Do it for the Vine, LaVine

If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out the dunking exploits of new Wolves rookie Zach LaVine, All Ball guru Lang Whitaker has already provided the proper introduction.

What I’m going to do is take this a BIG step forward: Given what I’ve seen from this UCLA skywalker, both on the collegiate level and in the early stages of his NBA career, I’m going out on a limb to say that LaVine will go down as one of the best dunkers we’ve ever seen in the NBA.

You know what? As blasphemous as it may sound, LaVine might be the most exciting we’ve ever seen when it’s all said and done. Write it down. Take a picture. Hang it on your refrigerator.

I know, I know, I know. The man hasn’t even taken his first dribble in a meaningful professional game. But let’s take a quick look at why LaVine is and will be the new standard bearer of slam:

Height: The first — and quite frankly, only — names that come to mind in comparison to the air that LaVine gets is Vince Carter in his early days and Gerald Green of today. We’re talking nose-high level to the rim. Getting that kind of elevation definitely has an impact on …

Style: Nothing makes a dunk stand out quite like flair. In LaVine’s case, he has a great deal of smoothness and airborne creativity about him. As mentioned before, his crazy hang time allows him to do things in the air that run-of-the-mill dunkers just don’t have the time to pull off.

The perfect blend of these two factors? How about a windmill from the free-throw line. Yes, you read that right. The free-throw line. Allow that to marinate while we wait for the upcoming season.

And you know what sets this all off? He’s just getting started. We’ll definitely be watching, Zach. Both up in Minnesota and at NBA All-Star 2015 in New York, where we assume you’ll be taking center stage in the Sprite Dunk Contest.


VIDEO: Zach LaVine puts on a dunk show at Summer League

 

Weddings in Ohio incorporate LeBron’s powder toss

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For most people, their wedding day is the greatest day of their lives, a time to celebrate and make memories for the future. And how better to do that than by incorporating a signature move from LeBron James?

That is what is happening in Ohio, at least. As our friends at Ball Don’t Lie have pointed out, more than one wedding in Ohio has ended with a celebratory powder toss, the move LeBron just recently said he couldn’t wait to bring back this season. So why not help him by bringing it back a bit early?

Here’s two examples. First, at a wedding in Cleveland…


VIDEO: Wedding toss

Then, at a wedding in Akron, where everyone gets involved…

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(via BDL)

Damian Lillard celebrates the return of Madden

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’re still a few weeks away from the start of the NBA season, but we’re just days away from football returning. Which of course means the return of the great football video game Madden, which dropped yesterday. In this new commercial from EA Sports, Portland guard Damian Lillard sits down with Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller to play a game of Madden, only to find Miller has an edge that will be hard for Lillard to top.


VIDEO: Carroting

His Airness Tries Out Tennis

By Nick Margiasso IV

Game recognize game.

It is a phrase that never rang truer than Tuesday night, when Michael Jordan headed to the US Open to watch his first-ever professional tennis match in person (according to USA Today) — as guest of tennis legend Roger Federer.

It wasn’t just worlds colliding just for the sake of blowing sports fans’ collective minds. No, it was in part a celebration of the debut of Fed’s new Jordan-inspired tennis kicks. Federer used his new wheels courtesy of Jordan to blow out his opponent in front of the Chicago Bulls legend, who was commended by the fans and even Federer himself after the match. They were probably just trying to get some freebies of these sweet sneakers.

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And, although it was a glorified business meeting, MJ was entertained enough that he might be back soon … as long as his Nike buddy is playing. Then again, they might just play piano, too. Such is the life of the greats.

Paul George and Roy Hibbert go fishing

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We know the Pacers like to go fishing — and I mean that in the literal sense, not in terms of losing during the playoffs. Last season, while stumbling through the playoffs, Pacers players Roy Hibbert, Paul George and George Hill actually went fishing to help get away from it all and have some fun.

This summer hasn’t been great for the Pacers, either. Lance Stephenson left to play in Charlotte, and Paul George suffered a compound leg fracture while playing for Team USA that will keep him out for at least the upcoming season. So how to get away from it all? Why not go fishing?

That’s what George and Hibbert did yesterday. Well, first Hibbert sat in George’s Ferrari…

Then they got in a boat and went fishing…

Hang on to your hat, Roy…

Chris Bosh takes photobombing to Hollywood

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Oh sure, the Miami Heat may have been one of the NBA’s best teams on the floor the last few years, but their teamwork was really on display in their postgame photobombs. We saw everything from cartwheels to wheelbarrows from the Heat, but the unifying factor was really Chris Bosh‘s work in the enterprise. As often as we saw LeBron James or Dwyane Wade involved, it was always Bosh who seemed to really love popping into photos and videos.

With LeBron gone to Cleveland, Bosh may be forced to play a different role for the Heat this season. Some things, however, seem to never change, as we can see from this moment at last night’s Emmy Awards. Check out Emmy nominee Matthew McConaughey being interviewed on E!, as guess who pops up in the background? Alright, alright, alright…

(via TNLP)

Timberwolves offer fans excuse to skip work

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With the trades finally complete to bring Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young to Minnesota, the Timberwolves will welcome their newest additions (along with first round pick Zach LaVine) to town this afternoon with a rally in downtown Minneapolis. The one issue here is that this could be problematic with people who have, you know, jobs, where they’re required to be in an office during this rally. So how to make sure people are able to make it? Offer them an excuse! Today on Timberwolves.com, the Wolves posted a note from Coach/GM Flip Saunders to people’s bosses, asking for some time off (and even making an Office Space reference).

Now if you guys will excuse me I’ve gotta go print this out…

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New NBA 2K15 trailer drops

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We are still a few weeks away from the start of NBA training camps and the start of the NBA season. But if you’re hungry for a bit of NBA action, this new trailer for the forthcoming NBA 2K15 will get you fired up. Dunks, euro-steps, jumpers, rebounds, mascots…even Shaq and Ernie. The game drops on October 7.


VIDEO: 2K15 Trailer

Lang and the NBA Rookies: Inside the NBA

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just like last year, at the recent NBA Rookie photo shoot I showed up with a camera crew and a burning desire to get to know these guys as well as I could, courtesy of some non-traditional questions.

Here is part nine: Ernie, Kenny, Charles or Shaq?


VIDEO: NBA Rookies: Inside Inside

LeBron, Kyrie, welcome Kevin Love to Cleveland

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — After weeks of rumors, Kevin Love was finally traded this weekend to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And no sooner was the deal announced then his new teammates, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, too to social media to welcome Love to town. (Of course, Love and Irving have worked together before.)