How do you know if an NBA player successfully made an impact in the league? Is it the number of people calling a player an all-time great? Does the number of rings have a say on it? Or is it his inclusion into the Naismith Hall of Fame?

All of these points are valid. However, only a few things are as impactful to the game as a rule change made due to your actions. The league saw plenty of players throughout its years of existence. Still, only some players became influential enough that they changed how the game was played from then on.

This OKBET Sports piece will look into the players who influenced the game enough to force the league to tweak its rulebook. Not all of the players in this list are considered all-time greats, but their style of play was impactful enough to be addressed by the league.


Bruce Bowen, Zaza Pachulia, and the Closeout Rule

Defenders go through countless screens and dribble moves to stop their marks from scoring. Many NBA players built successful careers for themselves by devoting a lot of energy to becoming pesky defenders.

Bruce Bowen became one of the faces of proper defense during the early 2000s when he helped the San Antonio Spurs win three of their five championships. Opposing players hated his aggressive style of defending, which left them little to no space to operate.

Bowen was heavily scrutinized for his defense, with some calling him a dirty player. It didn’t take long for the league to control his tendencies after injuring Steve Francis by placing his foot on his landing spot. The league banned defenders from taking over a player’s landing spot.

The focus on aggressively poor closeouts was again brought to light when Zaza Pachulia injured Kawhi Leonard in the 2017 Western Conference Finals. More aggressive penalties were put in place after public outcry from the Spurs and the public called for stricter implementation of the closeout rule.

Fans who like irony will notice that Zaza’s act was a bit of a comeback for Gregg Popovich not reining in Bowen’s defensive tendencies.

Reggie Miller and the Kickout Rule

Stephen Curry will always be the greatest shooter to dribble a basketball. However, Reggie Miller brought a venom and competitive edge that will always have him in the conversation of the game’s greatest snipers.

What made him great beside his three-point shooting was his ability to get into the line. Miller was the last person you want to get into the charity stripe as he finished eight of his 18-year career with 90% FT shooting. Combining his excellent FT shooting with a career average of 5.1 free throw attempts per game, you have a great scorer who can secure five points a night.

What got him into the free-throw line often was his shooting form. He got his leg out whenever he shot, and defenders often got caught in his trap. His shooting motion got him a lot of friendly calls from the refs.

Unlike Bowen and Pachulia’s rule-bending ways, it took a while before the league implemented this rule change. Popularly known as the Reggie Miller rule, shooters are forbidden from kicking their legs out to initiate contact with defenders.

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James Harden and the Non-Basketball Foul Rule

James Harden is one of the latest NBA players who constantly push the rulebook to the limit. While he was a terrific offensive force during his physical peak, his craftiness always allowed him to get to the free-throw line like Miller.

While he’s not kicking his legs out to attract contact, he came up with creative ways to get defenders to hook up to him. He’ll then initiate contact and flail to get the favorable call, much to the frustration of basketball fans and analysts. He got an incredible ten free-throw attempts per game during his peak years with the Houston Rockets.

Due to Harden’s actions, the league implemented what is popularly known as the James Harden rule. NBA players who intend to draw fouls by committing non-basketball actions will be penalized.

This isn’t the only rule Harden brought to its limits. Many would attest to his love for traveling the ball during the peak of his powers. However, his free-throw antics placed more opposing teams at a disadvantage.

Shaquille O’Neal and the Hack-a-Shaq Rule

NBA fans who grew up watching the game during the 2000s know how tough teams had it when guarding Shaquille O’Neal. His massive frame and outrageous strength allowed him to do whatever he wanted inside the paint.

Fortunately for them, O’Neal had a terrible shooting stroke. He had a subpar 53% FT average throughout his Hall of Fame career. Dallas Mavericks’ Don Nelson took advantage of the opportunity and introduced the Hack-a-Shaq: they fouled O’Neal whenever he was down low and forced him to shoot from the line.

It was effective, and teams immediately followed suit. It got to the point that O’Neal made almost 11 free-throw attempts a night from 1997/98 until 2004/05. Unfortunately, it compromised the game as the overall pace slowed due to how frequently O’Neal got to the charity stripe.

The NBA had to get in the way to prevent this tactic from becoming the norm. Teams that actively implement this strategy will see their opponents awarded with a free throw attempt and possession of the ball.

Which NBA Players Will Change the Rules in the Future?

The NBA rulebook has greatly changed since it was first introduced in the fifties. Plenty of other players made their marks on the book. These rules became necessary to reward us with the fast-paced, hyper-offensive game we enjoy today.

However, fans should also expect the rules to transform over time. Plenty of talented NBA players will find new ways to turn the game in their favor. These innovations will then require new rules to be made. It will be exciting to see which players will leave their mark in the NBA rulebook next.

Read more: Premier League Managers Sacked (So Far) This Season

Premier League managers will be one of the first positions brought up if you ask sports betting fans which coaching positions have the weakest job stability. Struggling gaffers get as great—if not more intense—abuse as the praise Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola regularly get.

