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Nerlens Week: The Last Noel

In this special edition of the Sunday Morning Shootaround, we take a look back at the social media stylings of one Nerlens Noel.

Nerlens Noel: Future star on the basketball court, current star on social media.
Nerlens Noel: Future star on the basketball court, current star on social media.
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There's a 9,000 percent chance that the kid asking this question was instructed to do so by his or her father. I mean, really... Olajuwon stopped playing before all of the kids in the photo were born. That would be like 9-year-old me at the 1988 Hersey Hawkins Skills Camp asking "Are you going to be the next Hal Greer, or nah?"

I'm thinking that same father asked his child to get Noel's autograph so that they could flip it on eBay. And that would make him 100 percent degenerate. He probably bets on preseason hockey, too.


We had it all wrong, you guys. 4-4-14 wasn't ever pegged as Noel's targeted return date: It was the release date for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Pretty sure he'll tweet out the date for "Bad Boys 3" once Will Smith signs on the dotted line.


Five-second review: Better than Iggy Azalea, but we won't be confusing Nerlens with J. Cole any time soon. This is the second-most embarrassing thing Jadakiss has ever been linked to ('If You Think I'm Jiggy' will always be No. 1).


1) Dana Barros (I mean... he DID write the theme song to the Rights To Ricky Sanchez podcast).

2) Charles Barkley (NO ONE does karaoke like Sir Charles. NO ONE.)

3) Allen Iverson ('40 Bars' was good, but it's no 'Check It')

4) Lou Williams (In case you missed it, we wrote way too many words about his debut album last summer.)

5) Maurice Cheeks (Mo turned what could have been a horrible moment into THE BEST MOMENT. I wonder what Eddie Jordan would have done in that situation.)

6) Spencer Hawes (I disliked Spence 2.702% less after I found out he frequented McGillin's for karaoke.)

7) Nerlens Noel

8) Joel Embiid (just like everyone who covers Dylan songs, his cover of "Wrecking Ball" might be better than the original.)

9) Ayla Brown


This is more of an FYI than anything - I'm pretty sure he actually would play you if you sent along your gamertag. For some reason, Evan Turner (GT: evanalmighty12) follows me on XBox Live, but we never linked up for a game. I guess he was too busy gassing up his Ferrari.

Anyways, some of the responses to Noel's challenge were pretty entertaining:

UMG_Jon Bruh, I would beat you by the height of your fade. To bad I returned it smh.

thezhayes - I can't afford Xbox One.

nadirp1217 - Bro. You can beat ANYONE but, me! You aint ready!

_hiLARIOus__ - play me nerlens
_hiLARIOus__ - bruh we playin or not
(_hiLARIOus__'s tweets were all sent in the span of eight minutes)

adawg2083 - tell the sixers to keep thad young


Here's the Cliff's Notes version of the story: One day at Friendly's (ranked way too high at No. 14 on the Gawker list of chain restaurants), Nerlens Noel and his friend struck up a conversation with a waitress named Alexis. During the talk, Alexis mentioned that even though she was going through some issues at the time - she was living in a homeless shelter because of issues at home - she was determined to save up some money to go see the Backstreet Boys in concert.

Over the next few weeks, Noel pulled a few strings and wound up surprising Alexis with tickets and VIP passes to the Backstreet Boys concert.

Kudos to an athlete who "gets it" - going to be really hard to irrationally hate him after he goes 3-for-14 in a game this season.

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