Klay Thompson has Jedi powers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Tonight it’s finally time for the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder to play Game 7 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT) in the Western Conference Finals, with everything on the line. Win and go to the NBA Finals, lose and go home. But to get to a Game 7, the Warriors first had to win a wild Game 6 in Oklahoma City a few nights ago. The Thunder led most of the way, but Warriors guard Klay Thompson got hot in the second half and started raining threes, finishing with 11 made three-pointers, an NBA playoff record. How did he get so hot? Was it his form? His technique? Or maybe it was all a Jedi mind trick? Because as it turns out, Thompson wore a pair of Yoda socks to the game.

As Thompson told The Vertical after the game, “”I brought my Yoda socks to bring out my Jedi powers.”

The Force is strong in that one.

Brook Lopez will clean your house

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Brooklyn Nets’ season may be over, but that doesn’t mean center Brook Lopez isn’t taking any time off. In this video from the Nets, Lopez pays a visit to the house of a fan and helps her out with some spring cleaning. Wiping down tables? Adjusting rods that are near the ceiling? Lighting a scented candle to improve the ambience? Brook Lopez can really do it all…

Wear your support for Craig Sager

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night news broke that TNT’s Craig Sager would be honored with the Jimmy V award at the upcoming ESPYs. And to continue to support Sager in his fight against leukemia, the crew from TNT introduced a couple of ways people can get involved with the #SagerStrong movement.

The entire crew last night wore ties designed in conjunction with Dwyane Wade and The Tie Bar, the proceeds of which will benefit the SAGERSTRONG Foundation…

The GANG!! #NBAonTNT #BallerLife

A photo posted by Reggie Miller (@reggiemillertnt) on

Also, the crew from TNT wore a limited edition Sager sock from Stance…

Thunder fan pays tribute to Steven Adams

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the breakout stars of this postseason has been Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, who keeps getting injured but somehow stays on the court to provide rebounding and set solid screens, all while looking like a swashbuckling pirate captain. With his long hair, tattoos and curly mustache, Adams has cultivated a signature look, and last night in Oklahoma City for Game 4, one young female fan managed to replicate Adams’ look so well that even Adams was impressed…

Paul Pierce knows how to throw a party

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — California knows how to party, and apparently nobody knows that better than Clippers forward (and Cali native) Paul Pierce. The Truth’s daughter turned five recently, and Pierce apparently went all out for the birthday bash, bringing in a llama and even posing for a few selfies. Next time we have an NBA.com office party we definitely have to get Pierce on the Party Planning Committee.

My daughter wanted a lama for her bday #daddylittlegirl

A photo posted by The Truth (@paulpierce) on

What am I thinking smh

A photo posted by The Truth (@paulpierce) on

What up 5

A photo posted by The Truth (@paulpierce) on

The time Magic Johnson talked trash to Michael Jordan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Through the years we’ve heard plenty of stories about Michael Jordan‘s incredible competitiveness. And this latest story from Magic Johnson does nothing to dispel what we’ve heard. On a recent visit to “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Magic Johnson told a great story about how the first time he ever talked trash resulted in Michael Jordan making what sounds like a pretty spectacular shot…

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar meets LeBron, sits down with Cavs legends

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Cool stuff from last night in Cleveland, where the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was in town to watch Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals in person. Not only did Abdul-Jabbar sit down with Cavs legends Austin Carr and Campy Russell, as you can watch in the video above, but Kareem also got to share a moment with LeBron James, who last night passed Shaquille O’Neal for fourth place on the NBA’s all-time postseason scoring list. As LeBron said after the game

“I was actually … jogging into the locker room like we usually do off the floor, and obviously I saw a legend outside of our locker room, and I slowed my pace up drastically just to embrace a legend being in our building, watching us play. What he did for the game, the championship runs that he had with the ‘Showtime’ Lakers and him being the all-time leading scorer in NBA history and so on and so on and so on, it’s just respect.

“When you see a guy like that, when you put him in a class with like Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali and Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, those guys all laying that same thing, Bill Russell. It was a pretty cool moment.”

Rajon Rondo takes on Isiah Thomas and Greg Anthony in Connect 4

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most fun things about working for NBA.com and NBA TV is hanging around the studio in Atlanta, where you’re just as likely to run into Charles Barkley as you are Brent Barry. And when there’s down-time, there’s plenty of time to argue about NBA history, or movies, or even about things such as board games. And with special guest Rajon Rondo in the NBA TV studio this week, of course Isiah Thomas and Rondo got involved in a heated match, with Greg Anthony providing commentary.

Carmelo Anthony partakes in Running Man challenge

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night on the “Tonight Show,” someone asked host Jimmy Fallon if he could get a basketball player to partake in the Running Man Challenge. Who better for Fallon to find behind the hidden door than Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony?

Lil Kev is playing a key role for the Cleveland Cavaliers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Cleveland Cavaliers’ official mascot is, of course, Moondog. But right now their unofficial mascot, or perhaps just spirit leader, might just be a magazine advertisement that bears a passing resemblance to their All-Star power forward, Kevin Love. That’s right, a magazine advertisement. A magazine advertisement that is known as Lil Kev.

Let’s back up a bit. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, this whole thing started during Cleveland’s first round series against the Detroit Pistons.

What Lil’ Kev is, literally, is a Tommy Bahama advertisement that was ripped out of an in-flight magazine by [Richard] Jefferson when the Cavs were flying back from Detroit after their first-round sweep of the Pistons.

Jefferson thought the model in the ad bore a striking resemblance to Love.

“We saw Lil’ Kev in a magazine and we just started giving Big Kev a lot of crap, even though it’s not him,” said Jefferson. “It’s not him and that makes it even funnier.”

The name, Jefferson says, is inspired by Love’s recent State Farm commercial, in which he plays a prepubescent boy as part of a fictional family sitcom, “The Hoopers,” also starring DeAndre Jordan as the mom, Kevin Garnett as the grandpa, Chris Paul as the dad and Damian Lillard as the baby.

“We were messing with Kev and we ripped it out [from the magazine] and we started doing stuff with it,” Jefferson explained.

Since discovering Lil Kev, Jefferson has given the ad a starring role on his Snapchat account, with vignettes such as this…

Lil Kev now has his own (verified!) Instagram account, where he makes guest appearances with other Cavs players…

Is this the next Espn 3- man broadcast crew?

A photo posted by Lil Kev (@officiallilkev) on

And now it appears there may be a clothing line in the works? Last night Cavs guard J.R. Smith posted a photo of him getting up some late night shots at the Cavs’ practice facility while wearing a Lil Kev t-shirt.

#nightcap with @thereal94feetofgame thanks to my guy @officiallilkev for the shirt

A photo posted by JR Smith (@teamswish) on

He may only be a magazine ad, but Lil Kev seems to be playing an important role for the Cavs right now…

#teamchemistry is key to a great lockeroom.

A photo posted by Lil Kev (@officiallilkev) on