This season already saw some turnover on the sidelines. Several Premier League clubs have pulled the plug on some coaches this season. Some of these firings are more surprising than others, but everyone can agree that these firings can rapidly change how a team performs on the pitch.

This OKBET Sports piece will look into which sideline figures have been replaced in the league this season. We’ll also look at what they’re doing now after they were shown the door by their former bosses.

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Scott Parker, Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth fans will always have a special place in their heart for Scott Parker. The former Fulham boss proved his mettle as a Premier League-quality coach after leading the Cottagers and the Cherries to the English top flight during his spells there.

Cherries fans knew the 2022/23 season would be tough. There weren’t many summer transfers compared to fellow promoted clubs Nottingham Forest and Fulham. While the club wanted to compete to extend its second stint in the Premier League, former team owner Maxim Demin wanted to be frugal.

Heated exchanges were exchanged, and Scott Parker even went as far as criticizing the team in public after their 9-0 meltdown against Liverpool. After this game, Bournemouth’s bigwigs decided to cut Parker loose after four Premier League games.

Both sides have since moved on after the split. Denim sold his stake in the club to American owners, while Parker became the man in charge of Club Brugge, preparing for a Champions League debut against Benfica.

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea

It’s unimaginable for a tactician who won a Champions League trophy for his team to be let go less than two years into his reign. However, that’s precisely what happened when Todd Boehly’s Chelsea fired him less than ten games into the season.

The former Borussia Dortmund and PSG boss was let go for reasons not disclosed by Boehly. They only referred to the timing sacking as the “right time” to establish a new direction for two-time Champions League winners.

However, things have been less than rosy for the Blues. They are far from Champions League qualification as things are tough under new head coach Graham Potter, who left Brighton in the process. Even the most ardent Chelsea supporter is openly wondering why the Blues are struggling when they spent more than £300 million in the summer window.

Meanwhile, Tuchel is back in Germany and is carefully considering his options. Chelsea fans didn’t hesitate to express their love for him during the club’s horrible FA Cup exit to Manchester City.

Bruno Lage, Wolves

The season has been rough for Wolves this season. A club that has become familiar with competing for European spots now finds itself at the bottom of the Premier League table. The horrible start to the season cost Bruno Lage his job in October.

The man was only sixteen months in charge of the club and continued to insist that time and a proper striker would have changed his fortunes at the Molineux. However, one win in eight matches didn’t give him any favors in lengthening his stay with the club.

The club hasn’t made any improvements since Lage’s departure. Julen Lopetegui was brought in as his replacement. While his tenure as Wolves’ chief tactician started well, the team is still far from safe in the league.

Meanwhile, Lage is still without a job. He was linked with managing Portugal before the Portuguese Football Federation selected Roberto Martinez.

Steven Gerrard, Aston Villa

Premier League fans remember Steven Gerrard as a brilliant midfielder who made his mark for England and Liverpool. His managerial career also got off to a promising start with Rangers. Unfortunately, his stint with Aston Villa was anything but rosy.

The Liverpool legend only had eleven months in charge at Villa Park before the team’s poor league form cost him his job. By the time he was fired, Villa was 17th in the league and at risk of relegation.

Like Wolves, they replaced their manager with a Spaniard. Former Arsenal head coach Unai Emery took over the reins for the Lions. While Arsenal fans raised an eyebrow at the decision, he’s managed to pull the back to the comforts of being a mid-table club.

Meanwhile, Gerrard is surprisingly in line to become the manager of Poland. It could be surprising to some that the White-Reds are considering him after his Villa tenure. However, his solid track record for Rangers makes him a viable addition.

Ralph Hassenhuttl, Southampton

The latest entry in this list of Premier League managers who got the boot is Southampton boss Ralph Hassenhuttl. The former RB Leipzig boss departed the Saints after leading the club for almost four years.

Hassenhuttl left the club after losing 4-0 to Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United. Southamptons’ horrible league form sealed his departure from Saint Mary’s Stadium. Like the other clubs discussed in this list, they hoped Nathan Jones would be able to lift them out of the relegation zone.

However, things haven’t been great for the Saints. They are currently bottom of the league, only winning three of their 18 league matches. Unless things improve, it will be a matter of time before they return to the Championship.

Meanwhile, Hassenhuttl still needs a job. But given his CV and tactical brain, it’s only a matter of time until another club offers him a spot.

Why Premier League Managers Get Fired

There are plenty of reasons why managers get fired. The Premier League managers above showcase two of the most common reasons.

Poor league performance is the most common reason managers get axed. They’re brought in to maximize the players on the squad, and their failure to turn those games into wins gives clubs enough reason to sack them.

Another common cause of termination for Premier League managers is internal strife. Parker is the best example of this. His defiance and open criticism of the team’s transfer policy can lead the team to fire the manager. Bournemouth was the player paying for his wages, after all.

The lack of player support is also another probable cause. Managers who lose the locker room won’t be able to get them to play how he wants them to. This poor form results in terrible results, which in turn causes the termination of a manager’s contract.

Will More Premier League Managers Join This List?

Every Premier League team wants to stay up. The money and media exposure top-flight teams get is enough reason to do everything they can to stay there. Players are more challenging to acquire, so Premier League managers usually get the blame when a team performs poorly.

