In Case You Missed It …

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

Stephen Curry’s range is unbelievable

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We know Steph Curry can make shots from deep — he won the three-point contest at All-Star Weekend and routinely makes shots from deep behind the arc. But yesterday, before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, during his warmups, Curry went out to midcourt and showed just how easily he can knock down shots from the halfcourt logo…

What it’s like to go through a Draft combine workout

By Jeff Case

Few (if any) of us know what it’s like to be an NBA Draft prospect and go through the various tests and trials that it takes to go from talented unknown to NBA player.

With the NBA Draft Combine in full swing, the Boston Celtics are one of many teams eyeing prospects (particularly because they have a solid shot at a top-three pick come June).  So what is it like for a prospect to go through the rigors of combine and team drills? Celtics.com beat writer Marc D’Amico got a shot at it and gives a look at just how grueling it can be …

Shaq pays tribute to Canadian firefighters

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Recent wildfires in Alberta, Canada, have devastated the town of Ft. McMurray, as firefighters have evacuated the area and battled the blazes. Over 88,000 have escaped the region, and Shaquille O’Neal recently took to Facebook to pay tribute to the brave firefighters who have saved so many lives as they fight the fires…

Kyrie Irving is latest NBA player with a glitch

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Perhaps it’s the busy schedule, or maybe it’s the stress of playing games with so much on the line. Whatever it is, players during these playoffs have shown a bizarre tendency to glitch out. If you didn’t see it, last week during a postgame press conference, Golden State’s Draymond Green had a bizarre glitch in which he just froze for half a minute. And then last night in Atlanta, after a whistle stopped play, a Kyrie Irving glitch occurred in the corner of the court. Do we need to call the Geek Squad?

https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

Draymond Green is in the zone

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The phrase “in the zone” gets thrown around frequently in sports, but what exactly does it mean? It’s usually used to describe a player who gets into a state where he seems to perform at a higher level. But it could also be used to describe what happened to Golden State’s Draymond Green during the postgame press conference the other night following the Warriors’ win over Portland during Game 2 of the Western Conference semis. While his teammate Festus Ezeli is answering a question, suddenly Draymond either gets into a zone or zones out or freezes up or…well, something…

The good news is, Draymond has an explanation for it! According to Draymond, there was a glitch in the matrix…

Harry the Hawk pays tribute to Prince

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry the Hawk has apparently recovered from his mishap last week, and last night during the Hawks game against the Boston Celtics, Harry took the court along with the Hawks dance team to perform a tribute to Prince. And not only did it serve to get the crowd involved, but it also seemed to have a positive effect on the Hawks…

Jeremy Lin does his best Michael Jordan shrug

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most iconic moments in NBA history came during the 1992 NBA Finals, when Michael Jordan opened the festivities with 6 three-pointers during the first half of Game 1. After making a couple of shots, Jordan knocked down a three over Blazers’ forward Cliff Robinson and had no response remaining other than just to shrug…

mjshrug

Fast-forward to last night in Charlotte, where Hornets guard Jeremy Lin had to force a three-pointer against the Miami Heat with the shot clock running down. His shot went in, off the glass. How do you respond to something like that? Lin looked to the sideline, where Hornets owner Michael Jordan himself was sitting, and broke out his best MJ imitation…

Happy Birthday Tim Duncan

NEW YORK - 1997:  Tim Duncan poses for a photo after being selected by the San Antonio Spurs at the 1997 NBA Draft in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1997 NBAE (Photo by Andy Hayt/NBAE via Getty Images)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Welcome to an occasionally recurring feature here on All Ball, in which we celebrate the birthday of an NBA great by delving into the highlight vaults. And today we recognize the birthday of perhaps the greatest power forward in NBA history, Tim Duncan.

Born in St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Duncan grew up a competitive swimmer. As a teenager, Duncan took up basketball, eventually earning a scholarship to Wake Forest. After four years at Wake Forest and numerous accolades, including being named the national college player of the year as a senior, Duncan graduated in 1997 and was the first overall pick in the NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.

Over nearly two decades in the NBA, Duncan has helped lead the Spurs to five NBA championships, won two NBA MVP awards and three NBA Finals MVP awards, and been named an NBA All-Star 15 times. Duncan is the leading scorer in the history of the San Antonio Spurs franchise, and is currently 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring leaders list with 26,496 points.

Tim turns 40 years old today. Happy birthday, TD!


VIDEO: Happy 40th Tim Duncan