Iman Shumpert, secret agent

By Jeff Case

The big victory of the offseason for the New York Knicks was the team successfully managing to keep free-agent All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony in the fold for a few more years. His return, coupled with new coach Derek Fisher and a new-look offense (the triangle) have New Yorkers hoping the team can rebound from a putrid season.

One player sure to be key to any hopes of a Big Apple revival is combo guard Iman Shumpert. After a solid first two seasons in the NBA, Shumpert’s stats were more or less down across the board in 2013-14 as he worked his way back from an ACL tear suffered early in the 2012 playoffs.

That being said, it’s still the offseason in New York and Shumpert is having some fun. In a new video released to help hype the movie “November Man”, Shumpert pretends to be a secret agent as unsuspecting people interview for a fake job.

 

Klay Thompson is really dedicated to his fantasy football draft

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night a friend invited me to go with him to the Braves/Mets game at Citi Field. I’m a Braves fan, but because I live in New York, I don’t all that many chances to see them play in person. Normally, I would have jumped at the chance…but I hesitated because I remembered last night was also the night of my fantasy football draft. And as anyone who has ever played any fantasy sport — basketball, football, baseball, doesn’t matter — there really isn’t much worse than letting the computer auto-draft your team and winding up with a bunch of players you don’t want, or a bunch of guys who play the same position.

Lucky for me, I was wrong about my draft date — it is tonight — so I was able to get out and enjoy a baseball game on a nice evening. But being present for your fantasy draft sometimes takes extreme measures.

Take, for instance, Golden State guard Klay Thompson, who is currently in Bilbao, Spain, prepping for the FIBA Basketball World Cup as a member of Team USA. Despite being half a world and about a dozen time zones from home, Thompson woke up at 5:30 AM in order to take part in his fantasy football draft. As he wrote in the caption, he doesn’t trust the auto draft. Smart man.

(via HP)

NBA Cartoons

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen several NBA-related memes crop up on Twitter this summer, from NBA Movies to NBA Musicians.

Another NBA hashtag party broke out yesterday, this time themed around NBA cartoons. Here are some of our favorites…

 

Throwback Thursday: Offseason Blockbusters


VIDEO: Relive some of Charles Barkley’s best plays as a member of the Phoenix Suns

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.

Today’s Topic: Offseason Blockbusters

Just this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers officially introduced All-Star Kevin Love and with that move in mind, we take a look back at some of the biggest offseason trades to go down in recent history.

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


Gallery: TBT: Offseason Blockbusters

Which of these trades do you remember most? Leave your comments below!

Sir Mix-A-Lot performs at Jamal Crawford’s wedding

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is a Seattle native. He lives in Seattle during the off-season, and he helps organize the annual Seattle Pro-Am league.

So when Crawford got married over the weekend, he had the ceremony in Seattle, and put together a collection of some of his favorite artists to perform at the reception, including Tank and Brian McKnight. But he also managed to bring in one of Seattle’s most well-known hip-hop artists, the great Sir Mix-A-Lot, who performed his biggest hit…

(via BIL)

The Timberwolves go to the State Fair

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been a big week for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who officially completed the Kevin Love trade and have effectively re-made their roster, adding a few new players. To celebrate the new additions, the Wolves had Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young and Zach LaVine in Minnesota to meet the fans at a big rally downtown.

And then? The guys went to the Minnesota State Fair, because why not? The State Fair apparently has a lot of fun stuff to do, particularly if you’re a member of the T-Wolves.

What to do at the State Fair? Well, you pose with your head behind the board at the cheese on a stick sign…

You eat some donuts and rate them as “fire”…

You throw water balloons into a bucket on a dude’s head…

You go head-first down a gigantic slide…

You eat a corn dog…

Bennett definitely enjoyed himself…

After all that? You take your prizes and go home…

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…

DecentImpassionedAbyssiniancat

(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.

fa14_tn_zoomvaporaj3_3quarter_01_original

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.