However, only time will tell if the sack was the right call. The call may have been premature, given how Chelsea, Bournemouth, and Southampton are performing in the league.

Read more: Djokovic Crushes Tsitsipas, Wins 10th Australian Open

Novak Djokovic starts his 2023 campaign in style after putting on a dominant display over Stefanos Tsitsipas in yesterday’s Australian Open finals.

Djokovic pulled out plenty of tricks to take down his Greek opponent. While the match finished in straight sets, the final score of 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) shows how competitive the match got.

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The Serbian, nine years older than his opponent, kept his serve against his younger, more agile opponent with difficult serves. While Tsitsipas was broken twice in the first set, he was able to keep the rest of his service games to keep the match competitive.

Both players had difficulty breaking the other’s serves, as there were only eight break-point opportunities throughout the match. The breaks Djokovic won in the first set proved to be the clincher that helped him win in straight sets.

Djokovic was the heavy favorite by OKBET’s analysis team to win the match. The match history between the two showed how Djokovic has dominated Tsitsipas over the past couple of games.

The 35-year-old Serbian adds to his already-crowded trophy cabinet and extends his lead over Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in big titles won. Djokovic has 22 Grand Slams, the same as Nadal. He also shares six ATP Finals wins with Federer. He overshadows the two legends with his 38 ATP Masters 1000 tourney wins.

It’s hard to imagine Novak joining Federer in retirement with how he plays now. His form will allow him to win more Grand Slams and major competitions in the ATP calendar.

Tsitsipas Is Inspired After AO Loss

Stefanos Tsitsipas has a long, successful career ahead of him after a fantastic run in the year’s first Grand Slam. While he’s disappointed not to win his second-ever Grand Slam final, he says his opponent inspired him to do better.

He mentioned that Djokovic’s victory was a wake-up call for him to do better. He openly lauded the Serbian’s dedication to the game. Tsitsipas called him as one of the greatest players to pick up a tennis racket.

It wouldn’t be strange for the world’s fourth-best men’s singles player to win his own Grand Slam if he combined his stellar play with his renewed appreciation and approach toward the game.

Read more: LeBron, Giannis Lead 2023 All-Star

We now know who will make up the cast of one of the biggest dates in the basketball calendar. The 2023 All-Star Game will be full of star power, and the chosen starters will make for a very interesting game.

OKBET fans will have plenty of betting fun as the All-Star Captains are names they’re familiar with. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will meet at the All-Star break as captains of their respective All-Star teams for the third time.

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King James continues to defy logic as he shines for the Los Angeles Lakers at 38 years old. He’s currently averaging 29.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists on 50.7% shooting for the Purple and Gold. He’s tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s All-Star selection record with the latest plaudit. 

Meanwhile, the Greek Freak is putting on another MVP-caliber season as he leads the Milwaukee Bucks to another strong season in the competitive Eastern Conference. He’s bagging a nightly average of 31.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on 52.6% shot efficiency.

The other Western Conference starters alongside LeBron James are also equally impressive. Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic take the guard spots with their incredible play. Zion Williamson’s high-flying performances helped him secure the other starting forward spot, and Nikola Jokic completes the lineup with his unique skillset.

The Eastern Conference starters are just as great as their Western counterparts. Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell deserve their slots due to how well they dominate the East. Jayson Tatum’s a shoo-in due to how the Boston Celtics are performing. Finally, Kevin Durant rounds out the East starters with his Hall of Fame-level scoring ability.

The 2023 All-Star Snubs

While these ten players deserve their spot in the 2023 All-Star game, this season has seen plenty of exciting players shine. Due to the limited spots, terrific players understandably have to miss out on the starting gig.

Joel Embiid is the biggest snub in the Eastern Conference. He’s averaging a near double-double with 33.4 points and 9.8 rebounds on 53.2% FG and 34.5% 3FG for the Philadelphia 76ers. 

The missing name in the West that will raise eyebrows is Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant. He’s balling at a different level, with per-game averages of 27.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 8.0 assists.

The notable snub list also includes Jaylen Brown, Domantas Sabonis, Lauri Markkanen, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. However, it’s a sure lock that these players will be listed as All-Star reserves by February 2.

Read more: Soccer Positions: How to Tell Player Roles on the Field

If you became a soccer fan after betting on OKBET during the FIFA World Cup, you got into the sport at the right time! The Beautiful Game is full of talented players and strong teams that play attractive football.

However, you were probably puzzled when you watched the best teams duke it out in Qatar. There are a lot of players on the pitch, and all of them do specific tasks to help their team win. It can become tough to process what’s happening in a football game without proper knowledge.

If game knowledge is the most significant thing preventing you from fully understanding the game, we’re here to help! Did you know that certain numbers pertain to specific soccer positions on the pitch?

This piece will help you identify which numbers belong to which role. After reading this piece, you’ll understand what players are expected to do while playing.

Goalkeeper – #1

Sports fans new to soccer can quickly identify keepers as they wear separate uniforms from the rest of their team. Aside from their uniforms, first-choice shot-stoppers are usually given the number 1.

