In Case You Missed It …

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.

 

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.

The NBA takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

By Jeff Case


VIDEO: GameTime: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken social media by storm the last few weeks and according to alsa.org, the campaign has raised immense awareness for ALS (which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but is better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Here’s more from the ALSA:

In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally “soaked” the nation. Everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake has poured a bucket of ice water over his or her head and challenged others do the same or make a donation to fight ALS within twenty-four hours.

Between July 29 and today, August 12, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from those people who have been doused, made a donation, or both. Contributions further The Association’s mission to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for people living with the disease.

“We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”

With only about half of the general public knowledgeable about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is making a profound difference. Since July 29, The Association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.

Everyone from celebrities to, perhaps, some of your friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are challenging each other to dump a bucket of ice-cold water on themselves to further awareness of ALS. That list of participants includes NBA players, who have taken on (or doled out) the Ice Bucket Challenge, too. Here’s Michael Jordan, Team USA, Kevin DurantBradley Beal, John Wall, Damian Lillard, J.R. Smith and more taking the plunge:


VIDEO: MJ Ice Bucket

(more…)

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1990s


VIDEO: Relive the top 10 plays from the 1993 Finals between the Chicago Bulls and 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: Best Teams of 1990s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1990s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 2000s!

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


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of the 1990s

Previous weeks:

Best Teams of 1940-50s
Best Teams of 1960s
Best Teams of 1970s
Best Teams of the 1980s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

Paul George donates his old No. 24 gear

By Jeff Case

Earlier this week, news came out that injured Indiana Pacers star Paul George is changing from his usual No. 24 to No. 13 when he does return to the court (he’s not expected to play in 2014-15, but the Pacers aren’t giving up all hope on that yet).

By NBA rule, when a player changes to a new number, the player must buy up all of his old number gear still on the market … provided the number change takes place after the March deadline. But since George got his change in before that deadline, he wasn’t obligated to buy his old gear.

According to ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell, George did buy all his old No. 24 gear, though. Then, he apparently donated much of it to his high school in Palmdale, Calif., Pete Knight High School.

PKHS students, faculty and others took to Twitter to thank George for the gesture: (more…)

Luvabulls get a celebrity auditioner

By Jeff Case

The Bulls’ dance team, the Luvabulls, will embark on their 35th season entertaining fans in Chicago. As such, the team needs to assemble its roster for 2014-15 and recently held tryouts so it could complete that task. According to the team’s website, the following are among the requirements to be a part of the squad:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age as of July 12, 2014 – please bring valid photo ID
  • Must have training in jazz and hip hop dance, with an emphasis on synchronized dance team choreography – tumbling skills, cheer stunts and pom experience are a plus
  • Must reside in the Chicago-land area and have a reliable means of transportation
  • There are no minimum or maximum height or weight requirements

So, technically, just about anyone — who is qualified — can try out for a spot on the team. Does that include former “Saturday Night Live” stars (like Cheri Oteri) doing so under a psuedonym? Apparently so …


VIDEO: Sage McMurphy (aka Cheri Oteri) tries out for the Luvabulls

(The Bulls also have a great behind-the-scenes video about the spoof tryout.)

 

 

Khris Middleton milks a cow

By Jeff Case

The offseason is a great time for NBA players to get a real feel for some of the culture of the city they play in. Such has been the case for a few members of the Milwaukee Bucks, who chose to take in the Wisconsin State Fair and the trappings there within.

If you missed a few days ago, we showed you Bucks forward John Henson trying a variety of deep-fried goodies sold at the Wisconsin State Fair. Well, if you’re at a fair that’s focused on the dairy industry — which is big in Wisconsin — you’ve gotta try milking a cow, right?

Take it away, Khris Middleton:


VIDEO: Khris Middleton tries milking a cow at the Wisconsin State Fair

 

Ray Allen plays golf with Obama

By Jeff Case

After the Miami Heat lost in The 2014 Finals, there was some talk that the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made, Ray Allen, might hang ‘em up for good this summer. A recent report indicates that Allen, an unrestricted free agent, is ready to play next season — although he hasn’t decided where.

While he makes up his mind, Allen has taken to the links and gotten in a few rounds the last few days. First, he held his Ray Allen Golf Tournament at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. From there, he managed to get in some golf with the leader of the free world, President Barack Obama

Blazers take to the diamond

By Jeff Case

The Portland Trail Blazers enjoy one of the most fervent fan bases in all of the NBA, mostly because they were the only professional sports league in town for many, many years. While that has changed of late with the Portland Timbers being a part of Major League Soccer, Blazermania is still alive and well in the Rose City.

While Portland can claim an NBA and MLS team, it doesn’t boast a Major League Baseball team. That leaves Portlanders to scratch that diamond itch another way and the Blazers’ players and coaches prove no exception to that rule. During the last few weeks, the Blazers have had a presence on the baseball field, though, as fans (and coach Terry Stotts) took in a minor league game in Oregon.

And out in Seattle, avowed Mariners fan (and starting center) Robin Lopez threw out the first pitch before a game.


VIDEO: Terry Stotts and Blazers fans watch a minor-league baseball game in Oregon


VIDEO: Robin Lopez tosses out the first pitch at a Mariners game

 

Metta World Peace in a panda costume?

By Jeff Case

Last we heard from Metta World Peace around these parts, he was the target of a prank pulled by his former New York Knicks teammate Amar’e Stoudemire.Word is that World Peace won’t be in the NBA next season and has agreed to play for a team in China called the Sichuan Blue Whales.

But going to a new team is never that simple with World Peace. Aside from trekking overseas, it has been widely reported that he will likely change his name to either “Panda’s Friend” or “The Panda’s Friend” as part of the move, too. World Peace himself touched on the name change via Twitter and, his Twitter feed has been filled of late with him retweeting images from fans of him either with (or as) a panda.

According to the folks over at TriangleOffense.com, World Peace was spotted at the Venice Basketball League in a panda suit:

Again, there’s no official word that this fellow (animal?) is World Peace. Either way, seeing someone in a panda suit at an outdoor basketball game in California (in the summer) is nonetheless odd.