that he’ll do so donning the purple and gold.

“(LeBron) will probably become the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA, which would break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record. … I’ll never forget when he did that, and Chick Hearn said, ‘This is a record that will never be broken,’ and here we are,” Buss said. “Somebody who is going to break it in a Laker uniform. And that has a lot of meaning to the organization and to me personally.”

Billy Gunn and Chyna were part of WWE’s iconic D-Generation X faction during the Attitude Era. While Gunn stuck mostly to tag team wrestling alongside Road Dogg, Chyna acted as a singles star, winning the WWE Women’s Championship and the Intercontinental Championship, becoming the only woman to accomplish the feat. Chyna, unfortunately, passed away on April 17th, 2016, due to an accidental drug overdose. However, Billy Gunn has fond memories of working with her.

“My best friend, she was amazing, she really was in all aspects of life,” Gunn said on “The Sessions with Renee Paquette.” “To this day it will still get me a little rocked up because she was that special to me, like she really was. When she first passed, I was so mad at her, like, it’s just a, like that’s just life … My wife is one of the most special people on the planet, so she is awesome. And she knew [my relationship with Chyna] and never had a problem with it. It was more of a brother-sister thing.”

Gunn also discussed Chyna’s long-term impact on professional wrestling. “I think towards the end of her run up there she kind of knew, ‘Hey, I’m doing something special. I’m empowering the… know where I don’t just have to have a match where somebody rips my clothes off.’ I think what women’s wrestling has become… I mean for God’s sakes, they’re main eventing everything … I don’t think she knew the total impact of what she did but she was definitely the main one to do it.”

Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond believes he has already cemented himself as one of the best rebounders the league has ever seen – and there’s more to come.

“I think I’m already there,” Drummond told CT Insider’s Mike Anthony. “I’m on my way. By the time I retire, I’ll go down as the best rebounder ever – if not already.”

Drummond currently ranks 46th all time in career rebounds with 9,519 in 718 games. He sits behind Hall of Famers such as Dave DeBusschere and Bob Lanier and active players such as Denver Nuggets center DeAndre Jordan and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, the latter of whom ranks 38th.

However, Drummond’s per-game average of 13.3 rebounds brings him to 11th, the highest mark for an active player.

The two-time All-Star has led the NBA in rebounding on four occasions, once in 2015-2016 with 14.8 per game, which helped him land a spot on the All-NBA third team. He then led the league for three seasons straight from 2017-2020, including 16 per contest in 2017-2018.

Drummond spent eight seasons with the Detroit Pistons before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2020. Since then, the 29-year-old has spent time with the Cavs, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets.

Chicago signed Drummond to a two-year, $6.6-million deal in the offseason.

Tyrese Haliburton hasn’t been with the Indiana Pacers for long, but the club’s front office is optimistic he’ll be the franchise’s next cornerstone player.

“We’re gonna build our team around him,” Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan told Alex Kennedy of Basketball News. “We see him as hopefully being the next Reggie Miller. We had a Reggie Miller mural painted on a building in downtown Indianapolis, and I think our dream is that one day Tyrese will have (his own) up somewhere in downtown Indianapolis.”

Haliburton excelled down the stretch after being acquired from the Sacramento Kings, averaging 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, 4.3 boards, and 1.8 steals over 26 appearances with the Pacers last season.

The Iowa State product’s strong sophomore year came on the heels of a solid debut campaign during which he earned NBA All-Rookie first-team honors.

While Haliburton is still processing the Kings’ shocking decision to trade him, he’s thankful for the opportunity at hand with Indiana.

“If I’m being completely honest, that (trade) is such a blessing for me,” Haliburton said. “It’s so easy now to look at it that way, but it’s a complete blessing for me to be in the situation that I’m in, to have the ability to showcase what I can do and play my natural position. It’s helping me a ton.

“So, you know, it’s love at the end of the day. It is what it is. Just taking a step back and self-reflecting on a lot of different things in life, I think it made me a bigger person and just have more self-awareness.”

Thunder Rosa opened up about her current reign as the AEW Women’s Champion and the hardships she has endured as the face of the company’s women’s division.

“It’s been really challenging because being a champion on a major platform is different than when I was the NWA Women’s Champion,” Rosa revealed while speaking with Bullet Cast. “There’s a lot more at stake, there’s a lot more that you’re representing, and also a little bit of pressure.”

Rosa also stated that she wants to make her mark on the roster and make some changes in not just the wrestling business, but the world itself.

“Every time you stand in front of the camera, you just want to make sure that you’re perfect. The thing is, it’s not about perfection, it’s about making a difference and I hope that I have been making a difference in the women’s division.”