Goalkeepers are meant to be the last line of defense for the football XI. The game’s flow will inevitably see an attacker breaking into scoring positions. Goalies will use every part of their bodies to stop opposing strikers from scoring. It may seem like a simple job, but it takes plenty of athleticism and bravery to stop a ball that flies at 112 km/hr.

The modern game also added new roles to the goalkeepers. The best keepers are also expected to be good on their feet and build the game from the back. Shot-stoppers with great kicking power can start lightning-fast counters with a drop kick deep into the opposite half.

Central Defenders – #4, #5

Goalies can only do so much on their own before conceding goals. The players tasked with helping keepers protect their goalposts are central defenders. They are part of a defensive unit whose main task is to prevent their opponents’ attacking corps from converting opportunities into goals.

These defenders, also known as center-backs, can come in pairs or threes. They can be assigned specific tasks to assist their keeper. A sweeper will focus on protecting the backline against long-range passes. A stopper presses an attacking player once they get the ball to force a turnover.

Like goalkeepers, center-backs will do everything (apart from using their hands) to stop their opponents from scoring. While tackling is an excellent trait for a central defender, they’re great at their job if they can make scoring difficult for the opposing striker. Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is the perfect example of what a great center-back is.

Central defenders can also help a team play a robust possession-centric style of soccer if they’re skilled enough with the ball. They can start the build-up from the back and cut through the opposing defense with a well-placed pass.

Fullbacks – #2, #3

Fullbacks complete a soccer team’s defensive unit. Right-backs and left-backs are soccer positions with the unenviable task of defending against the opposition’s quickest players. Coaches usually put their most rapid players on the wings to create dangerous chances for the attackers.

Players who don 2 and 3 on the field are responsible for keeping up with these lightning-fast wingers and preventing them from doing whatever they want on the field. While central defenders are usually tall, fullbacks are more explosive runners who can provide support on attack and defense.

There are two varieties of fullbacks currently being played in the top flight. Attacking fullbacks like Trent Alexander-Arnold use their pace to create chances from the wing. They run through the flanks and create numerical superiority before fielding in a cross or cutting inside with the ball.

Meanwhile, defensive fullbacks are dedicated to stopping the opponents’ best attackers. They use advanced defensive techniques to steal the ball from their opponents.

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Central Midfielders – #6, #8, #10

Midfielders are positioned between the defense and the attack. They connect the two sides with their all-around play. They usually fall back when the opposition has the ball to clog up passing lanes. When their team has the ball, they’re in charge of creating scoring opportunities for their teammates by either dribbling to the opposing goal or making a cutting pass through the defense.

Since midfielders have a large area to take care of, they are usually fielded as a two-person pivot or a trio, with the other midfielder positioned a bit back or further forward. The numbers on their shirt will give you a good idea of what their primary responsibilities are.

A number 6 is mainly concerned with helping the defense handle the offensive pressure. They sit in front of the defensive line and sweep toward any forward passes made. Some players who play the role also have the vision and technique to ping an accurate pass to their teammates up front.

A number 10 is a creative specialist who focuses all their efforts on crafting chances for their teammates. They usually have excellent dribbling, passing, and shooting skills to make life difficult for opposing defenders. Some of the most famous soccer players in history wore 10.

Finally, a number 8 acts as a bit of both. They have the offensive and defensive capabilities of players who play the 6 and 10 roles. They operate from one area of the pitch to the other and create an additional outlet where passes are provided.

Wide Midfielders/Wingers – #7, #11

Wide midfielders are one of the most exciting soccer players on the field. Players who usually take over this spot are rapid players with excellent dribbling skills, exemplary crossing skills, and high-quality finishing.

You probably know a couple of world-class players who occupy this space. Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the most popular #7 on the planet, and his career highlights make it clear why this is the case.

There are two types of wingers you will usually find in a professional soccer match. One is a dedicated winger who focuses on blitzing past defenses and firing an accurate cross to the forward. The other is a forward who cuts into the opponents’ 18-yard box and fashions chances for themselves and their teammates.

Strikers – #9, #10

Strikers, or forwards for fans who call the game football, are specialized players who only focus on one thing. They love to score and will do anything to score. They usually don’t involve themselves in defense and focus their energy on finishing the chances created for them.

Strikers used to operate in pairs. One is a tall giant, the target of his teammates’ lobbed balls and crosses. They are usually strong and can hold the ball against one or two defenders. They will either convert the chance themselves or pass the ball to their strike partner.

The other striker is the faster attacker who can cut through defensive lines and offsides to create a one-on-one opportunity against the opposing keeper. They use their speed to overcome their opponents.

Nowadays, intricate tactics have managers playing one striker in their formation instead. These strikers usually have the physicality and strength of a target forward and the speed of a poacher. Erling Haaland is the best example of this.

Numbers in Today’s Soccer

The numbers are helpful for spectators to identify which players are doing which soccer positions. However, it’s important to note that there are more than 11 players in a football team, and players in the same role can have another number other than the ones mentioned above.

