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NBA News Roundup: Shaquille O'Neal opens up about his near-death experience, Ex-NBA player pleads guilty to defrauding the league's health plan and more | August 27, 2022

2019 NBA Awards Presented By Kia On TNT - Inside
Shaquille O'Neal at the 2019 NBA Awards Presented By Kia On TNT - Inside

Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most dominating players in NBA history. However, O'Neal was close to not even making it out of high school when he was in Germany. On a recent trip to Australia, the LA Lakers legend opened up about his near-death experience as a teenager.

Meanwhile, a former NBA player has pleaded guilty to defrauding the league's health plan. The 35-year-old Seattle native reportedly orchestrated the scheme, which involved several other former players. Around 18 players were charged last year.

Here is the latest NBA news roundup for Aug. 27 brought to you by Sportskeeda.


Grizzlies tops list of NBA teams with the best young core

Ziaire Williams, Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies
Ziaire Williams, Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies

The Golden State Warriors proved last season that their experience was the difference maker en route to their fourth NBA championship in eight years. However, the league is still about youth and there are a lot of teams that are heavily invested in them.

Sports Illustrated recently listed the teams with the best young core in the NBA. The Memphis Grizzlies were ranked No. 1 ahead of 15 other teams who qualified based on SI's criteria. The Grizzlies are loaded with young talent that includes Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane.

The Boston Celtics came in at second, followed by the New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns. The Cleveland Cavaliers are at No. 6, with the Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks rounding out the Top 10.


Shaquille O'Neal opens up about his near-death experience

Shaquille O'Neal at the Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three
Shaquille O'Neal at the Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three

Shaquille O'Neal spent some time in Germany where his stepfather, "Sarge" Philip Harrison, was stationed for his work in the military. O'Neal recounted his near-death experience in Germany at an event called "An Evening with Shaquille O'Neal" in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday.

"They decided to drive in Germany during a winter storm," O'Neal said. "Something told me not to get in the car. I didn't get in the car and everybody in the car passed away."
"After that I was like, You know what? I have to be a leader. I can't just follow guys because I'm trying to be cool.'"

O'Neal played two years of high school basketball in Germany before returning home to the United States for his junior and sophomore year. After three years in LSU, Shaq would enter the 1992 NBA draft, wherein he was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic.

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Jonathan Kuminga, Josh Okogie shines in 2023 FIBA Qualifiers Africa

Jonathan Kuminga at the 2022 NBA Summer League
Jonathan Kuminga at the 2022 NBA Summer League

Several NBA players are representing their countries in the current 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifying window. Five players from the African region were in action on Friday. They included Bruno Fernando, Jonathan Kuminga, Chimezie Metu, Josh Okogie and Ishmail Wainright.

Okogie had 23 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and five steals, while Metu added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Nigeria. However, it was not enough as they lost to the Ivory Coast. Fernando had 16 points in Angola's win over Uganda and Wainwright, who also scored 16 points.

Meanwhile, Kuminga had an amazing debut for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He put up 18 points, but Cameroon came away with a last second shot to get the win. The next round of games will be on Saturday, with all six nations in action.

1st national team game for ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉ @JonathanKuming6 and he came with the block โ›”๐Ÿ˜ค!#FIBAWC x @LeopardsBasket | #WinForRDC https://t.co/5DW49jgoNe

Former NBA player pleads guilty to defrauding league's health plan

Terrence Williams was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft.
Terrence Williams was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft.

According to a report by Reuters, former NBA player Terrence Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud. Williams also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, with his sentencing scheduled for Jan. 25, 2023.

The former New Jersey Nets prospect was the alleged mastermind of the scheme that defrauded the league's health plan. Williams will also pay $2.5 million in restitution to the NBA's health plan, while also paying a fine worth $653,673 to the United States.

Other ex-NBA players who pleaded guilty to taking part in the scheme included Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jamario Moon, Eddie Robinson and Anthony Wroten. There were at least 19 players who were allegedly involved when the news broke out last October.


Timberwolves' Taurean Prince arrested in Miami airport

Taurean Prince of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Taurean Prince of the Minnesota Timberwolves

Taurean Prince of the Minnesota Timberwolves was arrested at Miami International Airport on Thursday, per Chris Hines of The Star Tribune. Prince was detained because of a fugitive out-of-state warrant from Tarrant County, Texas. The warrant is reportedly related to a drug charge.

Prince is fresh off of signing a two-year, $16 million extension with the Timberwolves. He reportedly received a $2,500 bond on Friday after getting booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

The former lottery pick is not the first player to be arrested this summer. Malik Beasley, Kevin Porter Jr. and Alex Caruso were all arrested due to marijuana possession. Montrezl Harrell is facing felony drug charges, while Miles Bridges, Jaxon Hayes and Terence Davis were all detained for assault.

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Edited by Juan Paolo David
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