The Chicago Bulls present The Gift of the Game

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Every year about this time, we start to see the same movies airing on TV over and over, the holiday classics: Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, etc.

Now the Chicago Bulls have created a new video to add to the holiday classics canon. Their video, The Gift Of The Game, which tells of a Christmas miracle involving Benny the Bull and a Bulls team that understands teamwork is the key to success. Special shoutout to Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol, Doug McDermott, and Mike Dunleavy for their narrating skills.


VIDEO: Bulls Gift

Andre Iguodala shakes it off

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Two nights ago during the big Grizzlies/Warriors game, the Warriors got upset late in the game when Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley appeared to take three steps on a lay-up. Walking was not called on the play, and after lobbying a referee in vain for a call, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala walked away and broke into a dance step to demonstrate how he felt Conley managed to get open. (This was when the refs finally made a call — a technical foul on Iguodala.) The Grizzlies got the win, but a few days later, with the help of a Taylor Swift soundtrack and some editing from @CJZero, Iguodala just has to shake it off…

(via TNLP)

Drake introduces the Toronto Raptors

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in Toronto, the Raptors hosted their second-annual Drake Night. This is a night where the popular hip-hop star, who is officially the team’s “global ambassador,” takes over the game operations for an evening. And last night this meant Drake took over the pregame introductions for the P.A. announcer. Drake is probably the only person who could get away with announcing Amir Johnson by saying, “He recently got a tattoo of a Swiffer Wet Jet.”


VIDEO: Drake Night

Throwback Thursday: Peja Stojakovic


VIDEO: Peja Stojakovic’s top 10 career plays

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s TBT topic: Peja Stojakovic

On Dec. 16, 2014, the Sacramento Kings retired the No. 16 jersey of former All-Star and fan favorite Peja Stojakovic. He ranks first in Kings franchise history (1948-current) in 3-pointers made (1,070) and attempted (2,687), and in free throw percentage (.893). He’s also ranked second on the Kings all-time scoring list with 9,498 points scored, third in field goals made (3,352) and attempted (7,269), and fifth in steals (543).

To honor Stojakovic’s days in Sacramento, we look back at the career of this sharp-shooter:

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Peja Stojakovic

What’s your favorite Peja Stojakovic moment? Let us know by using the hashtag #NBATBT or visit for NBA.com’s Throwback Thursday page.

The Manimal meets the Minimal

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Denver’s Kenneth Faried, a.k.a. the Manimal, plays basketball kind of like a superhero — all energy and action, with his hair trailing in the wind behind him. So it makes sense that at the Nuggets/Clippers game on Friday night, Denver will give out Kenneth Faried Action Figures to some fans. In this new spot from the Nuggets, they take a page from Li’l Penny and the Manimal meets the Minimal…

VIDEO: Manimal/Minimal

Will you get #gifts or #nogifts for Christmas?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The NBA on Christmas Day quintuple-header is just over a week away, and you can now buy the special Christmas Day jerseys the teams will be wearing on the NBA Store. To commemorate the jerseys — which feature first names instead of last names on the back — the NBA dropped this new commercial. I hope I’m in the #gifts category…


VIDEO: Gifts NoGifts

Andre Miller’s dunk attempt comes up short

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERAndre Miller is one of the craftiest players in the NBA, a guy who gets by almost completely on guile instead of athleticism, on experience instead of ability. Which doesn’t mean he’s not a great athlete — he must be if he’s going to battle other elite basketball players each night. But maybe he’s just good at getting by without having to dunk to score buckets.

Which brings us to last night, where everything lined up perfectly: A shot missed and the rebound bounced forward, just as Miller cut down the lane. The ball flew right into Miller’s path, and he soared through the air for what looked to be a gorgeous put-back dunk.

Instead, we got us a Shaqtin’ moment…


VIDEO: Miller short

John Wall is not afraid of Liam Neeson

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The NBA’s Christmas Day marathon of games is just a few days away, and to help spread the word, specifically for the Wizards/Knicks game, ESPN brought in Liam Neeson, star of the Taken series of movies. With Taken 3 set to debut just after the new year, New York Knicks fan Neeson flexed his impressive “angry man talking on the phone skills” by calling Wizards point guard John Wall and letting him know that this year the Knicks are not playing around. And Wall is all like, “Whatever dude…”


VIDEO: Wall Neeson

Jordan Brand unveils new Carmelo Anthony signature shoe

716227-425_A4_Pair_36077

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in New York City, just steps away from Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Jordan Brand unveiled his latest signature shoe, the Jordan Brand Melo M11. The new shoe, out Jan. 3, is Jordan’s newest performance model, and will be available in several colorways that reflect Anthony’s life and journey.

The event was held at Terminal 23, the indoor basketball court on West 32nd Street that Jordan Brand opened a year ago inside a former event space. Since being transformed, Terminal 23 has become an epicenter for off-season pick-up basketball among New York-based NBA players, largely thanks to Anthony’s constant presence. For the evening, the entryway to the facility had been transformed into something of a museum, and Anthony patiently walked reporters through the venue, explaining each installation. “I almost handed out headphones to everyone like you get at the Louvre,” Anthony joked.