Moreover, this strict numbering system isn’t heavily followed nowadays. For example, Ronaldo wore 7 even when he was moved to the striker position at Manchester United. Alexander-Arnold has 66 on his back. While Lionel Messi is a great forward who can play up front or in the wings, he always wore 10.

Players are now free to choose whatever number they want for themselves. What’s important to note during soccer games is where these players are positioned and what exactly they are doing.

Watch Soccer Better By Learning These Soccer Positions

We hope this piece helped you better understand the different soccer positions and their roles on the pitch. While tactics are getting more intricate and players are becoming more technically skilled, there are now soccer positions that don’t necessarily apply to those mentioned above.

However, having a basic understanding of how the system works will help you watch these games with a keen eye. After all, the Beautiful Game is at its most charming when you understand the nuances behind it.

Read more: Alejandro Garnacho: Manchester United’s New CR7?

If you told Manchester United fans in the summer of 2021 that Alejandro Garnacho would become their beacon of hope, they would raise an eyebrow. If not, they’d be laughing at your face.

The club just got their star target Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. Moreover, Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford for a second Premier League stint. Fans believed the team could finally compete for the league title with the squad they put together.

However, they enter 2023 without even a sniff of the Premier League title. Erik ten Hag took Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s place on the sideline. Sancho hasn’t performed in the same way that made him the most valuable youngster at the BVB. Ronaldo left the club while burning bridges along the way.

Football observers at OKBET were beginning to think United would again be struggling to find a suitable striker to lead the line. While Ronaldo is far from his peak, he was able to bag goals under Ten Hag.

Garnacho may have changed the overall tone of the club, though. The 18-year-old displays an incredible knack for scoring, something the Red Devils need now that they are a striker down. He’s also brandishing the class and confidence of a young CR7 as he makes the red side of Manchester swoon.

This piece will examine who this young United star is, how he’s playing in the senior team, and whether the wunderkind’s former club will come knocking for him.

OKBET Alejandro Garnacho

A Marauding Presence on the Wing

Alejandro Garnacho was a hit for the Red Devils’ youth team from the moment he was signed from Atletico Madrid’s youth team in 2020 for €465,000. It was difficult for the Dutch coach not to notice the Argentine teenager with the amount and quality of scoring he was producing for the team’s youth teams.

The winger has a style that plenty of United players love. He uses his explosive pace to get past defenders and run into the goal. His scoring instincts and finishing ability are also top-class. He’s also shown the physicality to endure the rough defenders of the English game.

Given how well he’s been scoring with the Little Devils, it was only a matter of time before the first-team manager was going to give him a run of games. His heroics against Fulham in the Premier League gave fans a quick taste of what they could expect.

He immediately made his impact after coming in as a 72nd-minute substitute for Anthony Martial. His time came at the end of the match.

Garnacho received the ball from Christian Eriksen on the left wing. He immediately engaged the Danish teammate in a one-two, and Eriksen placed the ball in a spot he could reach. He rushed past the Fulham defense and placed the ball into the goal.

Bernd Leno couldn’t stop the ball from going in. The 18-year-old immediately took off his shirt and celebrated madly at Craven Cottage.

What Alejandro Garnacho showcased in that Fulham game is the mentality of a Manchester United player. Gary Neville explained that the teenage winger has the arrogance and energy expected of a Red Devil.

He’s had a solid first season so far. As of late January, he has two goals and three assists across 14 appearances.

Alejandro Garnacho and His Idol

Alejandro Garnacho is Argentinian, so he grew up seeing Lionel Messi play incredible football for Barcelona and La Albiceleste. He was even invited to Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina squad during the most recent World Cup qualifiers.

With all of these facts in mind, it may seem strange that the Manchester United starlet’s favorite player is Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Ronaldo is the polar opposite of everything Messi has been so far. Ronaldo takes up space with his play and braggadocio, while Messi lets his playing do the talking. CR7 loves running to the keeper and smashing the ball past him, while La Pulga will orchestrate beautiful team football to get to the goal.

However, it’s evident with his playing style and number of choice that he absolutely adores Ronaldo. The Manchester City youngster couldn’t stop gushing over Portugal’s leading all-time scorer.

He celebrated his penalty at the 2022 FA Youth Cup Final with Ronaldo’s signature SIU. Garnacho also shared a picture of him with his former teammate on Instagram. He was even caught wearing CR7-brand underwear.

While he recognizes that Messi is Argentina’s captain, Ronaldo reigns as his all-time favorite player.

Will Atletico Madrid Come Back for Alejandro Garnacho?

Given the obvious talent United has on its hands, it’s no surprise that contract talks between the club and Eugenio Ascari, Alejandro Garnacho’s agent, are already underway. They want to secure his services beyond the summer of 2024 and potentially build a team around him.

However, Atletico Madrid may be looking at getting their young star back. Reports emerged that the hierarchy at the Wanda Metropolitano regretted their decision to let the teenager leave the club after his wonderful performances at Old Trafford.

Moreover, they’re also looking to offload Joao Felix after they failed to maximize his talents. With an opening on the attacking roster, they will be eager to re-acquire their former talent.

