I had a chance to attend an Inside The NBA media event today. With Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson holding court, the laughs and sometimes insightful basketball analysis were flowing.
You would not be surprised that Barkley thinks Anthony Davis is the next big thing, or that Cleveland and Chicago are the only two teams that can win the East. But I also asked him about a few Raptors-related questions:
On pronouncing Jonas Valanciunas correctly: If you watch Inside The NBA, you know Chuck has a lot of problems with pronouncing his name. I asked him to try, and it was once again a botched attempt. He did, however, tell me that through a connection, he spoke with Valanciunas this summer, at which time Jonas asked him why he wasn't pronouncing his name right. To which Chuck responded: I'll do it when you start averaging 15 and 12.
On the city of Toronto: Chuck is a huge fan, even calling it his favorite NBA city. He's set to visit Toronto in December for a charity event organized by Masai Ujiri, so be on the lookout because Chuck isn't the type of stay home at night when he's traveling.
On Drake's jump shot: Asked to comment on what tips he would give Drake as a basketball player, Chuck declined, only to drop this one liner: "As a basketball player, he's a great musician."