Rosa has been champion for more than 160 days and counting after dethroning Britt Baker in a steel cage match during St. Patrick’s Day Slam in San Antonio, Texas (where she currently resides). She had lost to Baker the week before at the Revolution pay-per-view due to interference from Baker’s allies, Jamie Hayter and Rebel. Rosa has defended her title against the likes of Hayter, Toni Storm, Nyla Rose, Serena Deeb, Marina Shafir, and Miyu Yamashita.

Rosa has recently been teaming with Storm. The two women earned one another’s respect after their match at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view in late June. That respect will be tested, as they appear destined to meet again for a title rematch at the All Out pay-per-view next month.

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2020 championship put the franchise in a tie with the Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history, but controlling owner Jeanie Buss isn’t satisfied yet.

Buss told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes that in carrying on the legacy of her late father, Dr. Jerry Buss, she’s determined to see the Lakers take the lead over the Celtics in championships.

“When he started, he wanted to take on the Boston Celtics and all the winning they had done,” Jeanie said. “Now, with ring No. 17, we’re tied with the Celtics in terms of winning (championships). That’s what he set out to do. And certainly the work is not done yet. We have to continue that quest, and we’ll do so.”

The Celtics had an opportunity to surpass the Lakers last season, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years. However, they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

The Lakers failed to reach the playoffs last season after finishing 33-49.

Bryan Danielson wants to be AEW’s Bob Dylan more than All Elite’s Aerosmith.

The technical wizard told interviewers during the recent Starrcast V media scrum that he’s deliberately moved away from having a catchphrase for that very reason; Bryan ditched the “Yes” line he’d shout in WWE when he signed for Tony Khan’s league, and he refuses to go back.

Why? Well, Danielson thinks having a catchphrase like that restricts his ability to push forward and do different things. He likens that to how bands like Aerosmith are expected to play the same songs over and over and over again whenever they go out on tour.

Fans want to see those greatest hits, but he prefers the Dylan approach. Bob marches to the beat of his own drum (so to speak), and doesn’t always crank out tunes that people know. That, despite meaning fans miss out on hearing some classics, ensures that they’ll see something fresh every single time.

Bryan loves the thought of doing that. He’s joined a new promotion, so he doesn’t fancy relying on things that worked elsewhere. No, Danielson wants to continue evolving.

It’d be awesome if he started crooning ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ on Dynamite, or something.

Seemingly everyone in the wrestling world has been lining up to share their thoughts on the recently retired Vince McMahon, who resigned from his positions in WWE in the wake of numerous allegations of hush money payouts made to female employees to cover up reported sexual misconduct and abuse. The latest? Paul Heyman.

“I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Vince McMahon,” Heyman said while appearing on the MackMania podcast. “What a hypocrite I would be to say anything less than extraordinarily complementary about that man. His work ethic, his willingness to put in 20, 22 hours a day, every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for 40 years is why we are all fabulously wealthy, and will never get the credit nor the understanding that he deserves and that he earned.

“Fully supportive of the new regime. They understand the task at hand and the people that are involved right now at steering this ship were prepared to steer this ship by Vince McMahon. When I took the job as executive director, I asked Vince, ‘What is the greatest service that I can give this company in this role?’ … His answer was, ‘Get your successor ready in case you drop dead, because the show goes on with or without you.’ And he looked me straight in the eyes and he says, ‘Because the show goes on without me. With or without me.’ And he meant it.”

McMahon stepped down as CEO and chairman of the board temporarily in June, appointing daughter Stephanie McMahon to the position of interim CEO and first-ever chairwoman of the board after the Wall Street Journal broke the first story regarding hush money allegations, leading to a board investigation. After a second Wall Street Journal expanded on the accusations and a series of new investigations began, McMahon announced his retirement on July 22nd, tweeting out that he was done in the wrestling business. On the same day, Stephanie and WWE President Nick Khan were appointed co-CEOs of WWE moving forward. McMahon also stepped down as head of creative, a role that was then taken over by son-in-law and husband to Stephanie McMahon, Paul Levesque, fka Triple H. Levesque had prior exposure to a creative atmosphere, as he was the driving creative force behind “WWE NXT” from 2012 to 2021.

“Everyone right now who is steering this ship was prepared to steer this ship by Vince himself,” Heyman reiterated, “which makes me very comfortable in their vision and their hopes and dreams and desires and their new vision … which should not be Vince’s vision, it should be their vision. Because Vince’s vision wasn’t his father’s vision. It’s his vision. And he created a universe in an image that he believed in, and those who are now running the show will create the progression of that universe into the next generation of that universe based on the things that they agreed with and the things that they disagreed with.”