A move back to Spain may be appealing to Garnacho. United has plenty of talented players in his position. Besides Sancho and Martial, Marcus Rashford and Antony are other first-class players competing for minutes in Ten Hag’s team.

It’s unlikely United will let Garnacho without a fight, though. He’s shown in his limited appearances that his talent, while raw, is for real. They’ll do everything possible to ensure a talented teen like Garnacho stays a Red Devil.

The World Is for Alejandro Garnacho to Claim

The future looks bright for Garnacho. He has the technical skills and personality to thrive in a big club like Manchester United. Throughout his performances this season, he’s also shown that his talent shouldn’t be underestimated.

As long as he maintains the right mentality and focuses on becoming the best version of himself, it’s not hard to imagine him becoming the face of the Red Devils the same way his idol was.

Read more: Five of the Best PBA Players to Ever Play

If there’s anything Filipinos love more than adobo and rice, it’s probably basketball. The love story between the country and the sport is well-documented. Filipinos of all ages have tried playing the game at least once. Many boys dreamed of becoming PBA players at least once in their life.

This country’s love affair with the sport has produced plenty of outstanding talent. These players eventually ended up in the PBA, the country’s biggest and most popular professional basketball league. Fans in the country and worldwide were treated to years of incredible basketball thanks to these players.

But even among this already-elite crop of players, some stars stand head and shoulders above the rest. These players amazed crowds with their shooting, defense, and ability to influence games to flow in their favor.

While several PBA players deserve to be called all-time greats, this OKBET article will only include five. We’ll discuss their career achievements, playing style, and how PBA fans remember them.

Let’s get on with this celebration of Philippine basketball!


Benjie Paras

Younger fans may recognize Benjie Paras more as an actor and father of Kobe Paras nowadays. However, old-school hoop heads who watched the league in the 90s and early 2000s know and love him more as the Tower of Power.

Paras stands 6’4”, which is incredibly small by today’s standards. However, he used his explosiveness to get past his opponents and force his way inside. He used his brute physicality whenever he made it deep into the rim to sink the basket.

Another thing Pinoy hoops fans loved about Paras was his explosive hops. He can quickly elevate to the basket and finish with a monstrous slam. He also made emphatic blocks, making him a feared presence in the paint.

He’s a four-time PBA champion and played most of his career as the centerpiece of a successful Shell Turbo Chargers franchise. He had an impressive professional career and hung up his sneakers with 10,322 points, 4,402 rebounds, 1,822 assists, 1,323 blocks, and 221 steals. He also won two MVP awards, ten PBA All-Star nods, and a spot at the PBA Hall of Fame.

However, Paras’ biggest claim to fame is his being the only person to win Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 1989. The fact that he’s the only player throughout the league’s almost five decades of existence to achieve that says a lot about how dominant he was in his first professional campaign.

Ramon Fernandez

Suppose you ask Filipino basketball fans who is the first true PBA superstar. In that case, those who live and breathe Filipino hoops will mention Ramon Fernandez.

Affectionately called El Presidente by fans, Fernandez enjoyed an incredible career that spanned three decades. He’s widely considered the face of the league during its heyday, and his stats show how consistent he was.

He was a key player during Toyota’s dominance in the 70s and a fixture in the Toyota-Crispa rivalry that captivated the nation. During his nine-year run with Toyota, he averaged 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 2.1 blocks.

The 19-time PBA champion played the remainder of his twenty-year career with Tanduay and San Miguel. The Beermen loved El Presidente so much that they retired his number 19. Fans continue to adore Fernandez, although he last played professional basketball in 1994.

Alvin Patrimonio

Speaking of players with lasting impact, Alvin Patrimonio captured the people’s imagination during his 17-year playing career. The power forward was a fixture in the Philippines’ professional basketball scene through the nineties.

He was a beacon of loyalty to Purefoods, playing every single of his 857 career games for the famed franchise. His loyalty and consistent production rightfully earned him the nickname of The Captain.

While his production dwindled at the turn of the century, his peak form was sensational. He averaged 17.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists on 53% field goal shooting and 38% from long range.

Patrimonio was a crucial part of the Philippine Centennial Team that won bronze in the 1998 Asian Games. He also won six PBA championships and garnered four MVP honors. The Magnolia Hotshots also retired his number 16 in his honor. The Captain was rightfully inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2011.

June Mar Fajardo

It’s hard to tell which current PBA players will finish their careers at the level of the names mentioned above. However, even these legends can agree that Junemar Fajardo is already among the best PBA players in history.

The Kraken is the tallest player in this list of elite Filipino cagers at 6’10”. His height alone made PBA teams want him despite him not playing for a prestigious collegiate program. However, he has the skills to back up his size.

From 2012 through 2021, Fajardo has already accumulated an impressive body of work that would easily get him into the Hall of Fame. He has impressive career averages of 17.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks on 58% shooting.

His stints for Gilas Pilipinas are less memorable than his league performances. Still, the Gilas faithful will forever cherish his dominance in the 2019 SEA Games. PBA and San Miguel fans will surely miss Fajardo’s dominance down low when he puts a close into his career.

