The New York Knicks (38-30) have been the biggest surprise in the NBA this season, led by the play of first-time All-Star selection Julius Randle. New York is taking on the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, in a game nationally televised on TNT.
And during the pregame show, Shaquille O’Neal said how Zach Randolph “is playing MVP-caliber basketball” for the Knicks.
Studio host Adam Lefkoe stepped in to correct Shaq: “Hold on. He doesn’t play right now. Julius Randle.”
Shaq responded: “That’s what whatever his name is.”
Lefkoe: “You said Zach Randolph.”
Shaq: “Oh, well you know what? I was thinking about my boy Zach. Z-Bo, what’s up?”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 12, 2021
Randolph announced his retirement from the NBA in 2019, and last played in the 2017-18 season.
Now, Randolph and Randle both have last names starting with “Ran,” they’re both 250-plus pound power forwards (Randolph listed at 6’9″, Randle listed at 6’8″), they’re both left-handed, they feature similar skillsets and success, etc.
But one is retired, and the other is the best player on a team Shaq’s network was about to show play a game. You’d expect an NBA analyst to get that one right, even if it’s generally an understandable mix-up.
Julius “whatever his name is” Randle has 14 points at halftime for the Knicks against the Lakers.