The Charlotte Hornets perform “Piano Man”

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERBilly Joel will be performing a show in Charlotte in the Time Warner Cable Arena. To “welcome” him to town, several members of the Charlotte Hornets — Cody Zeller, P.J. Hairston, Jannero Pargo and Noah Vonleh — put down a karaoke version of the song. I’m not sure if Billy Joel will carry on as planned after listening to this…


VIDEO: Hornets Sing

Throwback Thursday: Karl Malone


VIDEO: Relive Karl Malone’s storied career

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 Topic: Karl Malone’s milestones

When he walked off the court for the last time after the 2004 NBA Finals, Karl Malone left the game as a two-time MVP, the No. 2 scorer in NBA history, the game’s all-time leader in free throws and forever changed the power forward position.

But back on this date in 2000, Malone added to his lore as an all-time great scorer. With a layup with 8:53 left in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he passed the 30,000-point plateau and thus took his place in NBA annals alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 career points) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419).

Two years and one day later, he further etched his name in the all-time scoring books. With his 18 points in a 90-78 win over the Chicago Bulls at the then-Delta Center, Malone became the second player in NBA history to register 34,000 career points, trailing only Abdul-Jabbar.

Today, we take a look back at Malone’s storied career:


Gallery: Karl Malone’s career

What are your favorite Malone memories? Leave your comments below!

The Robin Lopez war against mascots rages on

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve spent a lot of time recently looking into Robin Lopez‘s war on NBA mascots. While its origins are unclear, it has manifested in very real ways.

The Portland Trail Blazers were in New York to take on the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, but the game was canceled a few hours early as a precautionary measure with a potential blizzard bearing down on the Northeast. Grantland’s Zach Lowe noted this interrupted a potential story he was chasing…

Lopez responded and for some reason called out Cleveland mascot Moondog…

To his credit, Moondog refused to be bullied…

Thaddeus Young invents new form of rookie hazing for Andrew Wiggins

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve officially reached that time in the season when the players are ready for a vacation and can’t wait for the All-Star break. So how do they deal with that ennui? For some veterans, it seems like this is when they start picking on the rookies, from Philadelphia all the way to Los Angeles.

But it’s not just on the coasts. Check out this video from the last night’s postgame interview session in Minnesota, where the T-Wolves beat the Celtics 110-98. When it was Andrew Wiggins‘ time to talk, veteran forward Thaddeus Young couldn’t let him go unscathed…


VIDEO: Wiggins interview

The Cavs celebrate Kyrie Irving’s big night

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a roll lately, adopting a fast-paced offense and heading into last night, they’d won 7 games in a row. That streak looked like it might be in jeopardy last night with the Portland Trail Blazers in town, however, as LeBron James was a late scratch with sprained wrists. But never fear, Kyrie Irving was here. With James gone, the dynamic point guard stepped up and dropped 55 points, including a game-winner with seconds left to play.

After the game, the Cavs gathered in the locker room, and as you can see in this video Kyrie posted on Instagram, they took a few seconds to celebrate Kyrie’s historic night…

lol better quality moment with my brothers. #thankful

A video posted by Kyrie Irving (@k1irving) on

Pelicans offer ticket deals with “No Problem”

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The New Orleans Pelicans have an exciting young team, lead by All-Star starter Anthony Davis, who is just 21 years old. And to make sure the people of New Orleans keep coming out to see them play, the Pelicans have introduced a new ticket plan: For $24, you can get tickets to any three games. Heckuva deal, for sure.

What’s really interesting is how the Pelicans are promoting this deal. We love local ads here at All Ball, and the Pelicans have chosen to recreate an old local ad for this new local ad. According to a press release from the Pelicans…

The spot included Anderson as the lead role, re-creating Frank Trapani’s persona in the original television spot for his store, Frankie & Johnny’s Furniture. Trapani, who stood just 5’ tall compared to Anderson’s 6’10 frame, passed away in July of 2012. Pelicans center Omer Asik and guard Tyreke Evans also make appearances in the series of spots.

Davis, donning a Stetson-looking hat and holding a plastic Mardi Gras cigar, reprised “The Special Man” role originally performed by Lester Love, Sr., a salesman at Frankie & Johnny’s who passed away in 2001.

“It was a lot of fun recreating the ‘Special Man’ commercial and I hope the employees and owners of the store would enjoy us reprising their roles,” said Davis. “At first when I saw it, I thought it was funny, but didn’t really get it. Some of the Pelicans staff who are from here were explaining to us how popular it was and it was fun to see their reactions as we were filming. We hope the fans enjoy it – it was fun for us to do.”

Here’s the Pelicans ad, starring Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans

Special Man Spot 1-26-15 from NBAPelicans on Vimeo.

And for some context, here’s the ad it’s based on…

Frankie and Johnny s Furniture See the Special Man from NBAPelicans on Vimeo.

The Lakers rookies are carrying around baby dolls

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Part of being an NBA rookie is paying your dues. How those dues are paid varies from team to team and place to place. While the Sixers just use a little aluminum foil, the Los Angeles Lakers have created a more interactive experience for rookies Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black. Clarkson explains his rookie duties in the video below.


VIDEO: Lakers Babies

(via FTW)

Harry the Hawk gives you the Uptown Funk

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — “Uptown Funk” is the new single from Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. Here is Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry the Hawk giving his performance of the song. I was exhausted just watching this video…


VIDEO: Harry Uptown Funk

Kids draw pictures of the Chicago Bulls

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On the surface, this seems like a simple enough game: Second and third graders from a Chicago elementary school drew pictures of Chicago Bulls players. Then, the actual Chicago Bulls players looked at the pictures and tried to guess which player was featured in the drawing. Again, simple idea, although it’s safe to say the players struggled the right identifications.


VIDEO: Bulls Kid Picasso 1


VIDEO: Bulls Kid Picasso 2


VIDEO: Bulls Kid Picasso 3

DeAndre Jordan celebrates Jamal Crawford’s fourth quarter in song

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night Jamal Crawford got hot. It wasn’t quite Klay Thompson-level hot, but Crawford scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Clippers to a 102-98 win over the Denver Nuggets. And after the game, when it was time to interview Crawford, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan decided to show his appreciation in song…


VIDEO: Jordan Sings