Robert Jaworski

Ask any Filipino hoops fan to name five PBA players as the best to lace them up. Different names will likely come up. Some may mention the abovementioned names. Others may list completely different players.

However, almost everyone will include Robert Jaworski in their list. The Big J is a 13-time PBA champion, the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1978, a four-time All-Star, and a two-time member of the PBA All-Defensive Team. 

Older basketball fans know him as the star who helped Toyota during their heated rivalry with Crispa in the seventies. His strongest years saw him average 16.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.3 steals a night.

Younger PBA fans will recognize him for his playing coach days with Ginebra. While his athleticism had left him by the nineties, he was still vital to Ginebra’s dominance. He netted a respectable 9.0 points, 4.26 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 0.1 steals in his twilight years.

He’s called the Living Legend for a reason. We’ll unlikely see another player who changed Philippine hoops the way Jaworski did.

Watch the PBA for More Upcoming PBA Legends

You don’t have to feel bad if you missed out on some of the legendary PBA players on this list. There are plenty of exciting talents playing in the league right now. They’re providing fans with unforgettable moments with their brand of basketball that won’t lose to what these legends have produced.

The PBA is the best bet if you want to witness history unfolding in front of your eyes. They have players that will make you fall in love with local basketball.

Read more: Bay Area Looks to Resume PBA Stint

Regardless if you love or hate them, the Bay Area Dragons added a new dimension of excitement to the PBA. 

OKBET players loved betting on games involving the Dragons, and fan interest in games involving the Dragons was also high. The record attendance during Game 7 of the Commissioner’s Cup final was evidence of the hype their entry created in the league.

With the quality of basketball and the amount of attention the Dragons generated for the league, people within the Philippine basketball scene began discussing whether this partnership could extend beyond the most recent PBA conference. 

OKBET Bay Area

Matt Beyer, the East Asia Super League’s CEO, said that both parties experienced benefits due to this partnership. They are open to more opportunities for Bay Area to play in future PBA Conferences.

Moreover, they opened the door for the league to expand to the Asian market. Beyer promised to help the Philippines’ premier professional basketball league get major rights deals in China and the greater Asian market. They also suggested that games be played in Macau or Hong Kong.

The EASL opened this possibility to the PBA due to the high quality of basketball they saw. The record viewership they saw from local hoops fans also made it a good idea for them to try to build a foothold in the Philippine market.

While it’s unlikely that they will topple the PBA in terms of local viewership, it will help expand their reach in the basketball-crazy nation.

Bay Area Learned From PBA Stint

The Bay Area Dragons fell short of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title after a solid finals series. Still, head coach Brian Goorjian is happy with his team’s experience.

Goorjian highlighted the importance of international competition after his team’s loss to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings at the Philippine Arena. He stressed that the teams, the league, and the Asian basketball scene would improve if teams regularly competed with their neighbors.

The six-time NBL champion also shared that the atmosphere at the Philippine Arena and the gritty play of the Gin Kings will help his team grow as players. He said that his team had never played against a team like Ginebra, which should help sharpen their basketball skill by leaps and bounds.

Should the EASL and PBA work something out about Bay Area’s return to the league, Filipino basketball fans should expect a much more competitive Bay Area squad.

Read more: Rui Hachimura Gets Fresh Start with the Lakers

While Zion Williamson and Ja Morant headlined the 2019 NBA Draft, the draft had other great players. One of the players who’s about to get a fantastic opportunity is Rui Hachimura.

The Washington Wizards didn’t see Hachimura, who they drafted ninth more than three years ago, as a part of their long-term future. According to Lakers Nation, the former Gonzaga Bulldog will be shipped from DC in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round draft picks.

OKBET Hachimura

The Japanese player was playing well off the bench for Wed Unseld before the trigger was pulled. He’s averaging 13 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists on 49% shooting and 34% from the three-point line.

However, Kyle Kuzma’s arrival due to the Russell Westbrook trade may have spelled the end of Hachimura’s time with the Wizards. The forward is thriving as the tall and athletic co-star to Bradley Beal, which killed off any chances for the Wizards to develop Hachimura.

The 24-year-old forward wasn’t shy about venting his frustrations to the press. During an interview days before the trade, he said he could positively contribute to any team that “wants me as a basketball player.” 

OKBET’s basketball analysis team and the Lakers’ biggest fans are eager to see how Hachimura will be able to perform in Tinseltown. Seeing him play alongside superstars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be interesting. 

His large frame will become an asset for Darvin Ham’s Lakers during late-game situations. While his shooting form could use some work, he’s shooting at a respectable rate. Moreover, the issues with his shooting fluidity can be addressed through coaching.

Hachimura’s Reunion with Westbrook

Rui’s arrival in LA will not only give him a chance to restart his career. It will also reunite him with Westbrook, the teammate whose trade bumped him out of the starting lineup.

ClutchPoints tweeted that aside from Brodie, he’ll be reuniting with Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown, Jr. These four players suited up for the Wizards during Hachimura’s rookie season.