As for the details on the shoe, from a press release…

The Jordan Melo M11 incorporates the brand’s pinnacle technology created for the basketball court: FlightPlate. Designed to harness and return energy from every step for explosive liftoff, FlightPlate features a moderator plate placed directly over the forefoot Nike Zoom unit to create a larger sweet spot and ample cushioning. On the shoe’s upper, a molded collar optimizes fit and enhances ankle support for Anthony’s versatile game.

Anthony definitely notices a difference in his game when playing in FlightPlate, saying it not only makes him faster and provides jump-shot lift in the first quarter, it actually keeps him fresh through the fourth quarter.

Building on last year’s model, the Jordan Melo M11 echoes Melo’s physical transformation through the offseason. After a summer dedicated to intense workouts — Melo was known for hosting some of the game’s best runs at Jordan Brand’s Terminal 23 in New York — he returned slimmer, fitter and ready to push even harder this season.

Melo said he wanted the Jordan Melo M11 to have a more sophisticated look that is well suited for a high-end, simple color palette, but also uses hues and patterns to tell dynamic stories.

The upper features synthetic leather for support and lightweight durability, while perforated details enhance breathability. A webbed strapping system wraps the foot to provide superior lockdown. The updated foam heel counter integrates into the midsole, bringing strength and support to the collar, as well as a distinctive pattern produced by repetition of the letter M.

INSPIRED BY NEW YORK CITY
Born in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., Melo has always felt a strong connection to the city of New York. Each colorway of the Jordan Melo M11 is inspired by — and a tribute to — different elements of Anthony’s story.

“It was essential that we incorporate how important New York City is to me,” Anthony said. “It’s where my basketball journey started, and there’s no other city where I’d rather play the game.”

CONCRETE ISLAND
Inspired by the concrete jungle, this color way of the Jordan Melo M11 juxtaposes the grit and shine of one of the world’s greatest cities. The gray across the forefoot echoes the concrete streets and the detailing on the tongue is a nod to brightly colored graffiti and street art, while a subtly speckled midsole evokes the bright lights of the city that never sleeps.

RED HOOK SUNSET
Born in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, Melo remains inspired by and committed to remembering his roots even as he achieves great personal success in basketball and business. This colorway brings to mind sunsets in Red Hook and early memories of his childhood in the famous New York borough.

JORDAN FAMILY
Melo wanted to include a colorway tribute to the Jordan Brand family, who have been with him and supported him throughout his career. Featuring the traditional colorways worn by Michael Jordan — black, red and white — the shoe calls to mind the great Jordan rivalries with New York throughout the 1990s.

“BLACK/GOLD”
Featuring a simple, premium color scheme, the black/gold colorway features luxury touches, and highlights throughout.

Today, consumers in North America will be able to pre-order the Jordan Melo M11 at Jordan.com. The shoe will be globally available at select retailers and Jordan.com starting January 3. Stay tuned to @Jumpman23 on Twitter and Instagram for more information.

For a closer look at the shoe and the Terminal 23 gym, check the gallery below…

Horry Scale: Bucks finally get a beater


VIDEO: Khris Middleton gets the friendly roll to drop Suns

The Bucks are off to a better-than-expected start to this season, and just imagine if they weren’t on the wrong side of a pair of buzzer beaters. In the season opener, the Hornets’ Kemba Walker made not one, but two beaters — at the end of regulation for the tie and in OT for the win — and then Monta Ellis dropped a stunner a few weeks ago.

Well, the last shot finally belonged to Khris Middleton and Milwaukee in a thrilling win Tuesday in Phoenix, when the teams combined to score eight points in the final dizzying 23 seconds. Markieff Morris (25 points in a terrific game) made a layup, followed by a Brandon Knight jumper, followed by a Morris jumper from the free throw line with four seconds left, setting up the dramatics.

This was another solid showing by the Bucks who, after losing five out of six, beat the Clippers and now are above .500 after the first of a four-game Western swing.

DIFFICULTY

The Bucks did the old give-and-go, with Middletown inbounding the ball to Jared Dudley, then getting it back. Middleton had a rather decent look at the rim from 28 feet and, with precious seconds ticking, took the open 3. The ball skidded off the rim, then kissed off the backboard before falling in at the buzzer. It wasn’t the prettiest, but when did style points ever gout when the game’s on the line?

GAME SITUATION

The Bucks and Suns played a fairly tight second half and the basket-swapping in the game’s final half-minute was fun to watch. Interestingly, the Suns looked for Morris, whose offensive game is growing steadily, and he responded. Even more interesting: Phoenix was ready to inbounds the ball with 4 seconds left but quickly called timeout when the Suns’ defense proved to be alert. Jason Kidd drew up a completely different play and instead of using Knight as the inbounds passer, switched to Middleton.

IMPORTANCE

The Bucks are testing the always dangerous West Coast waters and so far, so good for a team that’s trying to see where it stands and how much further it needs to go. The only blight on the victory over the Suns was a knee injury to rookie Jabari Parker, who had to be carried off the floor. Fortunately, it was initially diagnosed as a sprain. Meanwhile, Phoenix is one of those West teams that sure wishes it played in the East.

CELEBRATION

As you might have expected, there was joy from a Bucks’ team that had lost a pair of games to buzzer beaters this season. Middleton was mobbed at mid court by the bench and then the players sprinted off the floor while the shot was being replayed by officials. The Bucks didn’t care. They already knew the result.

GRADE

The execution by the Bucks was solid and Middleton’s shot was sure, although it did require some friendly bounces off the rim and glass. We’ll give it three Horrys.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-star