Bryant was a solid contributor in the ten games he played for the Wizards. He worked his way into becoming a key cog for the Lakers whenever Davis is injured. Brown made little impact during his stay with the Wizards. He has since found solid minutes under Ham, providing rebounding and defense for the second unit.

While Hachimura’s reunion with the two might go beyond the 2022-23 season, Westbrook’s situation is hard to call. He’s a terrible fit for the Lakers’ spacing and defense, which only hurts the team considering his large contract.

The Brodie will likely be traded to another team, such as the Spurs. Westbrook is still too valuable of a basketball player to be allowed to walk in the free season.

Read more: Casino Etiquette: How to Make Gaming More Enjoyable

Gambling in a casino is a fun hobby with a unique joy you won’t usually experience with other interests. Whether online or offline, winning a well-placed bet gives you a euphoria that will leave you returning for more. However, casino etiquette tends to become something people forget when having fun.

Gambling tends to flare passion among its players, which could cause problems among other players. High emotions could cause players to act out and make the entire experience terrible for other people.

Make sure everyone enjoys the best gaming experience by practicing casino etiquette. Practicing these etiquettes will be critical to an enjoyable gaming session, even if Lady Luck doesn’t smile at you.

Our tips can help you have a wonderful time at your brick-and-mortar casinos and legitimate betting sites like OKBET. While specific pointers work for a certain kind of gaming, these tips can turn you into a gambler other people enjoy being around.

OKBET Casino Etiquette

Understand the Game

A casino will not teach you how to play any of the available games. They’re happy to let you lose your hard-earned money if you sit or click at a table and play multiple rounds blind. 

The dealer and other players you’ll be playing with won’t likely give you a helping hand. While it’s up to the dealer’s discretion whether they’ll entertain any game-related questions, other players may be too busy dealing with their hands to teach you the basics.

You should learn to play the games before entering the casino if you don’t want to look like a fish out of water. While these games take a lifetime to master, learning how these games work will help you make a better bet.

There are online resources that can teach you how to play these games. Read up on the games you want to try so you can confidently walk up to a table and make a reasonable wager

Learn Your Hand Signals

Some casino games have become so popular that they developed a language. If you’re planning to play any games with these signals, you must learn what these signals are.

While these signs are most frequently used at blackjack tables, you can use the following signals at most casino tables where the cards are dealt face up:

  • Hit: Tap the table.
  • Stand: Wave your open hand along the table.
  • Double/Split: Place your bet next to your original wager. Never place it on top of your punt.

The signs slightly change if you play at tables where the cards are played facing down:

  • Hit: Lightly drag the cards’ corners against the table’s felt surface.
  • Stand: Slide your cards under the chips you wagered.
  • Double/Split: Reveal your cards on the table, then place your matching wager next to your initial bet.

You can also use your fingers to indicate whether you want to double or split your bet. Raise one if you want to raise your punt and two if you want to split. These signals apply if you have two fours or two fives.

Picking the Right Table to Play

Online casinos are similar to their physical counterparts in that there are multiple tables for different games. Some of these tables accommodate newbies and players on a budget. In contrast, others are usually reserved for high rollers betting big money.

The last thing you want to experience is joining a table that is way out of your gambling budget. You don’t want to be cashing out more money than what you initially set because you unintentionally sat at a high-stakes table.

Make sure you’re playing at a table with a budget matching your needs. Only bet money that you’re comfortable with losing. It’s never a wrong move to leave a table if you feel like its stakes don’t match your budget.

Never Play With Your Phone

Smartphones have become indispensable for modern living. They allow instant communication between people and internet access, making it convenient for patrons who love visiting casinos with friends who live far from them.

However, cheats have also incorporated smartphones to beat various casino games and win. While some of the most common smartphone cheating schemes target slot machines, there are multiple ways cheaters can game the system and win big with the right phone.

Moreover, people may want to avoid being documented playing at casinos. Celebrities and private individuals don’t want smartphones recording them unwinding at a casino.

Different casinos also have varying rules on phone use while playing on their tables. While taking photos away from tables is not generally frowned upon, the house usually doesn’t like it when you’re trying to film the tables.

The best casino etiquette for phone use is not using your smartphone while playing. Not bringing your phone out while playing will also prevent you from being kicked out.

Be Nice

This advice doesn’t only apply to casino etiquette but also life. Dealers and other players will not relish playing with you if you’re rudely interacting with them. You’ll see yourself kicked out of the physical or online casino you’re playing at if you don’t interact with others like a decent human being.

Avoid discussing polarizing issues when you’re playing with others. Be courteous to whoever you’re talking to. Be gracious in victory, even more so in defeat. Leave a small tip to the dealer when you’re winning as well as when you’re leaving the table.

These small things will foster a positive gambling experience and make you a fun person to play with.

Practice Proper Casino Etiquette Today

These are only some things that can make you a better casino patron. We haven’t discussed other etiquettes in this piece. Still, these are some of the most important rules to help you enjoy your casino experience.

If there’s one rule you must strictly follow out of the abovementioned things, it’s being mindful of others. Even if you don’t know the game, people might be willing to help if you’re genuinely nice about it.

Read more: Crypto in Casinos: How It Transforms Gambling

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